[Wlug] backup programs

John Stoffel stoffel@casc.com
Wed, 20 Jun 2001 09:59:31 -0400


Brad> I have noticed the lack of sufficient backup programs for
Brad> linux. A friend an i have decided to write our own. We have come
Brad> up with a good list of goals we want to hit. Before we started
Brad> seriously working on the design, i wanted to ask the group of
Brad> features they would like to see in a backup systems.

It depends on what you're trying to do here.  Are you looking at doing
a backup of just one system?  Multiple systems to a central server?
Multiple systems to a central server, along with extra drives attached
directly to other high volume hosts?

I'm a user of Legato software, and while I have some major problems
with the company and the pricing, they do some things very well.  Here
are my thoughts on what a good backup system should have:

    1. It should scale well.

    2. Good reporting, especially for outside programs.

    3. Support multiplexing of data streams to backup media to increase
       performance. 

    4. Very modular, with good APIs between sections.

    5. Support a wide variety of backup medias.

    6. Support a large variety of jukeboxes and their robots.
       - including barcode labels
       - intelligent handling of moving tapes.  Don't single thread
         like Legato.


    7. Be able to generate disaster recovery media.

    8. Online indexes of files on tape.

    9. GUI interface uses the command line commands for all work.

    10. Staging to disk before writing to backup media.  Useful for slow
	remote clients.

    11. Completely flexible scheduler for backup times and levels.
        Legato sucks in this regard.

    12. Support for pre/post processing on each file system on each
        client to handle special cases you don't think of ahead of time. 

Andy and B.J. seem to be asking more for a much smaller scale system
which is targeted for a home user who has a complete disaster.  I'm
asking for a more enterprise level system.

And before you do any actual coding, you should look at the following
references:

	Unix Backup & Recovery by W. Curtis Preston (O'Reilly)

	http://www.amanda.org

	http://www.backupcentral.com (Curtis' web site)

And see what's out there.  And again, I can't stress this enough, try
to steal what's out there if you can, and then make sure it's modular
and flexible.  You cannot make it to flexible.

John
   John Stoffel - Senior Unix Systems Administrator - Lucent Technologies
	 stoffel@lucent.com - http://www.lucent.com - 978-952-7548