Clarification on simple, incremental ZFS backup

Brandon J. Wandersee brandon.wandersee at
Wed Jul 1 17:10:42 UTC 2015

Matthew Seaman writes:

> Yes, for *backup* using ZFS snapshots, you don't really want to use the
> replication stream form of 'zfs send' -- just sending an incremental
> update from a previous snapshot or bookmark means you can
>     - save the data on your backup server to a different path
>     - keep a lot more snapshots (ie. history) on your backup server
>     - not have to keep the snapshots for old backups on the source
>       server
> So long as the source and backup machines have a snapshot in common, or
> even just a bookmark[*] on the source side corresponding to a snapshot
> on the server side, then you're golden.

Sure, but then what happens in the worst-case scenario, where the source pool
needs to be clobbered and replaced? That's what I understood the purpose
of replication to be--a means of completely restoring a system that's
beyond recovery. If I were to create a snapshot and then send it to the
backup drive, I couldn't later restore a complete filesystem from it,
could I?  I'd need a complete replica to make that happen, correct?

   		      :: Brandon Wandersee ::
                  :: brandon.wandersee at ::
'A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
                            - Douglas Adams

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list