backups and devices

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Tue Nov 11 09:04:36 PST 2003

On Tue, Nov 11, 2003 at 11:41:26AM -0000, Alex Shaw wrote:

> Im trying to decide on a sutable backup procedure for the systems we use. Id
> like if possible to use a auto mount multiple tape device, that can
> completly store and retrieve all nesecary data as quickly as possible. There
> are two locations one needs only data backup, systems are not as important
> here, as rebuilding from scratch and applying data restore is a lot more
> feasible, the second location will need full system backups as well as data.
> Im looking to achieve this with maybe two tape devices. My question is this,
> What is the best way to go about this, eg what tape devices fitting these
> specs are known to work well with BSD, what software would easily help me do
> the backup and restore ?. Im newish to BSD systems admin and am trying to
> minimise the learning mistakes but getting as much info as possible before I
> start implementing anything.

You're talking a real enterprise scale backup system here.  In terms
of software -- on the backup server side, if you want to use free
stuff, it's either 'script your own', use afbackup: misc/afbackup
( or use Amanda:
misc/amanda-server ( You'll
need to make sure your tape library is compatible with chio(1) -- many
SCSI tape libraries will be.  That sort of piece of kit tends to be
sufficiently expensive that the Sales people will often be prepared to
let you test one of their units on your systems before you buy.

I know very little about afbackup, but it seems to have the features
you require.  Amanda will also do what you need, but it will only do
simple tape management -- ie. it won't overwrite the wrong tape.  If
you need something more sophisticated, then you'll need to invest in
one of the Enterprise Backup Systems available.  Unfortunately this
probably means you won't be able to run the backup server on FreeBSD
(or if it will run on FreeBSD, you won't be able to get support for
doing that).  Many of these products have more-or-less supported
backup *clients* available for FreeBSD -- see sysutils/nwclient or
sysutils/nwclient602 for some Legato Networker clients, and I've heard
that you can use the Linux clients for Veritas BackupExec under
emulation.  There's probably others.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                       26 The Paddocks
                                                      Savill Way
PGP:         Marlow
Tel: +44 1628 476614                                  Bucks., SL7 1TH UK
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