I'm currently starting to redesign our backup server. The machine currently uses
cp -al to keep snapshots of the live servers. It backs up about 10-20 other computers of varying FS structures. There are mail servers, database servers, webservers, even a windows machine or two (using SMB/CIFS to mount, then rsync locally). The current setup involves 4 400MB drives in a RAID 5 setup, with two ext3 partitions (smaller boot/config, larger backup volume) and swap. The backup script launches up to 3 backups at once. During the backup window, doing much of anything (even a simple ps aux) seems to react very slowly on the backup server, and I'm wondering if my problems aren't mostly filesystem related.
Looking at the redesign phase, we have some newer hardware (2TB Caviar drives, i7's, etc) to use. My thoughts so far include: Using RAID 1 on the 2TB drives to get rid of any potential performance issues with RAID 5. I was assuming that I would partition that 2TB drive into a smaller boot/config partition, and then a much larger data section. I'd like the backup process to happen as quickly as possible of course. It leads me to a few questions.
- Will I see better performance if I put the main system and swap partitions on a separate drive from /backup? I could use a 4 drive (2 RAID 1 arrays) setup with a smaller boot/config volume. Will this give me any major advantages?
- Should I use ext4, ReiserFS, XFS, or something else entirely for the backup data partition?
- Is there some other backup method that someone would suggest I research so long as I'm already re organizing my backup server?