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Andrew Sackville-West 12-04-2007 09:01 PM

Preferred Backup Method?
 
On Tue, Dec 04, 2007 at 04:09:12PM -0500, Michael Pobega wrote:
> What is d-u's preferred method of backups? Now that I'm running servers
> on my system (Apache, MySQL, SSH, etc.) I need to find a good method of
> backing up, because no matter how much security someone has things may
> still go wrong.
>
> So list your preferred methods of creating/restoring backups and the
> pros and cons. Thanks!

to paraphrase: Real men post their stuff on the net and let everyone
else back it up.


Seriously though, I use rdiff-backup and cron jobs to pull backups of
critical data and /etc using pub-key ssh authentication to make the
connections. I have no bare-metal restoration plan, just reinstall,
install packages, recover data and /etc and roll on.

Probably not a well advised plan, but it works for me.

A

"Douglas A. Tutty" 12-04-2007 09:01 PM

Preferred Backup Method?
 
On Tue, Dec 04, 2007 at 04:09:12PM -0500, Michael Pobega wrote:
> What is d-u's preferred method of backups? Now that I'm running servers
> on my system (Apache, MySQL, SSH, etc.) I need to find a good method of
> backing up, because no matter how much security someone has things may
> still go wrong.
>
> So list your preferred methods of creating/restoring backups and the
> pros and cons. Thanks!

We need some info:

size of backup set (how much data)

Location (physical/virtual) of backup sets, e.g. to CD-Rs, tape, hard
drive in same box, dedicated backup server's hard drive, external hard
drive, USB stick.

In general, I do a few things:

frequent backup to a raid1-protected pair in the same box.

less frequent rsyc of that to the drive on another debian box

less frequent burn to CD-R

less frequent burn to tiny CD-R to fit in the Bank's Safety Deposit Box.

Before I go away anywhere (i.e. out of town), I copy the most important
of the backup to a 4 GB USB stick.

This means that I have a separate directory called "essential_backup"
with a symlink in each user's home directory. They are to place a
symlink of any critical data in that directory. That directory is
tarred up (following the symlinks) very frequently indeed and propogated
to the other box immediatly.

The regular stuff is tarred up (tgz) and split to 650 MB size e.g.
backup.tgz.aa to fit on CD-Rs.

If security of the backups is required (other than physical security of
the media), then I use openssl to encrypt it with an unencrypted README
file, with the commands used to encrypt and decrypt (minus the actual
password), included on each backup media.

So, to answer your question re software: tar, gunzip, split, cat (to
rejoin splits), openssl, K3B, rsync, and mc.

Doug.


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Ron Johnson 12-04-2007 09:04 PM

Preferred Backup Method?
 
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On 12/04/07 15:09, Michael Pobega wrote:
> What is d-u's preferred method of backups? Now that I'm running servers
> on my system (Apache, MySQL, SSH, etc.) I need to find a good method of
> backing up, because no matter how much security someone has things may
> still go wrong.
>
> So list your preferred methods of creating/restoring backups and the
> pros and cons. Thanks!

*Much* more information needed.

How much stuff? 50MB? 5GB? 500GB? 5TB?

How compressible is it? Text/MySQL files or MP3s and JPGs?

How important is it? Your own stuff, or a business' stuff?

How big of a window do you have to back it up? 30 minutes at 23:15,
and you're fired if it goes past midnight? All night between 17:30
and 07:30?

How often will the lusers will "Michael, this stupid computer ate my
work. Bring it back!!" (Meaning, of course, that they
stupidly/carelessly deleted/overwrote it.) If it's a database, will
the developers want regular copies restored for testing?

Frequency? Nightly, weekly, every-other-day?

Retention? Keep backups for a month? Quarter? Year? 7 years?

Budget? Always a killer...

For a small business that has crucial data, I'd buy a bunch of
250/320/500GB drives and put them in firewire external enclosures.
Get a calendar and mark it Week 01 thru Week 53. With a Sharpie,
label the drives/enclosures:
Sunday A
Sunday B
Sunday C
...
Monday A
Monday B
.
.
.

Depending on how many weeks of retention you want, that's how many
letter of the alphabet you go up. Then, on the calendar next to the
week 01, write A
Week 02, write B
.
.
.
Week NN+1, write A.

That way I'd know which drive to use on which day.

As for backing it up, tar. Works like a champ.

- --
Ron Johnson, Jr.
Jefferson LA USA

%SYSTEM-F-FISH, my hovercraft is full of eels
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Michael Pobega 12-04-2007 09:19 PM

Preferred Backup Method?
 
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On Tue, Dec 04, 2007 at 04:04:47PM -0600, Ron Johnson wrote:
> On 12/04/07 15:09, Michael Pobega wrote:
> > What is d-u's preferred method of backups? Now that I'm running servers
> > on my system (Apache, MySQL, SSH, etc.) I need to find a good method of
> > backing up, because no matter how much security someone has things may
> > still go wrong.
> >
> > So list your preferred methods of creating/restoring backups and the
> > pros and cons. Thanks!
>
> *Much* more information needed.
>

Sorry, I wasn't thinking.

> How much stuff? 50MB? 5GB? 500GB? 5TB?
>

80GB HDD. It isn't full, of course, but that's the maximum (Currently
about 45 GB)

> How compressible is it? Text/MySQL files or MP3s and JPGs?
>

I wouldn't know the answer to that questions.

> How important is it? Your own stuff, or a business' stuff?
>

It's pretty important; It's my own stuff, it has all of my school work,
programming work, pictures, videos, and configuration files on it.

> How big of a window do you have to back it up? 30 minutes at 23:15,
> and you're fired if it goes past midnight? All night between 17:30
> and 07:30?
>

A weekly night-backup would be my preferred method.

> How often will the lusers will "Michael, this stupid computer ate my
> work. Bring it back!!" (Meaning, of course, that they
> stupidly/carelessly deleted/overwrote it.) If it's a database, will
> the developers want regular copies restored for testing?
>

It's just my own stuff...The odds are probably low of someone deleting
my work by accident, but better safe than sorry.

> Frequency? Nightly, weekly, every-other-day?
>

Weekly.

> Retention? Keep backups for a month? Quarter? Year? 7 years?
>

I'd probably keep backups for two weeks, so I've have two backups at any
given time.

> Budget? Always a killer...
>

I have another laptop sitting around with a 60GB HDD; Could I use that
as a backup?

Otherwise all I have is a 4GB pendrive and no money (But I could get my
hands on an 80GB External HDD easily)

> As for backing it up, tar. Works like a champ.
>

Just `tar -cvvf backup-`date`.tar /`? Is it really that simple?

- --
If programmers deserve to be rewarded for creating innovative
programs, by the same token they deserve to be punished if they
restrict the use of these programs.
- Richard Stallman
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Ron Johnson 12-04-2007 09:22 PM

Preferred Backup Method?
 
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On 12/04/07 16:01, Douglas A. Tutty wrote:
[snip]
>
> less frequent burn to tiny CD-R to fit in the Bank's Safety Deposit Box.
>
> Before I go away anywhere (i.e. out of town), I copy the most important
> of the backup to a 4 GB USB stick.
>
> This means that I have a separate directory called "essential_backup"
> with a symlink in each user's home directory. They are to place a
> symlink of any critical data in that directory. That directory is
> tarred up (following the symlinks) very frequently indeed and propogated
> to the other box immediatly.
>
> The regular stuff is tarred up (tgz) and split to 650 MB size e.g.
> backup.tgz.aa to fit on CD-Rs.

That's good for personal use (I do something similar, but send it
off to an external drive), but not adequate for a server.

> If security of the backups is required (other than physical security of
> the media), then I use openssl to encrypt it with an unencrypted README
> file, with the commands used to encrypt and decrypt (minus the actual
> password), included on each backup media.

How do you do that? (I'd have uses gpg.)

> So, to answer your question re software: tar, gunzip, split, cat (to
> rejoin splits), openssl, K3B, rsync, and mc.

- --
Ron Johnson, Jr.
Jefferson LA USA

%SYSTEM-F-FISH, my hovercraft is full of eels
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Adam Hardy 12-04-2007 10:19 PM

Preferred Backup Method?
 
Ron Johnson on 04/12/07 22:22, wrote:

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On 12/04/07 16:01, Douglas A. Tutty wrote:
[snip]

less frequent burn to tiny CD-R to fit in the Bank's Safety Deposit Box.

Before I go away anywhere (i.e. out of town), I copy the most important
of the backup to a 4 GB USB stick.

This means that I have a separate directory called "essential_backup"
with a symlink in each user's home directory. They are to place a
symlink of any critical data in that directory. That directory is
tarred up (following the symlinks) very frequently indeed and propogated
to the other box immediatly.

The regular stuff is tarred up (tgz) and split to 650 MB size e.g.
backup.tgz.aa to fit on CD-Rs.


That's good for personal use (I do something similar, but send it
off to an external drive), but not adequate for a server.


If security of the backups is required (other than physical security of
the media), then I use openssl to encrypt it with an unencrypted README
file, with the commands used to encrypt and decrypt (minus the actual
password), included on each backup media.


How do you do that? (I'd have uses gpg.)


So, to answer your question re software: tar, gunzip, split, cat (to
rejoin splits), openssl, K3B, rsync, and mc.


faubackup

Advantage: will keep weekly, monthly, yearly backups, cropping the ones
in-between so you end up with one per year, and then one per month last year,
and then one per week last month etc.


Disadvantage: doesn't compress stuff. Well, I don't think it does. Didn't feel
it was necessary after buying a Terabyte harddrive to backup to :) so I didn't
look for the option.



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David Brodbeck 12-04-2007 10:22 PM

Preferred Backup Method?
 
On Dec 4, 2007, at 2:01 PM, Andrew Sackville-West wrote:

Seriously though, I use rdiff-backup and cron jobs to pull backups of
critical data and /etc using pub-key ssh authentication to make the
connections. I have no bare-metal restoration plan, just reinstall,
install packages, recover data and /etc and roll on.


What's your experience with rdiff-backup been? When I tried it I
found it way too fragile to be a viable backup solution. If the
backup was interrupted for any reason, it would corrupt the history
data, and all future backup or restore attempts in that directory
would cause rdiff-backup to crash. Also, it had the usual Python
error recovery problems -- whenever an error occurred the actual
error message was buried somewhere in a gargantuan stack trace.


These days I use BackupPC, with rsync as the transfer method.


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Raquel 12-04-2007 10:30 PM

Preferred Backup Method?
 
On Tue, 4 Dec 2007 16:09:12 -0500
Michael Pobega <pobega@gmail.com> wrote:

> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA1
>
> What is d-u's preferred method of backups? Now that I'm running
> servers on my system (Apache, MySQL, SSH, etc.) I need to find a
> good method of backing up, because no matter how much security
> someone has things may still go wrong.
>
> So list your preferred methods of creating/restoring backups and the
> pros and cons. Thanks!
>

That's about like asking, "What's the preferred flavor of ice
cream". You're going to get a dozen different answers and then
someone will get mad because someone else said that anyone who likes
strawberry doesn't know their *$$ from a hole in the ground.

Despite that, let me tell you what I use. I have used Bacula several
years to back up 6 machines every night.

--
Raquel
================================================== ==========
Doubt 'til thou canst doubt no more...doubt is thought and thought is
life. Systems which end doubt are devices for drugging thought.
--Albert Guerard


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Andrew Sackville-West 12-04-2007 11:05 PM

Preferred Backup Method?
 
On Tue, Dec 04, 2007 at 03:22:48PM -0800, David Brodbeck wrote:
>
> On Dec 4, 2007, at 2:01 PM, Andrew Sackville-West wrote:
>> Seriously though, I use rdiff-backup and cron jobs to pull backups of
>> critical data and /etc using pub-key ssh authentication to make the
>> connections. I have no bare-metal restoration plan, just reinstall,
>> install packages, recover data and /etc and roll on.
>
> What's your experience with rdiff-backup been? When I tried it I found it
> way too fragile to be a viable backup solution. If the backup was
> interrupted for any reason, it would corrupt the history data, and all
> future backup or restore attempts in that directory would cause
> rdiff-backup to crash. Also, it had the usual Python error recovery
> problems -- whenever an error occurred the actual error message was buried
> somewhere in a gargantuan stack trace.

I had a handful of problems in the beginning when I had a couple of
really large files in it that were being changed. Essentially I was
running out of room and it didn't handle it very gracefully. Other
than that, though, I've had no problems. In fact, I had to go check my
logs and see because I haven't heard a peep out of those cronjobs in a
long time.

I agree though... when it has problems it can be a little tricky and
it does seem sort of fragile, but I've been happy with it.

A

Andrew Sackville-West 12-05-2007 12:50 AM

Preferred Backup Method?
 
On Tue, Dec 04, 2007 at 03:30:58PM -0800, Raquel wrote:
> On Tue, 4 Dec 2007 16:09:12 -0500
> Michael Pobega <pobega@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> > Hash: SHA1
> >
> > What is d-u's preferred method of backups? Now that I'm running
> > servers on my system (Apache, MySQL, SSH, etc.) I need to find a
> > good method of backing up, because no matter how much security
> > someone has things may still go wrong.
> >
> > So list your preferred methods of creating/restoring backups and the
> > pros and cons. Thanks!
> >
>
> That's about like asking, "What's the preferred flavor of ice
> cream". You're going to get a dozen different answers and then
> someone will get mad because someone else said that anyone who likes
> strawberry doesn't know their *$$ from a hole in the ground.
>
> Despite that, let me tell you what I use. I have used Bacula several
> years to back up 6 machines every night.

crikey, Raquel, nobody uses Bacula. At least nobody who knows their @ss from a
hole in the ground.

;-P

A


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