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Re: Question on backups using rsync

Daniel Webb wrote:
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?

I have, in the past, with rdiff-backup to my fileserver (located in the same room), but that is not a great solution as the fileserver is subject to the same failure modes as my main machine (fire etc), but worked fine for recovering from my own fubars. Its pretty straightforward, once you figure out how to do public key authentication over ssh for unattended backups. then its just a cron job. I wan't to get these files out of my house/office though, hence my desire for remote storage. I've got a personal account at earthlink and it comes with 10(?)MB of storage that sits there unused. so far as I know its ftp only access, though, hence my question earlier in the thread -- is there a way to automate ftp? Ideally, I'd do a nightly backup to my fileserver and then duplicate that nightly up to the webpage storage. also, anyone looked into gmailfs for stuff like this? its not a lot of stuff, just the really critical things like my gnucash files and payroll records etc...

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

I don't trust my brain to keep track of what all I've done to my system, and I suspect, due to me relative lack of experience with linux, that many of the things I've done are not "standard" or "accepted practice" so I"d like to just take a snapshot of the whole thing and stash that in the fire safe or hell in a deskdrawer or something. Just so if I fry my setup and can get it back. the critical files will ultimately be offsite.

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