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Re: Confused by Amanda

On Sun, Sep 02, 2018 at 04:09:22PM +0900, Mark Fletcher wrote:
> I recently messed up some files and decided to resort to the backup to 
> recover them. I was able to do so, but the process left me wondering if 
> I would really be in a position to do so in all cases. For example, 
> Amanda configuration is in /etc/amanda -- what if /etc was what I needed 
> to restore? Similarly, I gather there are files under /var/lib/amanda -- 
> what happens if /var is damaged?
> I have not been able to understand from the Amanda documentation really 
> all that I need to have in place to be able to expect to recover from, 
> say, a disk replacement after catastrophic failure. I'm imagining, main 
> disk goes to data heaven, I buy a new one, install Stretch again fresh, 
> and now I want to re-install packages and restore their backed-up 
> configuration as well as restore my data in /home etc. I know there are 
> a few experienced users of Amanda on this list -- can anyone help me, or 
> perhaps point me to a good resource that explains it, or even if there's 
> a section in the documentation I've missed that makes it clear?
> I guess a key point is, in my configuration, the same machine is both 
> Amanda server and Amanda client. I guess I may expand this in the future 
> to have this machine manage backups for other machines, but at the 
> moment that is not happening. Of course, the disk that houses the Amanda 
> virtual tapes is off-machine. 
> What I'm looking for is along the lines of "your nightly backup routine 
> needs to be run amdump, then rsync this, this and this directory 
> somewhere safe" or whatever it is. Or alternatively "don't be an idiot 
> you don't need to do any of that, amanda is magic in this, this and this 
> way".

Amanda is not good for the situation you describe.

Amanda expects that the server is doing backups for a number of
clients, and that the server itself is backed up from either
a different Amanda server or via a different method.

If you say what your actual configuration is, we can recommend
more appropriate systems. For example:

Let's say you have a standalone system with a 4TB hard disk for
/home  and a 250GB SSD which is root and /var. Right now df -h
says you have used 27GB in /, 8GB in /var, and 1.2TB in /home.
You don't expect a single massive data usage change, so much as
slow growth over the course of the next few years.

In that scenario, I would first suggest buying a 3-5TB disk and putting
it in an external case - eSATA is excellent, USB3 is pretty
good. Mount it as /backup and use rsnapshot to make ongoing
backups via the standard cron job it will set up. An rsnapshot
backup is entirely filesystem-visible, so when you try to
recover a few files (because you accidentally deleted or
overwrote them) you can just copy them back in to place; when
you need to restore to new disks, you can install a minimal
system then copy over on top of it.

Tell us your scenario, and we can offer better advice.


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