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How do you do....it? Thread, backing up in Technical; After a bit of advice... We're currently in the horrible position where our small, slow backup tapes have been all ...
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    gwendes's Avatar
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    backing up

    After a bit of advice...

    We're currently in the horrible position where our small, slow backup tapes have been all but abadoned and the network is not backed up at all. There wasn't any money available this year but we may be able to get an overspend okayed...

    I'm all for a Linux/ opensource solution to keep costs down but haven't found anything that can do the job. Same with the hardware - I'm happy to build a dedicated server and sort out RAIDs and such if that's the best/cheapest way to do it...

    Four servers totalling around 1TB. Ideally I'd like this to be installed in our Training Centre rack so it's 'offsite'. The centre is on a 1Gb/1Gb optical connection to the servers and main switch.

    I'd like it to be as automatic as possible, constantly trickling data over or working hard overnight to backup the previous day.

    How do you...

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    Re: backing up

    I had this exact problem. I've built a backup server with 2.5TB apparent storage (6 500MB disks in a RAID 5 array, and a separate disk for the OS). This runs Ubuntu (installation: insert CD. Reboot. Select "install"). I wouldn't recommend building a server unless you have no money (like us) and a surfeit of random computers bits floating around the place (like us). Easier/cheaper to buy a Dell or HP (although you might save a bit by buying your disks for the RAID array off eBay (like us)).

    I considered using rsync because it does the whole delta-encoding thing, so you get nice efficient file storage. However, I decided that what I wanted was for users to be able to restore their own files. Therefore, I've written a couple of Perl scripts to do backups. This system stores each days backup as a simple directory on the server, with hard links used to reduce the storage needed for unchanged files. I plan to mount each user's backup file area as a Windows drive via samba so they can restore their own files without having to ask me.

    I'm just now seeing how well this works in practice - how many files actually get changed over time, how efficient the storage is going to be. I'm guessing we'll be able to keep a couple of weeks of daily backups, then maybe thin those out to weekly backups going back a couple of months.

    I can post copies of the backup scripts if you like. The server part works as a Perl CGI script, so you'll need a basic web server on your backup server. This code is currently untested, and known to be not that secure (no HTTPS at the moment, for a start).

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    David Hicks

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    Re: backing up

    I'd insist you get money from your school to do this, if they don't then write a letter to your head teacher stating you won't be responsible if the network data is lost due to hardware failure etc. Cannot overstress the importance of a reliable backup!!

    Should the wost happen, then they'll want to point the finger somewhere, and as usual the network admin is an easy target!

    Mike.

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    Re: backing up

    I've been saying this since I started but basically the network has been neglected and we're a pretty new team trying to undo some of the mistakes that were made years ago...

    The infastructure is just starting cope - but we're left with no money and no backup. I live in fear of arriving to a dead HDD in one of the servers - that'll kill either the teachers homes or the students. At that point I think I'll hide.

    Thanks dhicks - could you post the code to the scripts area? The head of tech is arranging for various companies to come in and talk at us for a few hours before leaving an overpriced quote..

    I think a letter to the head may be needed. It was raised at exec but they need a proposal before it can be looked at. Am I the only person that's lost a HDD before??? (not gonna start a FFS)

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    Re: backing up

    As a really quick 'cheap and nasty' solution just so you have some sort of backup, get an external hard drive with a suitable capacity (PC world sell 400gb for about £65 at the moment) and use NTbackup to backup to this. That way should the worst happen, you do at least have a backup that is valid and can be used.

    Mike.

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    Re: backing up

    > Thanks dhicks - could you post the code to the scripts area?

    Hang on - still a few bugs to sort out. BackupPC works in a very similar way to my script.

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    Re: backing up

    Why not throw a couple of disks in an old PC and use robocopy to mirror overnight?

    Add redundency with mirroring or raid 5...


    Once you have done the first copy, subsequent copies would be quite quick

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    Re: backing up

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisP
    Why not throw a couple of disks in an old PC and use robocopy to mirror overnight?

    Add redundency with mirroring or raid 5...


    Once you have done the first copy, subsequent copies would be quite quick
    I think that's exactly what I'll do. Might even stick it in a really dodgy old battered case so everyone can see where their backups live!

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