[kwlug-disc] Backup and Recovery in the 21st Century

Chris Irwin chris at chrisirwin.ca
Fri Jan 8 14:31:56 EST 2010

On Fri, Jan 8, 2010 at 14:13, Insurance Squared Inc. <
gcooke at insurancesquared.com> wrote:

>   My office DB server sits in the back closet, I've dropped a couple of big
> drives into it.  Every night at 3am my webserver and desktops rsync any
> changes over to the server to drive A.  So I have a snapshop of last night.
> Then on the backup server after the rsync is done I gzip everything and copy
> that daily snapshot to drive B.  Then once every couple of months I burn a
> couple of snapshots to a dvd and clean up drive B again.

> Benefits:
> - it's automated.  and it's fairly fault tolerant.  If I forget to clean up
> drive B I lose my daily archives but not my last night's backup.  Easy to
> add another desktop into the process as well.

Right now I have a server and a NAS. My $HOME uses unison on my laptop to
two-way sync with the server. (my other machines are ethernet desktops, so
they use NFS). All my data is essentially on both my laptop and my server,
though that may change as my laptop's disk is getting full. The server is
running raid 1+0 across four 500GB disks.

There is also a NAS running two 1TB disks in raid 1 that has shared media
(videos, music, photos) and all of my girlfriends graphic design archive
(about 400GB).

So my data is somewhat redundant against drive failure internally, but not
against things like house fires or basement floods.

> - It's not meant to be a bare metal easy restore.  I'm just backing up data
> (/home directories and config files). And  after zipping I can fit my entire
> operation on a DVD.  I certainly don't have anything approaching 700gigs.

Bare metal restore for Linux is easy with a livecd, cp, and sfdisk. It's
those other operating systems that throw fits if you change the disk from
under them...

It's media that adds up. Alexis is a graphic designer for a print magazine,
so she uses about 500MB-1GB per issue. Lots of data. I also have all of my
Uncles videos, that ads up to about 50GB. I'll have to look into transcoding
that to x264 or something a little more manageable. Plus photos, 30GB of CD
rips, etc.

> But first and foremost, when it comes to backups, remember that HD space is
> cheap cheap cheap, so use it liberally.

This was my line of reasoning. I might spend as much on disks as I would on
a tape drive, but I'd still need to buy tapes for said drive. In case of
disaster, I'd also need another expensive tape drive to restore. With disks
I need nothing special.

Chris Irwin
<chris at chrisirwin.ca>

Chris Irwin wrote:

So it looks my Tape Library is no more. It is an ex-Tape Library.

I thought I would ping the list to see what everybody else is doing for
Backup and Recovery, both in terms of physical storage (I've got 700GB and
growing) to software used.

I'm currently thinking about buying a few 2TB disks to use as my physical
media and swap them every week, then something like BackupPC, rsync, or
rdiff-backup to dump onto whatever disk is currently mounted, possibly
giving me nightlies within that week.

For my Linux systems (read: important systems) restoration from a hard disk
would be as simple as cp and grub-install from a live-cd. What about Windows
and Mac OS? Are there any simple ways to restore those systems without
having to fall back to restoring data on a fresh install? The Mac is my
girlfriends primary work machine so downtime for reinstalling and
re-licensing is rather undesirable.

The Windows machine is a toy for games, but reinstalling everything on that
is such a pain that I'd like to make restorations simple there too.

Ideally I'd like to spend as little as possible on this, so things like
LTO-4 drives are out of the question.

Chris Irwin
<chris at chrisirwin.ca>
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