[CentOS] Tape drive recommendations

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Thu Mar 29 01:57:51 UTC 2007

Mark Schoonover wrote:
> Les Mikesell wrote:
>> Mark Schoonover wrote:
>>> Les Mikesell wrote:
>>>> Mark Schoonover wrote:
>>>>> John R Pierce wrote:
>>>>>> Aron.Darling at Emulex.Com wrote:
>>>>>>> Loader are totally a love/hate relationship.  They do make life a
>>>>>>> lot easier as they do the tape movements for you which can be a
>>>>>>> tedious thing at times.  With a loader or library you can script
>>>>>>> the entire operation with tar, MTX and MT and let cron do all the
>>>>>>> work for you. Always look for the OEM rather than buying the name
>>>>>>> brand equipment, they are most always the same HW and FW with a
>>>>>>> different model number in it.
>>>>>> otoh, its hard to beat a 3 year warranty and on location support
>>>>>> from the same vendor as your server hardware, assuming your a
>>>>>> brand name shop in the first place....  hugely reduces finger
>>>>>> pointing when there's a complex issue to resolve.   with OEM
>>>>>> hardware bought on the whitebox market, you're often faced with
>>>>>> replace or self-repair option at cost. 
>>>>> Having used a 20 tape library, and suffering through restores with
>>>>> AIT2 tapes taking 10-12 hours per tape, I gave up on them. I went
>>>>> with good old rsync, and built up a 4 TB system to handle backups.
>>>>> Once configured, it's nearly a 100% hands off solution. You can
>>>>> read about what I've done here:
>>>>> http://marks-tech-pages.blogspot.com Works great especially for
>>>>> TBs of data that needs to be backed up every day.
>>>> If you want something that stores the backups much more efficiently
>>>> (with a price in processing to do it), look at backuppc:
>>>> http://backuppc.sourceforge.net/
>>>> It compresses everything and hardlinks all duplicates so you can
>>>> keep about 10x what you'd expect online, and it has a nice web
>>>> interface for browsing the backups and doing restores.
>>> Thanks Lee. I did look at backuppc before, and I didn't want
>>> anything that compresses files, or used a web interface. Using
>>> rsync, it's a matter of scp to restore, and that's it. I do use
>>> hardlinks to duplicate data, so my storage requirements are kept as
>>> small as possible. Just about any CentOS system can be configured to
>>> run backups in the manner I've written up, nothing extra to install
>>> or learn. So, like most things, it boils down to individual needs
>>> and expertise. I know for myself, tape backups just weren't working
>>> well at all.  
>> Backuppc can be configured to not compress, although I think the
>> filenames are still somewhat mangled and don't have their real
>> attributes so you can't access them directly.  The web interface is
>> also optional and there are command line tools for everything you
>> need.  It is handy to be able to download a single file or tar/zip
>> archive directly through a browser, though - and in the latest
>> version you can edit the configuration through the web interface.
> I've thought about adding a web restore so users can restore their own files
> to their own home directories. Most of my problems come from my graphics
> dept, where it's not uncommon for them to 'accidently' delete 500GB of data.
> It would be nice to offload those kinds of requests to the users, but only
> to a point, and on an employee by employee basis.

The way backuppc handles it maps pretty well to PCs and single user 
workstations but not quite as nicely for multiuser machines.  It has a 
concept of an 'owner' for each target and a set of administrators.  If 
you log into the web interface as a non-administrator you can only see 
the machines where you are listed as one of the owners.  It is possible 
to make subsets of a server look like separate machines but it would be 
cumbersome for a large number of users if you only wanted them to see 
their own home directory.

    Les Mikesell
     lesmikesell at gmail.com

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