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Re: Backing up whole system

I have an old edition of the book Unix Backup and Recovery by W. Curtis Preston. It is out of print now, but is available on Safari Books Online. Preston had, or still does have, a website devoted to Unix backup. Amanda was treated as but one backup option of many. There is a pretty good discussion of recovery in the book which often doesn't get much thought.

I think anyone needing to do professional backup and recovery for a small business needs to read Preston's book and then survey the current methodologies available.


On 05/09/2009 11:28 AM, Gene Heskett wrote:
On Saturday 09 May 2009, GMS S wrote:
What is the best and easy way to backup whole fedora 10?

Since you picked two, best, easy, and cheap (as in free) being a given, amanda
installed from the tarball, NOT the rpms.  Easy might be relative though as
there is some setup and configuration to do before you assign it all to the
users crontab and forget it. Trouble? Subscribe to amanda-users amanda org This is industrial grade stuff, used by some pretty big names.

Once setup, you don't have to tell it what to do, its smart enough to just do

But, that setup complexity is offset by the ease with which one can fix a
screwup, like trying to install the latest version 9.4 ati proprietary drivers
cuz you've got an HD2400 Pro video card.  It didn't work, killed x, even after
I restored my original /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

But running amrecover allowed me to restore /usr/lib/X11/*, /usr/lib/xorg/*,
and wildcard /usr/lib/libGL* from the most recent backups, and my system is
back to normal.  All in about 10 minutes actual elapsed time.

That IS what you make backups for, to recover from such tom-foolery, so once
its running, I'd call it easiest to use because _you_ don't have to use it,
cron makes sure it is done so you don't forget.

And because the backups are done in the middle of the night when I'm long
since sawing logs, it is easily the best method, handling the scheduling such
that it tries to use about the same amount of tape every night.

But I don't use real tape, I use a Terrabyte HD, with 30 virtual tapes, which
are really just subdirs under the parent name of the backup config you setup
originally.  It emails me the results of the backup, so I'm made aware of any
problems such as a dying drive, which actually did happen just 2 weeks ago.  I
installed a fresh drive, ran my initialization scripts, made the first virtual
tape big enough to hold the system and let amanda do a level 0 backup to get
started again.  That dying drive was the second in 5 years.  Had I been using
real tapes, there would have been 10+ instances of that according to my
experience when using real tapes.  Hard drives are 10x as dependable as a 30x
costlier tape setup of the same size, and commodity priced so you don't weep
blood when one does die.

The best method, absolutely.  The easiest method once setup, absolutely.

Amanda's strength is its intelligence at managing how the backups are
sequenced and _nothing_ _else_ does it as well.  It is a whole new
philosophical approach to actually manage backups correctly.  It also won the
mark as the best backup in linux magazines annual user survey.  Several years
running now I believe.  Amanda was reasonably mature and probably 15+ years
old when I first started to use it 11 years ago and I found it much easier to
use than the bru that shipped with RH5.0 at the time.

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