Q

Can Amanda or Rsync correct missed backup?

I failed to back up my data on tape for a couple of days…long story. How could I use Amanda to correct my mistake, like doing a flush?
Your question is a little unclear to me, so let me answer it this way. Amanda is a great data backup solution for an IT center. It's kind of complex to get set up, but once running offers great functionality for full and partial backups. It sounds like you have a regular regimen of backup, but just missed a couple of days. In that kind of situation, it seems to me like the overhead of setting up Amanda might be overkill. Why not take a look at rsync for a one-time solution? You'll find that rsync is focused on synching data from one disk location to another. It was created by Andrew Tridgell, one of Samba's core team.

Rather than using a full/incremental scheme like Amanda, rsync runs a full backup each time it performs synchronization. That may seem wasteful, but rsync cleverly forwards only the changed bits in files, so it is actually very lightweight. Rsync ordinarily uses SSHas its transfer protocol, so the data is safe in transit -- making it ideal for syncing data to a remote machine outside the firewall -- thereby providing offsite backup...

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Since the popular rsync is included in Linux distros, you can avoid the installation process. The most typical configuration of rsync operates in a client/server setup: The client machines contact the rsync server, which makes rsync a very good choice for dynamic environments. For example, rsync is a very good choice for backing up laptops that connect to the network intermittently. Of course, rsync can be configured to work in a polling fashion as well; in fact, it can be configured to work in a two-way fashion, enabling two machines to back up one another.

You'll find more information about rsync and Amanda in my article, Rsync and Amanda: Keeping your data safe with open source backup.

This was first published in August 2005

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