I have been using rsnapshot for backing up a few servers quite successfully and have been relatively pleased with it save for one major issue: monitoring.

For those of you who use rsnapshot, how do you monitor it? I would like some way to verify that rsnapshot is running, that it is pulling down files and that in general, it is working the way it should be. And if it's not, I should be emailed right away so I can fix the failure.

Obviously, this is no replacement for regular tests of restoring files, which is how I've caught problems in the past. I just would like something a little more automated to add to my testing regimen so some of those errors can be caught and corrected more quickly.

What do you use to monitor rsnapshot? Or, what is your backup monitoring strategy in general?


Adding it into a tool like logcheck, to summarise any problems it throws up would be a good start.

  • I have logcheck running already, so that would be a great addition. – abourg Jun 10 '09 at 1:27

As well as log scanning, it is possible to perform slightly more automated checks.

For instance, I have a script that performs an "rsync -a --dry-run" between several file areas and their respective backups and emails me the results. It runs weekly via cron, or I sometimes run it manually. There are expected to be small differences as there will often have been changes since the last daily backup but significant differences will show up certain problems.

Also for my mail server (a VM that runs the F/OSS edition of Zimbra) I have a copy of the VM that occasionally deletes its mailstore and restores the main server's latest backup. One of my weekly manual checks is to login to the "backup test" VM and make sure that it is running properly and has all the recent changes it should have. I can kick off the test process manually for this too.

  • Great idea automating test restores through virtual machines. That's pretty clever, I'll have to do something similar. – abourg Jun 10 '09 at 1:29

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