Making copies of data so that the copies may be used to restore the original after a data loss event, or for historical retention.

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67
votes
8answers
6k views

How to backup 20+TB of data?

We have a NAS server at the company I work for that is being used for storing photography sessions. Each session is approximately 100gb. Over the last couple of years this server has accumulated 10+ ...
56
votes
13answers
25k views

Why is RAID not a backup?

When someone mentions RAID in a conversation about backups, invariably someone declares that "RAID is not a backup." Sure, for striping, that's true. But what's the difference between redundancy and ...
40
votes
15answers
2k views

Should I keep my ex-employer's data?

Following my brief reign as System Monkey, I am now faced with a dilemma: I did successfully create a backup and a test VM, both on my laptop, as no computer at work had enough free disk space. I ...
40
votes
11answers
14k views

GIT as a backup tool (am I a silly person?)

So I was in the shower this morning thinking about stuff, and I had an idea which may be terrible or may be brilliant I'm not sure. On a server, install git cd / git init git add . git commit -a -m ...
40
votes
5answers
2k views

Confidential Documentation and the role of the Sysadmin

I've got another interesting one. I'm about to backup and reinstall the HR Administrator's PC. I suspect that the fastest way to do this is to use the Windows 7 Transfer tool, and create a backup ...
28
votes
14answers
9k views

Is it safe to store data on a hard drive for a long time?

Is it safe to backup data to a hard drive and then leave it for a number of years? Assuming the file system format can still be read, is this a safe thing to do. Or is it better to continually ...
26
votes
7answers
861 views

Cliffhanger: The backups are right… here… right?

At my work, backups have a surprisingly low priority. The backup strategy was implemented a while ago, and since then it's just assumed the backups are fine. If you ask the sysadmins, they'll say ...
26
votes
11answers
10k views

Does an unplugged hard drive used for data archival deteriorate?

If I were to archive data on a hard drive, unplug it, and set it on a (not dusty, temperature-controlled) shelf somewhere, would that drive deteriorate much? How does the data retention of an ...
26
votes
5answers
29k views

SQL Server (2005/2008): Does full backup truncate the log in full recovery mode

I've just read through a lot of MSDN documentation and I think I understand the different recovery models and the concept of a backup chain. I still have one question: Does a full database backup ...
22
votes
4answers
16k views

How does dropbox version/upload large files? [closed]

I have a free dropbox account (2GB), and I was wondering how the versioning of large files works. I have a full backup of all my webfiles that sites @ just over 1GB. After the initial upload of 1GB, ...
22
votes
7answers
4k views

Backing up a 22 GB MySQL database daily

Right now I am able to do the backup using mysqldump. But I have to take down the web server AND it takes around 5 minutes to do the backup. If I don't take down the web server, it takes forever and ...
20
votes
8answers
1k views

How do I protect business critical data against fire?

We have 72 hard drives that contain our webcast inventory. The number is increasing. We're located in a frame building and we are afraid of not only fire, but catastrophic fire. I've priced fireproof ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

Are encrypted backups a good idea?

I'm in charge of a small set of laptops and wanted to get some sort of automated remote (over WAN) backups going; the backups would be going to a RAID drive. Because we don't really have a secure ...
20
votes
2answers
11k views

How to keep the full path with rsync?

When backing up with rsync, How do I keep the full directory structure? For example, the remote server is saturn, and I want to backup saturn's /home/udi/files/pictures to a local directory named ...
20
votes
7answers
747 views

Backup strategy for developer-focused Apple environments?

It's interesting to see the technological split between structured corporate environments and more developer-driven/startup environments. Some of the Microsoft technologies I take for granted (VSS, ...
19
votes
8answers
55k views

SQL Server 2008 Express - “Best” backup solution?

What backup solutions would you recommend when using SQL Server 2008 Express? I'm pretty new to SQL Server, but as I'm coming from an MySQL background I thought of setting up replication on another ...
18
votes
10answers
14k views

Linux - What directories should I exclude when backing up a server?

I'm backing up a linux server and storing it on some other server. I started off with a simple rsync -aPh --del server.example.com:/ /mnt/backup Then someone pointed out that I shouldn't back up ...
18
votes
6answers
11k views

AWS S3 Bucket Backups

Is there any way to recover from accidental deletions of an Amazon S3 Bucket? We've got critical info in our buckets and I need to mitigate the risk of accidental or malicious deletions of the bucket ...
17
votes
10answers
9k views

Automatic postgres backup

What is the best way to automatically backup a Postgres database on Linux every day?
17
votes
6answers
17k views

protocol version mismatch — is your shell clean?

When following the instructions to do rsync backups given here: http://troy.jdmz.net/rsync/index.html I get the error "protocol version mismatch -- is your shell clean?" I read somewhere that I ...
17
votes
12answers
2k views

Is there a good way to backup a petabyte of data and store it?

I'm starting to see clients with hundreds of terabytes of data (in SQL Server installations). As the total volume of data in some enterprises approaches meaningful fractions of a petabyte, I'd like to ...
17
votes
7answers
9k views

Is there a working Linux backup solution that uses inotify?

It takes forever to back up. Before we can trust btrfs or ZFS to backup incremental snapshots, wouldn't it be nice if there was a daemon that used inotify to keep track of which files had actually ...
16
votes
8answers
1k views

Best practices for backup checking?

It is a common situation, when administrator makes system for automatic backuping and forgets it. Only after a system fails administrator notices, that backup system has broken before or backups are ...
16
votes
8answers
24k views

What security risks are there with employees using Dropbox?

Are there any particular security concerns to keep in mind with company-wide use of Dropbox file sharing / versioning / backing up, and are there specific options or settings that would be recommended ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Does Rsync Allow Files To Be Synced Both Ways?

I have backed up a linux web server using rsync with cygwin. I now have a perfect copy of the server on my windows laptop. If i delete or modify a file on my laptop and run rsync again with cygwin ...
16
votes
4answers
3k views

How to exclude indexes from backups in SQL Server 2008

Our nightly full (and periodic differential) backups are becoming quite large, due mostly to the amount of indexes on our tables; roughly half the backup size is comprised of indexes. We're using the ...
15
votes
8answers
2k views

Do snapshots + RAID count as a good on-site backup solution?

The two main reasons I can think of for taking backups seems to be taken care of when I use both snapshots and RAID together with btrfs. (By RAID here, I mean RAID1 or 10) Accidental deletion of ...
15
votes
9answers
19k views

LVM snapshots as a backup strategy

How viable as a backup strategy would be periodical LVM snapshots of xen domU's? Pros, cons, any gotchas? To me it seems like the perfect solution for a fast, brainless restore. Any investigation ...
15
votes
12answers
7k views

Should a backup server use RAID?

I was asked to set up a new backup server using Symantec Backup Exec that stores to hard disk instead of tape, because the backup size is outgrowing tape capacity. I was wondering does it really ...
15
votes
14answers
3k views

What backup solution you use for linux servers [closed]

What backup solutions you use for linux server in production environment? Do you prefer open source or commercial products? What you consider to be essential features in backup software? Which ...
15
votes
9answers
5k views

Tool or script to detect moved or renamed files on Linux prior to a backup

Basically I am searching to see if there exists a tool or script that can detect moved or renamed files so that I can get a list of renamed/moved files and apply the same operation on the other end of ...
15
votes
1answer
12k views

How can I do a dump of only the table structure in PostgreSQL?

In a similar vein to this question, how would I do a schema-only dump in PostgreSQL?
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Tape encryption management & best practices

I want to enable encryption on all of my backup tapes. I more-or-less know how to do this technically, but the procedural and human elements of implementing this are tricky. I use HP LTO4 drives ...
15
votes
1answer
3k views

From bad sector to “damaged file” - did it for Linux/ext3, can I do it for Windows/NTFS?

When a SMART check on a disk reports a bad sector, it is important to be able to identify the file that has the bad sector - and restore it from backups. Below, I show how I did this for my Linux/ext3 ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

Cost effective, long term archival of video and image data? ~50 TB

My lab is in the process of setting up a small server that holds data (mostly video and image data, plus a few documents) for the project our group is working on at a moment in time. Historically, ...
14
votes
5answers
11k views

What's the best way to automate backing-up of PostgreSQL databases?

I find it tedious to have to backup databases every week. And I also think weekly backups should be turned into daily backups. If I had to do that, I don't want to do it manually. What's the best way ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

How do limit disc i/o during backup?

I have a cron that basically do a simple "tar zcf" in the night. The server has: 8 Cores - Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5606 @ 2.13GHz 25GB RAM Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS Hardware RAID 1 (LSI Logic / Symbios ...
14
votes
13answers
8k views

Complete restore of linux system

I am familiar with using rsync to back up various files from my system but what is the best way to completely restore a machine. What I have tried in the past is: Do a basic format/reinstall from ...
14
votes
7answers
589 views

Long-term storage of Business Critical data

This is a really tricky one, and to some extent it's not a technical problem, and might not belong here, but Server Fault is for system administrators ... who manage or maintain computers in ...
14
votes
9answers
11k views

rsync to multiple destinations using same filelist?

I'm wondering if it's possible for rsync to copy one directory to multiple remote destinations all in one go, or even in parallel. (not necessary, but would be useful.) Normally, something like the ...
14
votes
2answers
6k views

Are RDX removable disks a good replacement for LTO tape?

Over a period of three weeks, I experienced six complete failures of LTO-1 and LTO-2 tape drives at client sites. Some had failed mechanisms. Others lost the ability to write reliably. These were HP ...
13
votes
8answers
18k views

Sync LVM snapshots to backup server

I have a number of Xen virtual machines running on a number of Linux servers. These VMs store their disk images in Linux LVM volumes with device names along the lines of /dev/xenVG/SERVER001OS and so ...
13
votes
3answers
678 views

How do you apply development practices like version control, testing and continuous integration/deployment to system administration?

Imagine you're going to manage a number of servers with a number of different services that's used by a number of people. Now say you want to reconfigure or replace some software on one of those ...
13
votes
7answers
17k views

What ways there are to backup repositories for Windows VisualSVN?

At this moment we are using Visual SVN and we are backing up the entire repositories directory for visual svn. This backs up the entire data for each repository inside our svn engine. I am curious ...
13
votes
7answers
1k views

Backup MySQL Server

What's the best way to back up a MySQL server? I would like a method that doesn't require bringing down the server. Is something like InnoDB hot backup necessary, or can I just use the backup tools ...
13
votes
11answers
3k views

How do you do the offsite hard drive backups?

I have been doing hard drive backups for a while, which I believe a lot of you guys do as well, but am having trouble figuring out a better way storing them offsite. I am wondering how you guys out ...
13
votes
9answers
3k views

Why is it so important to backup your transaction log?

We're currently implementing a backup solution for a client and their ERP solution uses SQL Server. The ERP solution was set up by a different company. And they are telling me that it is super ...
13
votes
5answers
956 views

Encrypted offsite backups - where to store the encryption key?

In addition to regular onsite backups (kept in a fire resistant safe), we also send tapes offsite once a month, encrypted with AES. So if our site is one day vaporised by an alien heat ray, we should ...
13
votes
5answers
9k views

How can I speed up a MySQL restore from a dump file?

I am restoring a 30GB database from a mysqldump file to an empty database on a new server. When running the SQL from the dump file, the restore starts very quickly and then starts to get slower and ...
13
votes
7answers
3k views

Setting up a new backup scheme

I'm in the process of designing my first ever backup scheme. I'm completely new to managing data backup, and there are some concepts that I don't totally understand. Here's what I've got so far, and ...