A blog about computers, open source, software and other perceptions gained over the years as a sysadmin.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A full backup solution

I have pieced together my backup solution for us. It consists of one dedicated HD backupserver that takes daily backups and then send them off weekly to a remote tapechanger and rotates the tapes. The weekly backup is nice to have if gremlins eath our disks or starts a fire in our server room.

I use backuppc for the daily backups and it works very well. It takes some time to get to know but its time well spent. Ive tried various other comercial offerings but they all suck in their own way and arent easy to use or manage. Some installs go quick and easy but demand weeks and weeks of tinkering to work.

Backuppc on the other hand just demands about a week in setup and then you just leave it to itself.

One of the biggest advantages is that backuppc pools all the files so that a file thats backed up only takes up one place. No matter how many versions and iterations you have as long as the file isnt altered it only takes one place on the HD.

Backuppc is also easy to use with its web interface and has very good forum and inline support.

Once a week i create tar archives of the latest backup and sends them off over SSH to a remote box with a tapechanger connected. I just created an archive job that runs from /etc/crontab once a week.

Sending them off to a remote tapedevice is very easy in linux. Just exchange keys with for eg ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub root@host and then you can use a command like this: tar cvzf - /backupdir/ | ssh -c blowfish-cbc root@remotehost "cat > /dev/nst0" The reason i use "ssh -c blowfish-cbc" is that its a bit faster encryption than 3des wich is the default one.

With MTX you can rotate tapes with a simple command in /etc/crontab. Mine looks like this on the computer connected to the tapechanger:

* * * * 1 root mtx -f /dev/sg1 next

All it does is rotate once a week to the next tape avaliable in the tape library.

I now have a local backup running each night taking snapshots over SSH securly and pooling them on a bunch of raid devices. Restoring is easypeasy by a web gui interface. Backups are then held for seven days, one week , a month and a year back. That way i have both fresh and old backups at hand if a user needs an old copy of something.

Compared to ArcServe, Arkeia, Acronis and CAs offerings this solution is eons better.

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