[clug] Story: Fijian Resort complex loses a single disk: business process stops for 1-2 days

Scott Ferguson scott.ferguson.clug at gmail.com
Sun Jul 27 18:55:56 MDT 2014

On 27/07/14 20:58, Edward Lang wrote:
> Hi,

Hi Edward,

> On Sun, Jul 27, 2014 at 3:56 PM, Scott Ferguson <
> scott.ferguson.clug at gmail.com> wrote:
>> hasty reply, will surely contain schoolboy howlers :/
>> On 27/07/14 07:56, Alex Satrapa wrote:
>>> On 26 Jul 2014, at 23:48, Scott Ferguson
>>> <scott.ferguson.clug at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Again - that verifies the backup, not the reliability. Counting the
>>>> bottles you store on the nature strip isn't laying down a cellar
>>>> for your future ;p
>>> So how do you verify the media when the media is, say, a USB hard
>>> drive?
>> AFAIK you can't (or I'd have included verification method examples with
>> the others in the previous post).... you can only verify failure, which
>> is of limited use. 

e.g. F3 and similar don't identify impending failures. I've heard of
Flash drives with controllers that provide pseudo-SMART functions but
don't know whether they work or how common they are. USB Flash as a
backup medium is chosen because it's cheap, so it'd make sense to simply
make more copies (on different Flash drives). Fine for small servers but
larger servers make tape a better option. I guess as Flash prices drop
it might replace tape in enterprise - in which case the same processes
might be employed i.e. buy in bulk, randomly select samples to calculate
probable reliability (map the bath).
Are there "archive rated" Flash drives of a useful size? Would their
lack of SMART make their lower price a better investment than
(non-Green) SATA with SMART??

>> Spinning magnetic media is only slightly less
>> problematic (SMART is not reliable for predicting failure with
>> small numbers of drives).
> I've not used it, nor seen it used this way, but would something like
> Jenkins assist in this? As per:
> http://blog.vuksan.com/2011/08/22/using-jenkins-as-a-cron-server/comment-page-1/
> The concept doesn't seem too far away from the goal.

Jenkins(/Hudson/Django) as an alternative to cron. For the purpose of
scheduling actual backups or parts of the backup processes??

(I find anacron more useful for backups)

Interesting - I guess it'd be useful if that server was managing the
backup process for other servers. If the same framework was used to
manage and document the backup process it'd be great (a major
improvement over my dokuwiki/PHP/bash/korganizer/email/googcl
spit'n'sticks system).
If it was managing it's own backups or backups of other servers on the
same machine....not so much IMNSHO.
Though I note that's a disturbingly common, um, practise/state of mind.
 e.g. a WordPress plugin that manages the main/sole backup of...
WordPress (turtles all the way down, do-your-own-brain-surgery, backups
and security are mutually exclusive etc).

> Edward.
> --
> http://edlang.org/

Kind regards

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