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Dewdman42 08-20-2010 07:56 PM

Backup Plan Reccomendations
I wanted to ask for reccomendations from you all about how I should setup my backup strategy, part of which involves SD and part of which does not. I welcome all comments.

1 - I have a RAIDed Samba server (running windows). Most of my critical data files end up getting stored there one way or another. The machine is only used for file service, web service, FTP server, etc. The C drive is not raided, only a seperate data drive.

2 - I have subscribed to Jungle Disk online backup. They provide software for Win, OSX, Linux, but presently I'm only using it to backup my Samba server, and only certain critical dirs of the raid are backed up.

3 - I have a ghost image of my Samba Server. This image is not updated regularly. The setup of that machine does not change often. I can probably go back to that image state at anytime and mostly be fine. There is one copy of that image on JungleDisk cloud.

4 - I have Jungle Disk also backing up certain configuration dirs on that samba file server, apache configs, ftp configs, etc.. so that if I have to restore it from the image, I can also restore the last nights configs and have machine working again. I'm careful not to put any other user data onto the C drive of that machine, all user data goes on the previously mentioned Raid array.


5 - I have two macs. They each have at least two partitions on them or disks. Each night SD runs full backup to sparse bundle. I need to put those sparse bundles onto both the samba raid, as well as the online cloud. But I want to minimize the amount of uploading to that cloud. I could just use the cloud service to backup my macs and forget about SD, but I like the idea of having them first backed up to RAID so I can restore very quickly. Actually they are first backed up to 2nd partition or drive on same machine on the same machine, then I copy the sparse bundle to the samba raid, then at night the cloud software uploads the changes in the sparse bundle to the online service.

However, I'm concerned about minimizing the amount of network traffic to the cloud service.

When I copy the sparse bundle from the local partition to the samba, I use cp -p to make sure permissions and dates are preserved, so that the online backup software will incrementally transfer less stuff (hopefully).

I could optionally run Jungle Disk on the mac and use it only for uploading the sparse bundle created by SD to the online service. However, I prefer ot have that done from my samba server so that my macs are left free from that task, which can be long running.

I also have checkpoint imgs of my macs saved on the raid and online, from certain points in the past when the machine was extremely stable and clean. However in order to restore to those, I need backups of just my user data, so each night I save that as well into ~/Backup and that can be copied to Raid and later to Jungle, or direct to Jungle. That includes stuff like Daylite DB backup, iCal export, AddrBook backup, bookmarks, etc.

(deep breath)

Ok, comments please, I welcome any and all suggestions about how to best integrate Mac+sambaraid+online service, using SD, the goal being to both offload as much backup work to the samba server as possible as well as ensure the most redundancy and the ability to quickly restore if and when I need to.

dnanian 08-20-2010 10:46 PM

This is so specific to your own use case it's really hard to recommend something here. But I don't think it's a good idea to put the bundle into the cloud. Sure, you're dealing with bands, but you can't really control what bands are getting modified, and a band with a single file modified is a lot "bigger" than a file.

I think it'd be smarter to run your "cloud" backups directly from the Macs that you're backing up.

Dewdman42 08-20-2010 10:52 PM

I hear you. So I guess the thing to do would be to run SD to back it up to the samba raid server, and then run Cloud backup again so that I have it in two places. Sucks to run backup twice from the mac though, begins to feel like overkill.

Another thing I could do is backup the full image to the raided server and just backup my current configuration files to cloud. That would mean most likely I would restore from the raid, but if for some reason my house burns down, then I could get a check point image from the online along with basically my $HOME dir and call it good enough.

hmm, I hear you about the bands though. but its not terrible either. Looking at last night's SD run, I only see maybe 30MB worth of new bands. That's not terrible.

dnanian 08-20-2010 11:01 PM

Well, you could mount the bundle and then back up the mounted bundle volume to the cloud. That would certainly be preferable than trying to back up the bundle itself, which is going to generate a lot more file transfer.

But if you're not finding that's the case, and 30MB is fine, well, you seem to already have a solution that works. :)

Dewdman42 08-21-2010 07:11 PM

One thing I like about SD is that the bundle it creates is totally made boot ready, setting all the boot flags, etc..

With JungleDisk cloud backup, its not really as mac-savvy. You just have the ability to check the boxes of the folders and files you want backed up to the cloud. I'm not confident I could do an easy restore with it.

On the other hand if I backup with SD, then save the bundle to the cloud, then I know that bundle will be a totally self contained restorable image that will create a clean, bootable volume. That's my reasoning. Also, the JungleDisk backup to the cloud could happen from an entirely different machine potentially.

Another advantage is that is already ignoring most of the right things, whereas with JungleDisk I'd have to go through there and figure all of that out.

I still have to experiment more with it to make sure the band changes will be reasonably sized incremental backups each day.

I may just end up not uploading the SD bundle to the cloud, I'll just keep a copy on my other raided server and put snapshots of it on the cloud occasionally.

dnanian 08-21-2010 07:28 PM

I'm thinking more than the cloud is more useful for, say, your Movies, Pictures or Documents. A full backup (bootable) you'd do with SD! directly to a drive, and not to an image, since you can start up from that directly, rather than restoring (or pulling down from the cloud and restoring)... that way your most 'valuable' content is in the cloud and multiply redundant, etc.

Dewdman42 08-21-2010 08:59 PM

yea, I'm agreeing, they like to say you can backup your full computer to the cloud, but i just don't think it will do nearly as good of a job as SD. At the very least I will back up the Critical user data to the cloud nightly, such as iCal, AddressBook, bookmarks, etc.

realistically, I have an SD snapshot saved on 3 local hard drives and on the cloud of my system at a clean point. I can always worst case restore to that, then just install a few apps, pull in the critical user data and I'm off with a clean system.

As far as a full nightly backup, for now I'll have SD full nightly backups at least on two other disks(one of them raided), so that should be pretty darn safe. The only reason to go to the cloud is in case my house burns down while I happen to be in the backyard with my macbookpro (the cloud backup wouldn't be much use to me if the macbookpro burned down with the house).


dnanian 08-21-2010 09:37 PM

Let's hope it doesn't come to that. :)

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