This is part of a series of articles on backing up computers. The top
page is Design for an
Archiving Backup System.
Here are some existing backup programs:
- BackupPC (home page) is a network backup server that runs on a Linux host and can backup Windows and MacOS clients.
Host Interface, might only be $60
- A collection of White
Papers on backup technologies. Of course white papers are thinly
disguised sales pitches, but this puts you in touch with some of the
bigger commercial players in this field.
- BackupServer a
makers of a range of products
- Computer Associates, looks
has a variety of programs for sale
has reviews of a lot of products
- Backup for
Workgroups includes a number of links to competitors and shareware
- DMOZ open directory project's backup software page
has a lot of links
Demand from Caddais software
- Listing of the top
10 market share holders in backup
- A hardware/software combination to reduce
the data redundancy in backups from DataDomain, a start-up company
(this may be similar to what I am proposing)
is a storage appliance for your LAN that is used for backup. You don't
access the files on it directly, there is some software you install on
each client PC that gets at them. Slashdot discussion
here and more recently here.
- BackupPC is
sourceforce backup project. BackupPC is written in Perl and extracts backup data via SMB
using Samba, tar over ssh/rsh/nfs,
or rsync. It is robust,
well documented and freely available as Open Source on SourceForge. A clever pooling
scheme minimizes disk storage and disk I/O. Identical files across
multiple backups of the same or different PCs are stored only once
resulting in substantial savings in disk storage and disk I/O. One
example of disk use: 95 laptops with each full backup averaging 3.6GB
each, and each incremental averaging about 0.3GB. Storing three weekly
full backups and six incremental backups per laptop is around 1200GB of
raw data, but because of pooling and compression only 150GB is needed.
- Datman is DOS driver
provides drive letter type access to a DAT or 8mm tape drive.
Unfortunately only works for Windows 95/98/ME.
- storgrid from Vembu,
is a RSYNC based backup system for networks
- Synchronize It!,
from Grig Software is a directory synchronization tool
- Bacula, network backup
system is mentioned here
- CleverSafe makes a
dispersed storage system which might be used for backup purposes
- Amanda, is an open
source network backup system that requires the server run on Linux but
it can backup Linux, Solaris and Windows clients. An enterprise version
(with better support) is available. A positive
comment on it.
- g4u, is a free hard
drive imaging tool that is based on a NetBSD boot CDROM
Unlimited has some drive imaging tools
- ViceVersa Pro from TGRMN
this software provides an additional layer of error detection and
correction for DVD media.
discusses using ssh and rsync to backup laptops
- Jan-Piet Mens writes a bit about experiences
with Bacula and has a small review of the book: Backup &
Recovery, by W. Curtis Preston, ISBN 978-0596102463.
- The Mac Time Machine may not behave
just the way you would like when it runs out of space on the backup
- GridBackup (mentioned here, the code is here) is attempting to build a network-distributed backup system based on the allmydata distributed storage system. The idea is to allow a group of friends or relatives to do safe off-site backups to each others' computers.
More Info Needed
Need to research the Sarbanes Oxley, Basel II and SEC Rule 17a requirements to see how they affect backups in an office environment.
Some useful links
- the CTape class in this WFC Win32 Foundation Class
library provides access to the windows tape subsystem, also referenced here
- MMPC tape
drive API and conversion software
- TapeIO for
a freeware tape driver
- MTX SCSI Media Changer
- Source forge's backup
- MSDN tape backup
API info, also includes references to GetFileAttributes and
- the win32fileDemo.py (under
contains examples of using the win32 file api which should be able to
do the tape commands that the MSDN article describes.
line utilities to burn CDRs from within windows
from the GNUWin
page also should be able to burn DVDs. The freshmeat.net home page
for the cdrtools
project. Some more
using these to backup to CDR. Another similar project to bring GNU Software
to Windows. And The OpenCD
which is another similar project.
- A Slashdot discussion of long
term document archiving
- Starting Dec'06 certain US companies will have to keep long-term
archives of all electronic correspondence, for these an archiving
backup to DVD-R media of selected directories might be the way to go.
More on how
this may benefit some companies.
- Selecting DVD media for long
- A guide to who makes what
DVD media, with rough quality classification (good, decent,
questionable and garbage)
a user backup program written in Python
discusses backup software for small offices
discusses selecting a file system for use in archival data storage
- par2 is a redundant parity
archive format, with this you split a single file into a set of par
files, place the individual par files on different pieces of media,
then if one of the media pieces gets damaged the other par files still
contain enough information to recreate the original file. Sort of a way
of doing RAID-5, except with physical media like DVDs.
- A paper called: Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive
Population, by E. Pinheiro, W.D. Weber and L.A. Barroso of
Google Inc. examines drive failure rates and correlates these with
SMART data. This is discussed here
on Slashdot. Two interesting conclusions are drawn: high operating
temperatures have little effect (at least up to 40C or so), in fact low
temperatures might be more harmful and once the SMART data shows a
drive has experienced a failed sector (either in use or in the
background scan) it is at elevated risk of failing in the next 60 days
(up to about 39 times as high).
- Another paper: Disk failures in the real world: What does
an MTTF of 1,000,000 hours mean to you? gets discussed here
and here. It also gets
and discussed again
on Slashdot. This study says that hard drive failure rates may be as
much as 15 times what the vendors are claiming.
- The problems
with archiving digital media
- Here's a good
example of why you want some redundancy in your backups. The case
of the Alaska Department of Revenue formatting the hard drive that
contained the only copy of their records pertaining to a 9 month period
of the Alaska Permanent Fund.
- Even Hollywood has problems with archiving digital media,
proves problematic, with followup on Slashdot.
They really need to go for a mix of off-line redundancy and on-line
- Business 2.0 magazine lost a
whole issue due to a failed backup system, discussed here
conditioners might be the cause of increased drive failure rates
that are observed during the summer months