[Box Backup] Overall goal for BoxBackup

Justin H Haynes boxbackup@fluffy.co.uk
Tue, 21 Dec 2004 22:42:24 -0600

My opinion is that the platforms to which boxbackup is being ported 
represent way too many requirements for restoration.  Backing up a 
complete system on mac/windows/everyUNIX, may be easy to support, but 
what would restoration look like?

Concerning system backups: My personal preference is to automate 
installations rather than restore because of greater flexibility in 
taking that one process to many machines/platforms.  Also you can figure 
for updates in that process.  I bring this up to say, that I would 
rather reinstall than restore.

I realise that is only part of the idea.  it would be nice to have 
restoration of a system and restoration of data in one nice package, but 
is that what we really want?  What would have been the causes of the 
machine going down in the first place?  How far back do I want to go to 
restore that system?  How do I know the machine hasn't been comprimised?

I don't think we should ever give up on new ideas about better ways of 
doing things, but in the interest of best practices, I would always 
rather have a tool that does what it sets out to do very very well and 
completely, than have something that only is able to do part of a 
thing.  (i.e.  I may be able to restore a Unix machine with boxbackup 
but its probably not happening with windows or mac)  And, so I would 
only want boxbackup to do what it aims to do well: backup and restore files.

And now to dilute my point :-), you have given me a couple of good 
ideas.  I would definitely consider using boxbackup as part of a system 
recovery strategy.  I prefer OpenBSD as a server platform, and it would 
be handy to have a stock repository for a base installation or even a 
tweeked one of the most current with all the updates.  I would still be 
using it as a tool to install a system rather than to restore it, but in 
the line of system restoration, it might be an effective tack.

An account could be created for each platform+system  (i386_web,  
hppa_firewall, etc etc).  then your installers all look the same.  A 
modified openbsd install script with the boxbackup utilities included 
and the necessary libraries to make it work.  this would make for  a 
bigger image, but for net installs media is no limitation.  then it 
would be feasable to automate system installs with boxbackup.

I'm probably babbling by now.  Good night.


> My feeling is that any complete backup tool should be able to back up 
> a complete system. However, Boxbackup and it's users seem to be 
> interested in just user-file backups, not system backups.
> I've mentioned some thoughts on complex features that are beyond the 
> scope of current BoxBackup plans, but I think the ability to do a real 
> system backup is important.
> Are other BoxBackup users/developers not interested in system backups?
> Or is it just a low-priority?
> Joe Krahn
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