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I am the sysadmin for a small company with 3 Xserves running OSX 10.6.8 containing mission critical data that need to be backed up in an automated fashion.

To accomplish this, we are going to deploy an Ubuntu 10.04 LTS server with ~10 drives and an XFS storage volume on software RAID10 + LVM2 using Backuppc to actually capture the backups. I've compiled rsync 3.0.7 on the Xserves, so all necessary HFS+ metadata should be captured in the backups.

What I'm not sure about is if that metadata will be retained accurately while stored on the XFS filesystem, and if XFS is even the right tool for the job in this case. While I've used XFS own my own personal fileserver and never had any problems, I've heard plenty of horror stories about power failures causing data corruption and I'm curious about the production level readiness of newer COW filesystems.

Would I be better off using a less volatile filesystem like ext4 or a newer one like BTRFS?

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Relax, those XFS war stories are the ones your grandpa tells your from his childhood. XFS has been very mature for a long time and scales nicely for big file systems. Even the horror stories you've heard make XFS only as bad ext3 with data=writeback mount option. btrfs, on the other hand, does not even have a reliable and proven fsck util available yet, so don't use it if you care about your data. –  Janne Pikkarainen Dec 16 '11 at 8:39

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I believe BackupPCs implementation of the rsync protocol would not support ACLs and extended attributes anyway, so any kind of metadata stored there cannot be backed up effectively. This way, the problem of storing it does not even arise.

Apparently, the rsync patches for MacOSX do contain some functionality to convert metadata [...] on the sender into an ephemeral file in standard AppleDouble format, before being sent to the destination, so backups should not be completely unusable.

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Wow, I let that one slip by. Thanks for the info, I don't know why I thought BackupPC captured ACLs as it clearly states that it doesn't. –  lowkeyliesmyth Dec 16 '11 at 9:41

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