[Techtalk] Using weekly backup disk to store partial full backup as well?

R. Daneel Olivaw linuxchix at r-daneel.com
Sun Apr 1 13:44:40 UTC 2007

Hi there :)

Le Sun, 1 Apr 2007 08:18:36 +1000 Kathryn Andersen a écrit:
> On Sat, Mar 31, 2007 at 10:35:52PM +0200, R. Daneel Olivaw wrote:
> > I'd suggest something really different:
> > one external usb drive (this may seem expensive, but compared to the
> > advantages, it may turn out much cheaper), mounted as ext3
> > filesystem. After that, use the *amazing* opensource "rsnapshot"
> > tool.
> Funny, I just started doing this myself this week!
> I figured I'd never get proper backups unless the process was fully
> automated, which meant that burning to DVDs was out, since that
> requires manual intervention.
> Though my USB drive is reiserfs rather than ext3 -- why did you choose
> ext3?  Because it's more often enabled in a kernel?

Well, the first thing that came to my mind was "because it's
everywhere". It is very well supported (I like to rely on "old" mature
technologies, even if RaiserFS is out for some time now), but this may
not be a good argument. Thinking back then, I found a reason or two ...
- Ext3 is compatible with Ext2 and therefore with quite anything that
looks, sounds, or tastes like linux/bsd. This compatibility goes back
to very old systems, and automatically exludes less systems.
- I use Ext3 on all production servers, production workstations (well
those who use linux, never tried to run WinX[cra]P on an ext3
partition :p) and even at home. Years back, when I still used
my beloved SlackWare distro I switched to RaiserFS sometimes, now, I
turned to evil (:p) FedoraCore and never had the time to try out
RaiserFS support (moreover, my GF uses this computer, so testing
around is not really an option ;p).
- I heard of an extension in WinXP to read Ext2/Ext3 "natively", so
sticking to it may raise interoperability.

Ok, I know there are some performance issues, but we're talking
about backups ... 
On the other side, things I read (see links below) make me think that
RaiserFS still needs improving.

I have read some of the RaiserFS4 specs and understand what is in
there, but "features" (read "whistles & bells") do rarely convince
me (besides, I try to stick with Ogg against Mp3, but I often feel
misunderstood :p).

> > The only drawback is that it cannot compress data (but this may be
> > achieved whith compressing filesystems, a thing I never tried out).
> That's an interesting thought.

Should not be complicated, as long as Linux does the job after mountig
the drive. But the real issue is elsewhere : is the CPU time worth
compressing divx/xvid/mp3/ogg/flac/jpeg/OpenOfficeDocs/... that all are
already compressed in a datatype-targetted & optimized way ?

I use rsnapshot at customer's sites and for our own servers, and the
mixup of ssh & smb mountpoints is much smarter and easyier to setup,
monitor and restore than any other solution I tried, be it
tape/CD/DVD/partial/full/incremental/... backups.
The only "expensive" part on the backup server was the 2 x 5"1/4
hardware ide raid unit, that costed (including 2 big&cheap ide hard
drives) as much as an internal usb/scsi DDS5 tape drive (that had no
backup media shipped).

Enough said, I have this feeling again, that I stepped too far in
description and started annoying someone ;)

read you soon,

> Kathryn Andersen
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