[Box Backup] How to get geographic store redundancy right now?

Per Thomsen boxbackup@fluffy.co.uk
Tue, 21 Feb 2006 23:27:57 -0800

On 2/21/06 10:28 PM, E.W. Peter Jalajas wrote:
> Hi all,
> Maybe this is the wrong time, with all the development work going on,
> but I wanted to get some pointers for how best to, right now, provide
> geographic store redundancy, that is, keeping reasonably similar
> versions of the client data in at least 2 locations physically
> separated by many miles/kilometers.
> I found some conceptual discussions with this google:
> http://www.google.com/search?q=+redundancy+OR+%22multiple+stores%22+site%3Alists.warhead.org.uk
> and in the wiki:
> http://boxbackup.hostworks.ca/index.php/Future_design_changes#8._Server_Redundancy_.28grabbed_from_message_by_Ben_on_9.2F24.2F04.29
> But, I'm wondering what I should do right now.  
> All of my outside clients are on Windows (my boxes are mixed Windows
> and GNU/Linux, mostly Ubuntu).  
> I'm not sure at all, but I guess that the best option right now is just
> rsyncing the store to a remote server, as frequently as practical,
> would work reasonably well (secure, reliable, fairly network and
> storage efficient, convenient, fairly easily restorable).  
> Is it silly to ask, to give the client user a little more control than
> the rsync method above, if it is possible (with maybe 5 or 10 lines of
> one-off code tweaking) to run 2 boxbackup services on the Windows
> client, pointing each service to separate bbackupd.conf files wherein
> the clients are pointed to geographically separated StoreHostname's?  
> (Separately, I thought it'd be neat to be able to, someday, have a
> bbackupd.conf line like:
>      StoreHostname = eastcoast.domain.com  westcoast.domain.com
> and have the single bbackupd service make best efforts to backup to
> both of them, but I presume that would take quite a bit of coding.)
To me, the problem with this approach is that you'll be doubling the
amount of bandwidth bbackupd is using on the client side, to give you
redundancy. If you have (as I do) geographically dispersed users on
limited (DSL, or wireless) upload bandwidth, this would not be an ideal
solution. For folks in an office setting, with fast connections to other
offices, your idea makes sense.

I personally prefer the rsync scenario (no additional requirements on
the clients), and am working on getting that up and running. Planning on
4 syncs a day from the main Box server to a geographically remote
server, which simply holds a copy of the store.
For my clients (most not very sophisticated IT-wise), this is perfectly
acceptable, and a solution that doubled the bandwidth use on their DSL
line would possibly be annoying to them... DSL lines (around here, at
least) are capped on their upload capacity (to between 128kbps and maybe

I can see a more sophisticated end user wanting to be *really* sure that
the files were backed up, and secure, on an ongoing basis. I don't know
how many of that type of user there are out there.


Per Reedtz Thomsen | Reedtz Consulting, LLC | F: 209 883 4119
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