[Box Backup] Production use

Ben Summers boxbackup@fluffy.co.uk
Tue, 27 Jan 2004 13:10:01 +0000

On 27 Jan 2004, at 12:38, Eduardo Alvarenga wrote:
>  I'm currently installing a new CVS/Backup server in our corporation.
>  I'm thinking about using boxbackup to replace our poor rsync+scp
>  system. Our boxes are only BSD/Linux based, so no Windows adaptation
>  will be necessary (thank God!). We have about 30 servers, 90%
>  OpenBSD-based.
>  Our system is snapshot-based, where every machine connects to the main
>  backup repository at each time, syncing the files using incremental
>  checks, checksums, preserving symlinks and permissions and backing up
>  on a weeekly-directory basis (rsync's 'backup-dir' option) + regex
>  exclusion of sockets and non-backupeable data.
>  Will boxbackup suit my needs? Any Pros or Cons?

It will be a bit of a change in how your backups work. Instead of 
saying "take a snapshot now" the backup daemon uploads files as it 
notice changes, as long as those changes were made a configurable time 
ago. Future versions will allow a snapshot based approach in addition 
to this behaviour, but for now, you have to be aware that what you 
restore is not going to be what was on the disc at a particular moment 
in time (if you see what I mean). But you will have all your data 
backed up in a timely manner.

Regex exclusion isn't done yet, but is not a big job. If you wanted to 
use this seriously, then I'll put it in as a priority item.

Hard links are not handled (multiple copies of the same data would be 
made). Symlinks and UNIX attributes are. Checksums are intrinsic to the 

You get RAID on your backup server very cheaply and easily if you put 
in multiples of three discs.

You probably need a less powerful machine to run the backup server.

>  For the community: What are your impressions about boxbackup? How
>  stable is it until now?
I am taking the very conservative and cautious view that it is not 
ready for production machines, as it simply hasn't had enough testing. 
However, I would be very glad if people would test it, but I do not 
feel I can currently recommend using it as your only means of backup.

However, I am working hard to get to a stage where I can recommend it's 
use. It would help me enormously if you would consider running it in 
parallel with your existing backup systems, and let me know how it 
works out.