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Re: EZ Linux backup package, with GUI? -- easy-to-manage backup servers

William Underwood <wllmundrwd@charter.net> wrote:
> Howdy all,
> I'm looking for a Linux backup package (preferably with a
> GUI), that is freeware (preferable OpenSource), that has
> integrated media management.  
> Ideally, once configured, the package will support
> automated/scheduled backups and will prompt a non-
> technical user for the right tape on a daily/weekly
> basis.  Anyone have knowledge of or experience 
> with something like this?

I guess I should point out that unlike the Windows world
which sells you an "all-in-one" product (many of which
totally differ and are incompatible), the UNIX world
typically separates the "front-end" GUI from the "back-end"
system, and uses some overlapping standards.  E.g., in
piecemeal fashion:  

- "mt" is definitely the program for controlling autoloaders,
labeling and positioning, although device support (both drive
and autoloader) varies.

- Most data formats are data streams, although they vary on
approach.  Most are commonly USTAR format today, with
different blocking (tar is typically 10KiB, cpio is typically

- GUIs will vary, and vary in capabilities.  I don't know of
a good Freedomware suite that has good autoloader support
because of the variations in "mt" support.  Although that's
probably my ignorance because I've typically gone with
Veritas NetBackup.

Also note that some GUI systems will rely on another
"management system" that might not be configured via the GUI,
but has its own.  There are several for Linux (Amanda comes
to mind) that other GUIs use.

In a nutshell, I recommend the following selection:  

1.  Find a GUI that does the management you want (or uses a
popular back-end manager), including all the media management
you are looking for.

2.  That GUI should support one or more back-end streaming
formats (or utilities that use them), so your selection will
be bound by that.

Jay Truesdale <jtruesdale@gmail.com> wrote:
> I don't. But make sure that what ever you get supports
> verification (i.e. comparison) of the data between the 
> backup media and the hard disk. Also make sure you don't
> end up with just a gui on top of tar.

Actually, when it comes to network backup, I recommend you
use a system dedicated to backup, and put lots of disk on it.
 That way:  
1.  You only fully backup every system once to the locally
stored version
2.  You send incremental (e.g., rsync) over the network that
update the locally stored version
3.  You always backup to local tape from those local images
on that backup system 
4.  You can do comparisons from local tape to those local
images on that backup system
5.  Restores of recent data become as easy as pulling it from
the backup system
6.  You still have the off-line security/portability of tape,
but you don't put your backups at the mercy of real-time,
end-to-end node-to-remote-tape backup

I discussed much of this "evolution" in my article
"Dissecting Virtual Tape Libraries (VTLs)" in Sys Admin a few
months ago:  

I haven't surveyed the open source field to find out what
pseudo-VTL-oriented tools and approaches there are.  I have a
feeling that a good, easy-to-use framework is still wanted,
but it should come with time.

Bryan J. Smith                | Sent from Yahoo Mail
mailto:b.j.smith@ieee.org     |  (please excuse any
http://thebs413.blogspot.com/ |   missing headers)

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