[H-GEN] Tape Drives

Robert Brockway robert at timetraveller.org
Sat Jan 5 23:27:29 EST 2002

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On 6 Jan 2002, Jason Henry Parker wrote:

> That said, one thing I've done is to set up another machine---it
> doesn't need to do anything but this---and run rsyncs from the
> backed-up host to it every few hours.  It buys another copy of your
> files, and smart users can even be taught to do their own restores.
> The downside is the cost in CPU and maintenance, not to mention the
> amount of time needed to make *sure* it's working correctly.

I see this as a great addition to a normal backup scheme, rather than a
replacement, as the one thing that the "rsync solution" fails on is the
concept of the backup being off site (unless of course you are sending
Gb of data over the 'net :)

> I suppose this is why people like Grandfather-Father-Son so much:
> it's pretty simple to remember, and thus easy for a single operator to
> manage by hand.

Indeed.  As I mentioned to Pat last night, once the Sysadmin has done the
hard yards setting up a robust system the company secretary can be relied
upon to be the "tape jockey" - it is only a mechanical process and
requires no special technical knowledge.

> You'll need to run regular backup tests (you'd need to do this with
> removable disks, too):  verify your backups by:

Yes, this is one I didn't mention to Pat last night.  I agree 120%.

"Test your backups".

For one it goes some way to protecting against the "head misalignment
problem" you mentioned and for another it tests whereh your ideas about
backups are rational.

Do semi-regular Disaster Recovery Tests.

Get a spare box and try to restore the fileserver data to it from tape.
External tape drives can be advantageous here.

> You don't want to have to work any of that out when the company is
> hemorrhaging money because the file server is down and no-one can do
> their work.

Indeed.  I'm a fan of making a restore system so straightforward you can
do it either with everyone around asking when it will be done (increasing
the general stress in the room) or at 2am when you're more tired than you
knew was possible.  Make it as mechanical as you can.

> About backups?  You bet.  The whole topic is only slightly less
> contentious than `which editor should I use?'.

It's just lucky that duelling went out of vogue or Humbug would have a
lower total membership I suspect.

-- Robert Brockway B.Sc. email: robert at timetraveller.org  ICQ: 104781119
   Linux counter project ID #16440 (http://counter.li.org)
   blake: up 41 days, 18:21, 12 users,  load average: 1.02, 1.03, 1.00
   "The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens" -Baha'u'llah

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