Tape Back solutions for Linux

Tape Back solutions for Linux

Post by Tom Hans » Sat, 11 Oct 2003 06:47:45



I am working to develop a decent tape backup setup for a couple of
Linux servers here.  One of my basic needs is that it be possible for
a relative novice to handle changing the tapes.  Since I'm the only
ultra-computer savvy person around here, I have to rely on being able
to train secretaries to do the tape changes.

I am currently using NovaNET by NovaStor (which is the exact same
program as TapeWare).

It works OK with my current setup except for the following problems:

1.  When using a backup schedule, if the tape is not changed in time
(which is a common ocurrence when doing the weekly backups since it
requires multiple tapes), an alert is generated which prompts for the
tape to be inserted before the job can continue.  This is fine, except
that sometimes (not all the time) there is a BUG in the program which
causes the tape name to be left off the prompt.  So it just says
something like "Please insert tape  in drive" (note the double space
between "tape" and "in" where the tape name is supposed to be.  This
is clearly a bug but their support people give me the run-around every
time, and basically say it's my fault for not changing the tape in
time.

2.  I would like the ability to have tape events and backup events
(like instructions to change tapes) be e-mailed somewhere, so that the
operator(s) can be notified when it's time to change the tape.

I've been trying out this product called Storix.  It seems very
comprehensive and functional, but I just can't imagine being able to
train a secretary-type to use it, and I'm afraid that it is going to
take me a long time to get it all tweaked to work exactly the way I
want it to.

Are there any more user-friendly programs along the lines of NovaNET
that actually work properly?

 
 
 

Tape Back solutions for Linux

Post by Steve Wolf » Sat, 11 Oct 2003 07:01:36


Quote:> I am working to develop a decent tape backup setup for a couple of
> Linux servers here.  One of my basic needs is that it be possible for
> a relative novice to handle changing the tapes.  Since I'm the only
> ultra-computer savvy person around here, I have to rely on being able
> to train secretaries to do the tape changes.
> Are there any more user-friendly programs along the lines of NovaNET
> that actually work properly?

  You haven't told us much about your backup routine.  Does all of your
data fit on a single tape, or must an archive span multiple tapes, and
pause/wait for new tapes to be inserted?

steve

 
 
 

Tape Back solutions for Linux

Post by Steve Wolf » Sat, 11 Oct 2003 07:12:41


Quote:>   You haven't told us much about your backup routine.  Does all of your
> data fit on a single tape, or must an archive span multiple tapes, and
> pause/wait for new tapes to be inserted?

  Never mind, I went back over your email and saw that you do require
multiple tapes.

  I don't see any reason why a bash script with mt and dump wouldn't solve
your problem, so perhaps I'm still missing out on something. It would look
something like...

#!/bin/sh
mt -f /dev/st0 rewind
dump -0 -z9 -F /home/your/script.sh /dev/nst0 /some/file/system

  /home/your/script.sh would mail the attendant, then watch the output of
"mt -f /dev/st0 status" until the tape was inserted, and then return 0.
Dump would then continue with the backup.

  Most of this is untested, my backup scheme simply uses 'mtx' to have the
tape library switch tapes for me. ; )

steve

 
 
 

Tape Back solutions for Linux

Post by Les Mikesel » Sat, 11 Oct 2003 11:41:39



Quote:> I am working to develop a decent tape backup setup for a couple of
> Linux servers here.  One of my basic needs is that it be possible for
> a relative novice to handle changing the tapes.  Since I'm the only
> ultra-computer savvy person around here, I have to rely on being able
> to train secretaries to do the tape changes.

Amanda is about as simple as it gets for the tape change side.  You
label enough tapes for the cycle you want and swap anytime during
the day before the nightly run.  You can have it email reminders at
certain times of the day if the right tape isn't in.   If you give it
holding
disk space it will save backups even if you forget to change the
tapes.   Unlike most other programs the scheduler figures out
what will fit on the tape and does a mix of full and incremental runs
over the filesystems so you always have the number of fulls that
you configured and always get at least an incremental of every
filesystem every night.  That means you never have to change tapes
in the middle of a backup.   Results of the runs are emailed.

There's no gui and a restore isn't particularly user-friendly, but you
probably won't make the secretaries attempt a full restore.  If you
do want something where anyone can do their own restore and
don't mind having the backup on disk instead of tape, look at
http://backuppc.sourceforge.net/.    Or run both and keep the
tapes offsite.

----
    Les Mikesell