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i92guboj 09-11-2009 02:21 PM

Backup live system - home server
 
Hello,

I'd like to know what solutions do you, people, use to backup a live system that acts as a small home mail/file/irc/web server and some other purposes.

For example, right now, to backup the mail, I have to stop fetchmail, kill vixie-cron to avoid any problem and then do the backup. Then restart vixie-cron.

I wonder if there's any solution that will leave me do the backup without all this hassle.

Ideas are all welcome. Thank you in advance.

catkin 09-11-2009 02:35 PM

LVM snapshots; then you could script stopping the systems, making the snapshot, restarting the systems, doing the backup and dropping the snapshot.

salasi 09-11-2009 03:12 PM

This isn't an answer (for me)...but it may be next year.

CoW filesystems (eg ZFS, BTRFS) allow you to do what are essentially zero cost snapshots, along with other fancy stuff, too.

Right now, BTRFS isn't really production ready; even if you grab the latest kernel, you'll get something that is closer too 'almost there' rather than 'solid, proven, reliable'. (Don't let me put you off from this, however...I wouldn't, just yet, but the bleeding edge is not a place I feel comfortable being, but, if you do go for it, report back on how it has gone and I might join you in six months).

ZFS is an excellent piece of work (IMHO, obviously), but is accessible via FUSE (extra layer of opacity for debugging, configuration performance??) and is under some not-quite-gpl license (CDDL?), either of which may or may not be an issue to you. And, its not the FS-of-the-future on Linux (BTRFS), as far as I can tell, and there probably isn't ever going to be a simple 'upgrade' from ZFS to BTRFS, when BTRFS is more 'production ready'.

If I was braver/more ready to waste time/more turned on by irrelevant technical excellence, I'd have already have tried one of the above -actually, I did try to install OpenSolaris, just to get ZFS natively, but OS isn't as capable of dealing with the miscellaneous junk hardware of my hack machine as Linux is - but I'm sure that the snapshotting will seem essential, when we get used to it.

And ZFS (ZFS on Solaris, anyway) is different in scope from the usual linux filesystems. It is more like an integrated combination FS-plus-MD-driver-plus-LVM system, which does have some advantages in some applications, although that may not be relevant here.

i92guboj 09-11-2009 03:46 PM

Thanks for the responses.

catkin, I know of LVM and I am looking into it. Never used it to be frank. I am not discarding it but it seems a bit like killing flies with a gun to me just for this. However, it's an option.

Quote:

Originally Posted by salasi (Post 3679142)
This isn't an answer (for me)...but it may be next year.

CoW filesystems (eg ZFS, BTRFS) allow you to do what are essentially zero cost snapshots, along with other fancy stuff, too.

Right now, BTRFS isn't really production ready; even if you grab the latest kernel, you'll get something that is closer too 'almost there' rather than 'solid, proven, reliable'. (Don't let me put you off from this, however...I wouldn't, just yet, but the bleeding edge is not a place I feel comfortable being, but, if you do go for it, report back on how it has gone and I might join you in six months).

I am also aware of the goodies of btrfs and I follow its development from the first moment, however as you say, it's not something I want in a server. It's cool to test in the partition I use for portage or similar stuff whose integrity is not important for me. But for now, nothing else.

I am not even considering zfs in linux at all. It shines in solaris for sure. I have no concerns about the license, but I am not that confident in fuse as a whole.

I am keeping an eye on btrfs and if it continues to develop at a good pace I am sure that soon it will have a valid choice as the main linux fs, and it sure will ease things like this that worries me now.

I agree that the snapshot feature is the real solution for this. The rest are just workarounds. The problem now is: do I migrate to LVM or do I wait for btrfs and live with some compromise solution for backups until then? I guess that the key lives in another question: how long will it take brtfs to be stable? Mmmm... *goes to think about it*.

Thanks everyone, and keep the ideas coming. This is an interesting topic to talk about :)


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