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For off-site backups we are running a Bacula SD on another location and the internet connection to it, although quite good for what you can normally get at an office, is not as good as a single ethernet cable. It's slow (100Mb/s) and not very stable.

One of the backups seem to take around 16hs or more to finish. The chances of the connection being lost over that long period of time is quite big. So far in a week I never got a single backup to finish and this is the problem: Bacula seems to start from scratch every time. Can anyone confirm this?

It also seems not to be re-using the volumes, so I already run out of space having 95% of my volumes used by useless pieces of a backup.

Does it mean Bacula cannot work on this conditions or is there something I'm missing about Bacula's configuration? Anything else I should try before giving up Bacula?

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1 Answer 1

We use bacula for all our Linux backups, with no issue at all. 100Mbit/s is not a slow connection, in fact, as internet connections go that's very decent for most companies. Stability is obviously another matter.

However, my first port of call here would be your ISP. Clearly you must have some sort of contract for this connection, and it should stipulate the guaranteed uptime. I would put some simple MRTG graphs on the public IP addresses involved and then go back to the ISP and ask them to fix it. Or, if the contract doesn't have any guarantees of that sort in it, change ISP.

Then, looking at your figures: a 100MBit/s connection can transfer about 30-40GByte of data per hour (optimal conditions), or roughly 600GB in 16 hours. If that is the size of the backups required, then you are probably better off with a separate bacula system at the target location (using compression), and then simply transferring the actual backup files via scp.

If reliability of the connection is an issue, then bacula does aggaravate this, because its very first run is always a full backup. You can overcome this to some degree by starting out with a very small file set and then adding folders day by day until you reach the full coverage. However, since bacula in its normal configuration will run a full backup once a month, you still end up with the same problem sooner or later.

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The connection is basically the ADSL that you'll get at any home. There are no guarantees of uptime and we generally don't need any. Even copying the backup files we don't need any. The download speed ends up being 31Mbps, the upstream is 4Mbps. Still, the speed to the servers we are backing up is probably much lower than that. Changing the fileset is not really a viable option. I think I'm just going to copy the backup volumes. –  J. Pablo Fernández May 18 '11 at 12:35

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