Musings on ZFS Backup strategies

dweimer dweimer at
Fri Mar 1 16:08:05 UTC 2013

On 03/01/2013 9:45 am, Karl Denninger wrote:
>> I briefly did something like this between two FreeNAS boxes, it 
>> seemed
>> to work well, but my secondary Box wasn't quite up to par hardware.
>> Combine that with the lack of necessary internet bandwidth with a
>> second physical location in case of something really disastrous, like
>> a tornado or fire destroying my house.  I ended up just using an 
>> eSATA
>> drive dock and Bacula, with a few external drives rotated regularly
>> into my office at work, rather than upgrading the secondary box.
>> If you have the secondary box that is adequate, and either offsite
>> backups aren't a concern or you have a big enough pipe to a secondary
>> location that houses the backup this should work.
>> I would recommend testing your incremental snapshot rotation, I never
>> did test a restore from anything but the most recent set of data when
>> I was running my setup, I did however save a weeks worth of hourly
>> snapshots on a couple of the more rapidly changing data sets.
> I rotate the disaster disks out to a safe-deposit box at the bank, and
> they're geli-encrypted, so if stolen they're worthless to the thief
> (other than their cash value as a drive) and if the building goes 
> "poof"
> I have the ones in the vault to recover from.  There's the potential 
> for
> loss up to the rotation time of course but that is the same risk I had
> with all UFS filesystems.
> I've tested the restores onto a spare box and it appears to work as
> expected...
> Thanks for the comments!

Yes, good point on the Geli encryption, I do that as well on my 
external backup drives, didn't think to mention that in the last post.  
I have considered the safe-Deposit box as well, but our office building 
at work is fairly well secured seeing as it houses the main data-center 
for our company, doors locked 24 hours a day, with electronic locks that 
log all entries.  Its also an old brick and concrete building, that has 
survived a direct Tornado hit about 15 years ago with only very minor 
cosmetic exterior damage, to the awning over the front stairs and the 
Company logo above it.  I feel fairly secure in keeping the disk drives 
there, and if ever need my offsite backup at 3:00am I can go get it 
rather than be stuck waiting for the bank to open.

    Dean E. Weimer

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