[clug] Neat Backup Solutions for desktops...

Alex Satrapa grail at goldweb.com.au
Tue Dec 8 16:33:25 MST 2009

On 08/12/2009, at 19:36 , Andrew Janke wrote:

> In short I am yet to find a tape based system that doesn't break right
> when you need it.

Note that your existing backup system doesn't have to be "broken" to actually break.

For example, you might be running a perfectly functional backup system with spare hardware available, but then lightning strikes your site.  Your servers are toast, the functional hardware is toast, so you get the spare tape hardware, the offsite tapes, and then discover that in the intervening five years manufacturers have abandoned your tape drive's particular interface (eg: SCSI II) for the latest & greatest (FireWire or FibreChannel or …).

I agree with the comment about the cleansing hard disk failure.

True story: a place I was working for several years tested out the building's UPS.  Turns out the diesel generator kicked in just fine, but the building's main switch blew itself up, so we were running on emergency power for a day or two while the switch was being replaced (custom hardware, had to be redesigned to cope with the failure mode and machined from scratch).  During this time some computers were shut down which had been running non-stop for several hundred days, of course those hard drives seized up good and proper.  Later on in the life of that building we had another power outage, and again there was a failure in the UPS, another bunch of machines lost power, at which point we discovered that certain dependencies had crept in such as the DNS server relying on the LDAP server for authentication, while the LDAP server was depending on the DNS server for various reasons - neither machine would boot without the other one already running.

Rebuilding your production environment from scratch every six months or so is really good for encouraging a disciplined approach to deploying and maintaining systems :)


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