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I've chosen Bacula (v.5.0.2) to do backups of our office worker's data.

The Director and Storage Daemon run on a Debian based root server (the SERVER) rented from a major german hosting company.

All the precious data and therefore Bacula's File Daemon (the CLIENT) resides on a Debian based Samba server that's located on site and connected to the internet via ADSL (~768Kbit up) behind a SOHO router (it's a non-profit organization that's cronically short on money).

Moreover, the CLIENT's internet connection is being disconnected by the ISP every 24 hours and its IP does change every now and then.

I've managed to set up the basic infrastructure and successfully tested backing up and restoring files. But, now that it is time to define the automated jobs, I am facing a problem that I just can't get my head around:

  • Problem

    Assume that I want to have a job per office worker and need to backup his Samba share which weighs around 10GB. The backup level does not matter as Bacula needs to do a Full Backup to start from.

    But this initial Full Backup won't make it across the office's wire before a forced disconnect renders the job useless.

  • Question

    Is there any way to partition the initial workload into smaller pices other then setting up multiple jobs (and file sets)?

    Or better, is it possible to somehow pause and restart a running job to overcome the inevitable connection loss?

    Anything else I didn't think of that might help?

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1 Answer 1

Backups take an amount of time proportional to the data being backed up -- If you need to move 10G of data it's going to take some time (how much time being determined by the speed of your network link).

Further bacula assumes that your network connectivity is reliable -- it doesn't expect your connection to drop, and frankly that's a reasonable assumption on bacula's part.

The PROPER solution to your problem is to change ISPs.
Frankly if your network connection is as unreliable as you describe (disconnected every 24 hours!) and you're not getting the connection 100% free of charge you're probably overpaying.


If you're not able to implement the proper solution, your best alternative is to run a local Storage Daemon at the client site and back up to disk there.
You can then use a tool like rsync to copy the virtual tape files to another location.

The major disadvantages to this solution are that you'll need (at least) an extra disk to back up to, and you'll have to manage the rsync job (which you can do with a RunAfterBackup script in Bacula).
Depending on your needs a USB hard drive may suffice for the extra disk.


The other alternatives you described in your question are either flawed or not possible.
Specifically, Bacula has no concept of "pausing" a backup, and splitting the backup into multiple jobs (the only way to break it up) just means you'll fail a sub-job rather than the entire thing -- you might still wind up with a backup that doesn't restore you to a good/consistent state if you do this, so you're not actually addressing the problem.

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