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Re: Question on backups using rsync

On Tue, Dec 20, 2005 at 12:19:49PM -0800, Andrew Sackville-West wrote:

> 1) a copy of the critical files (accounting, databases, spreadsheets 
> etc.) that are needed for day to day operations in the event of 
> corruption or accidental deletion and the like. These are just copies, 
> in my case, of just a couple of directories. I don't need long term 
> storage, just a few days/weeks of copies that I can refer to incase I 
> blow something.

Do you automate this?

> 2) a system backup with a snapshot of the entire system. With hours and 
> hours of configuration and setup on my boxes, Id like to have 
> occaisional "snapshots" of the whole system. Then if I lose a machine 
> (hardrive crash, theft, flood whatever) or blow the system up somehow, I 
> can recreate the whole thing a-new relatively easily. In this case, the 
> actual critical data from above would theoretically already be stored 
> and retrievable somewhere (and usable on any system) and therefore, 
> these snapshots do not have to be done as frequently. Just whenever a 
> major system change happens, or every couple months to include small 
> incremental system creep.
> so for case 1 I'd love something offsite, like a dead webpage or 
> something where I can just automatically load these files and leave'em 
> for now.  case 2 needs bigger storage probably and maybe something like 
> partitionimage with the files split onto cds/dvds and stored somewhere 
> safe. The infrequency of this case allows less convenient means of storage.

I didn't write about it on my web page, but to accomplish the "whole system"
backup, I have everything I have modified linked into a separate partition.
For example, /etc/exim4 is a symlink to /home/ha-dirs/etc/exim4.  This allows
me to backup my entire system by only saving a dpkg --get-selections list and
the /home/ha-dirs directory tree to my backup.  True, it will not be an
instant restore in case of catastrophic failure, but it saves a huge amount of
space.  I can backup everything important to me on 3 CDs instead of 10.

The symlinks are automatically created, so on restore I don't have to manually
recreate all that, just do a Debian install, recreate my packages with dpkg
--set-selections, and restore /home/ha-dirs.  Since I have a mirror system
with the root tree synchronized every hour, it's not a huge burden.	

Also, this scheme allows me to use a network-RAID such as drbd with old
obselete hard drives, since my /home/ha-dirs is much smaller than /.  I don't
use drbd anymore because I have so much redundancy, but I started using the
linking scheme above so I could use drbd with some old machines I had lying

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