zfs send/receive as dump/restore alternative

Victor Sudakov vas at mpeks.tomsk.su
Tue Nov 15 05:19:26 UTC 2016

Chuck Swiger 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.

So it probably worked on the file level like tar/cpio or Apple's Time
Machine. It's good for restoring user files, but what would Legato do to
restore a system from scratch in the event of a crash?

I would never risk using tar or any other file level archiver to
restore/clone a complete FreeBSD system for fear of omitting some
filesystem features (hardlinks, EAs etc). Would you?

PS I remember our Windows admins working with Symantec Backup. For a
system recovery after a catastropic crash, it required a Windows
bootable installation CD with the exact version of Windows being restored.

Victor Sudakov,  VAS4-RIPE, VAS47-RIPN
sip:sudakov at sibptus.tomsk.ru

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