2015-09: Backups

Location:  The Working Centre 58 Queen Street South, Kitchener, ON (plan)
Date: 21 Sep 2016

What do you care about when doing your backups?
What backup products and workflows do you use?
What products do you use to synchronize backups? Bittorrent sync? Crashplan? Others?
How do you test your backups? Do you do disaster recovery simulations? How?

Meeting Notes

### Discussion Questions

– What do you care about backing up? What do you not care about?
– What backup products do you use?
– What backup workflows do you use?
– What products do you use? rsync? Backup Exec? Crashplan? Other?
– How do you test your backups?
– How do you test disaster recovery?

### Linux backups for publishing

Linux server backs up files from the last 45 days to a DVD (as much as would fit)

+ Back up once a month
+ Plus nightly backups with rdiff-backup (which includes history) on a 3-disk RAID array
+ Would restore files from DVD
+ Low strain of hardware, low attack surface from web
+ The DVD backup was in use for 15 years
+ Each book project is responsible for its own backups
+ Restructuring a full backup would be tedious
+ But the most recent files are accessible (and these are the most important)
+ System was designed when most files were smallish, but Adobe Indesign makes big files

### At the Working Centre

+ Symantec Backupexec for most file servers, mail server, Active Directory
+ Remote sites we use Windows Server Backup + backupexec once a week
+ Active Directory is important but remote domain controllers is a backup
+ My Documents are mapped and get backed up
+ Desktops, bookmarks, PST files do not get backed up on clients
+ Weekly full backups + daily differentials for Windows
+ Linux: tarballs of important files + rsync to a central server
+ Backup server in our server room + (maybe) remote sync
+ Copy most important files on encrypted USB keys

### Big Backups don’t sync!

– DFS doesn’t work!
– Syncthing doesn’t work!

### Sidebar: What is Active Directory?

– SMB is Samba storage and network (Windows File shares)
– Active Directory is an LDAP database:
+ User accounts and passwords
+ Security groups
+ Computer accounts
– On Linux: there are RedHat, SuSE LDAP solutions
– On Samba 4, you can mimic an Active Directory domain
+ Linux clients can (kind of) join a domain, and log in using Active Directory credentials
+ Active Directory implements a bunch of open standards, so you can connect to it from Linux clients

### What happens at REEP?

– Two servers at one location
– Everything is backed up there: file shares, Active Directory, …
– Image for Windows is what he uses
+ Does an image backup for the servers
+ Saved onto a separate internal drive
+ Full backups are once a month + differentials
– Puts the monthly full on an external drive
– Also uses shadow copy
+ This gives end users previous versions
– JungleDisk backs up file shares to their Amazon servers
+ $10-15/month for 200GB of storage
+ It has some historical information
+ Do you trust them? Yes
+ Information is not highly confidential
+ Backs up twice a day over a tunnel
– Incremental backups happen every day
– There is a RAID mirror in the server as the first level
– He uses Exchange online and so does not worry about backups

### Why backupexec?

– Wanted more granular restores of Exchange
– It thinks in terms of tapes

### Lessons

The cloud is convenient

Redundancy is important!

### Hardware confidence?

– We have spare parts for hardware servers
– We have virtual servers
– RAID hard disks in the servers
– Brendan wants servers that are under warranty
+ 5 year warranties built in
– TWC uses gamer-quality hardware with good reviews
– Custom-built servers: depends
+ Gamer-quality or low-end business quality
– We use Hyper-V for virtual servers
– Touch Machines bought in pairs
+ both machines run 24-7
+ AMD processors

### Backup Levels/options

– Encrypted USB keys
– DVD backups
– RAID arrays
– Previous versions/shadow copies
– Offsite backups
– Backups to internal drives
– Cloud backup

### How much should we trust encrypted backups?

– What if the company does the encryption?
– What if we did the encryption?
– Maybe it doesn’t matter: if we are on the Internet we are in the cloud
– There is consent vs non-consent
– Is Linux more secure?
– Should we throw up our hands and give up?
– FLOSS means that although people CAN examine source code it doesn’t mean that it WILL be

### Disaster recovery

– If you participated in disaster recovery other people would have to do this the next time
– They paid for another company to provide services for backups
– How do you set up disaster recovery environments?

Some people do not like backups because they can profit from the data recovery.

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