dump(8), incremental backups, Tower of Hanoi sequence, don't get it

Danny Howard dannyman at toldme.com
Tue Aug 23 18:21:34 GMT 2005

On Fri, Aug 19, 2005 at 05:15:35PM +0300, Ilari Laitinen wrote:
> Hello.
> Lately I have been getting more and more worried about data on my
> FreeBSD box at home. I am forming a "real" small-scale backup policy
> with two different big USB harddrives (yet to buy) storing regular
> incremental backups (yet to figure out). The idea is to have those
> harddrives mirror each other for extra security.


Three suggestions:

1) Use gmirror to mirror the hard drives, instead of manually mirroring

2) If all you have to deal with are static files and a
not-super-giant-filesystem, use rsync.  rsync -avz --delete once a night
will "mirror" your data between drives or between machines without any
trouble.  The only disadvantage is there is no file retention if you
want to restore a corrupt / deleted file after the fact.  Maybe you
could rsync between the USB disks prior to rsyncing your backups, then
you have two iterations of data ...

3) Look into using AMANDA, which I think can be run without a tape
device, if it regards your disks as long-term holding disks.  It is
probably overkill for you, but at least then you get to learn a more
powerful backup package which you might want to have experience with for
the future, and you won't have to worry about Towers of Hanoi or
anything because AMANDA is smart enough to figure this out itself.

Though, honestly, probably all that you need is to do 0 1 1 1 or such.

Or possibly, mount filesystem snapshots and if you get acceptible
performance just dump level 0 every night.

Or ... really it depends what you want and what you've got.  Do you want
to be able to restore deleted files from the week prior?  If not, then
you can get away with "nightly full dump" or "nightly full mirror"
strategies.  Otherwise, yes, you need to rig up some multiple-dumplevel



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