How about a data backup tool comparison?

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How about a data backup tool comparison?

Postby overflow » Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:40 pm

We are in need of some good backup software for Linux.

We're currently using Amanda but it isn't very reliable and last night just didn't backup a load of stuff for no obvious reason - and not for the first time.

We can't trust our data to luck like this.

As far as I can tell, backup software for Unix is divided into two groups: 1: expensive; 2: useless.

I'm not averse to paying a reasonable cost for good software but I need something urgently.

Please, guys, how about a good, detailed comparison of the field of backup software? And I don't mean like the recent comparison between MySQL and Postgress which was clearly rattled off while taking a crap on the day of publication. It was utterly useless.

Other than that, I love the mag and generally read it virtually from cover to cover.

What do other people use for backups?
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RE: How about a data backup tool comparison?

Postby nelz » Tue Aug 23, 2005 4:00 pm

Like the Round Up of backup software in issue 62?

:-)
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RE: How about a data backup tool comparison?

Postby overflow » Tue Aug 23, 2005 4:27 pm

Probably not, if it was anything like as thorough as the MySQL/Postgress joke.

I'll see if I still have that issue in my - um - archive.

Thanks for the pointer.
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RE: How about a data backup tool comparison?

Postby linuxgirlie » Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:35 pm

At work and with karoshi we use tar onto a different server allocated within a different building(backed up over the network nighting with 3 full versions kept and incrementals) . I haven't had it gone wrong ....urmmm...ever...and in a school regular ""miss my work as just...urmm disappeared""... is common place!!
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RE: How about a data backup tool comparison?

Postby overflow » Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:18 am

My LXF issue collection only goes back to issue 63 would you believe!
So that means it MUST be time to do another in-depth class review of backup software. :wink:
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Re: RE: How about a data backup tool comparison?

Postby overflow » Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:22 am

linuxgirlie wrote:At work and with karoshi we use tar onto a different server allocated within a different building(backed up over the network nighting with 3 full versions kept and incrementals) .


Thanks for the info but we need a bit more than tar. Stuff like driving tape loaders, tape cycling over weeks and months, catalogues for recovery and off-site storage management.

All scriptable, I know but I need to spend my time on other things.
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RE: Re: RE: How about a data backup tool comparison?

Postby ollie » Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:47 am

I looked at my back issues and remembered reading the backup comparisons, and then realised why it was hard to remember - I thought it was a poor article (similar to the MySQL/Postgres comparison).

The best GPL'd backup/disaster recovery software I have found in over 7 years of using various Linux distros is Mondo Rescue even though I have to do a complicated install routine for earlier versions on SuSE. This seems to have been fixed - I'm downloading the latest ISO now.

So I'll agree it is time to review some backup software - even if it is only Mondo Rescue in the "Hotpicks" section.
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RE: Re: RE: How about a data backup tool comparison?

Postby overflow » Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:32 am

Hey! Whadayaknow! I've just found issue 62.

Unfortunately, though, the backup review is another lightweight 'roundup' with very little meat. Of the six programs reviewed, only two can write to tape!

I like the mag, I really do, but these software comparisons need some proper effort otherwise they are just a complete waste of paper.
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Re: RE: Re: RE: How about a data backup tool comparison?

Postby overflow » Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:41 am

ollie wrote:The best GPL'd backup/disaster recovery software I have found in over 7 years of using various Linux distros is Mondo Rescue even though I have to do a complicated install routine for earlier versions on SuSE.

Thanks for the info on Mondo Rescue. I checked out the site and found that someone is having problems on SuSE 9.3 on a dual processor system. Guess what I want to run it on :?
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Re: RE: Re: RE: How about a data backup tool comparison?

Postby nelz » Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:17 am

overflow wrote:Unfortunately, though, the backup review is another lightweight 'roundup' with very little meat. Of the six programs reviewed, only two can write to tape!


That wasn't the context of the review. Most users want to backup to HD or optical discs, very few have tapeloaders. The article wasn't aimed at the enterprise user.

overflow wrote:I like the mag, I really do, but these software comparisons need some proper effort otherwise they are just a complete waste of paper.


I trashed a 250GB SATA disk while writing the review and had to use the software in anger to restore my data. Is that not proper effort? :)

A round up is just that. It is not a detailed review of every piece of software available, that would fill the magazine. The SQL piece was different in that it was really two separate reviews of competing products.

Everyone has different requirements for backups, it is impossible to write an article that says "use this". All we can do is highlight some alternatives so that you are better able to evaluate them for yourself.

Personally, I use rdiff-backup over a network to make hourly backups of some directories and daily backups of the rest, combined with a weekly script that creates squashfs filesystems of the backups and writes them to bootable DVD images.
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: How about a data backup tool comparison?

Postby overflow » Wed Aug 24, 2005 12:21 pm

Hi! Didn't mean to upset the help but I think you realy need to decide who your target audience is. Not many home users need a database system. If you review databases you have to expect some enterprise interest.

Maybe the backup roundup should have been headed 'desktop backup roundup'? For even a small business where we have to backup about 40GB a day, it didn't really cover useful ground.

Still, that just means there's scope for an enterprise backup roundup? :P
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: How about a data backup tool comparison?

Postby nelz » Wed Aug 24, 2005 1:19 pm

I wasn't commenting on the target for the database reviews, only for the backup roundup.

40GB a day is not small, although I used to find myself dealing with getting on for half that some days, using software covered in the roundup. However, backing up that sort of volume with tape requires seriously expensive hardware, so it is a very specialised application. If you are going to spend thousands on backup hardware, it is probably best to make your own evaluation of the most suitable software.
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RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: How about a data backup tool comparison?

Postby linuxgirlie » Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:30 pm

Sorry, didn't realise you need something so meaty!!

It works for us, though with karoshi we will be looking at tape backup as many people have asked for it. Hope you can find something better!!

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