Tape drive

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Thu Dec 1 15:23:26 UTC 2005

On Thu, 2005-12-01 at 00:54, Craig White wrote:

> I am not as eager to use amanda and painless in the same sentence as I
> found it somewhat difficult to get it started. Once I understood how
> amanda worked and got it rolling, it is incredible. It doesn't however
> have any tool other than command line for restore which pretty much
> means that all restores are done by technologically inclined users.

I've used it for years.  If you have indexing on, the restore
process isn't horrible but still not very intuitive.  Since finding
backuppc I only use amanda for tapes to be kept offsite and
hope I don't ever need to do a restore from them.

> Also as supplied in rpm, I have not seen the ability for amanda to span
> a backup across more than a single tape though I am told that the cvs
> version can do so.

Amanda typically does many filesystems from many machines in a
backup run.  It can't split any individual filesystem across
tapes, but can spread the run over different tapes.  What it
does better than anything else I've seen is automatically
manage the mix of full and incremental runs each night to
fill the tape and be sure you have at least one full of
each filesystem in a predefined tape set and at least an
incremental of every filesystem every night.  It actually
gets an estimate of sizes from each machine before starting
and will bump the incremental levels if needed to make
things fit.

> > - or you can use it for tapes that
> > are held offsite and only used for disaster recovery
> > and set up backuppc (http://backuppc.sourceforge.net/)
> > for easy online access with disk based storage.  It
> > uses compression and linking of duplicate copies to
> > hold much more than you would expect.
> ----
> Since the OP asked about tape devices and mentioned 'non technically
> savvy users', I thought it more responsive to suggest something that had
> those capabilities at its heart and think that bacula/bacula web/webmin
> bacula restore offered more utility for the OP

Yes, bacula looks like it might do everything in one program
but you really can't beat backuppc for ease of use and
the amount of data it can store in a given amount of space.
It doesn't use tapes (well, you can archive the last backup
off to tape but it's an afterthought), but now that disk
space it cheap it is something to consider.  If offsite
storage isn't necessary or can be arranged by periodically
doing an image copy of the backuppc disk archive, I wouldn't
bother with tapes these days.

  Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

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