zfs send/receive as dump/restore alternative

Chuck Swiger cswiger at mac.com
Tue Nov 15 00:31:08 UTC 2016

On Nov 14, 2016, at 4:17 PM, Victor Sudakov <vas at mpeks.tomsk.su> wrote:
> Steve O'Hara-Smith wrote:
>>> I now run a couple of systems fully on zfs, and use e.g.
>>> "zfs send -Rv zroot at 2016-10-01 > /mnt1/2016-09-25.zfs" 
>>> for a full system backup to a remote file server.
>>> With restore(8), I could restore any separate filesystem or even a single
>>> file/directory from the dump, even interactively.
>> 	As others have indicated the zfs stream is not designed as an
>> archive format but rather for efficient filesystem replication.
> BTW if anyone has experience with enterprise backup software for ZFS
> (e.g. for Solaris), how does it handle the task of restoring
> individual files?
> Oracle says "consider an enterprise backup solution... if you need
> per-file restoration":
> https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E18752_01/html/819-5461/gbchx.html <https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E18752_01/html/819-5461/gbchx.html>

The Sun E450 and E4500s I used to deal with had Legato NetWorker as their
"enterprise backup solution", which I think is now owned by EMC / Dell.

It was somewhat smarter than doing a Unix filesystem level dump/restore.
In particular, it understood a bunch of common filetypes and implemented
delta archiving for mbox files and the like rather than having to re-archive
entire copies of changed files.

(Think of Time Machine, except without a GUI or a nice graphically viewable
timeline which you could choose different versions from the backup by date.
Well, possibly Legato had an X11-based GUI tool, but the commandline version
worked much better at the time I was using it.)


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