[Box Backup] Backuping inversely

Per Reedtz Thomsen boxbackup@fluffy.co.uk
Fri, 25 Jan 2008 23:10:26 -0800

On 1/25/08 8:10 PM, Pablo Fernandez wrote:
> Hi
> On Fri, 2008-01-25 at 23:18 +0000, Chris Wilson wrote:
>> Why do you want to keep a schedule in the first place? Why not just let
>> the clients stream backups at their own speed, when they want to? The
>> server should be perfectly capable of handling that.
> This would allow you to set and manage backup policies from a
> centralized place. Think bacula director. Think for example in the case
> where backup is modeled as SaaS and clients are the one that are not
> supposed to dictate their policy. Given a scenario like this where SLAs
> are subject to contracts a central management or some sort of control is
> quite important.
I think the philosophy of Box Backup is somewhat counter to the 
centralized management strategy. The basic principle of Box (IMO at 
least) is that clients will backup when they have something to back up, 
not when someone tells them to. If a desktop machine is rebooted while 
it's backing up, with Box it will simply pick up where it left off when 
it comes back to life. If you were centrally managing this type of 
backup, you could be in a situation where the backup would have to be 
invalidated, and not usable to restore from; and of course since the 
backup window for that machine was passed there would potentially be no 
backup for that day. Box is designed to handle these types of faults in 

The centralized backup strategy seems to me to be much more oriented 
towards data centers, with servers that are expected to be up 24x7, and 
where you are backing up databases, etc. In those cases you clearly need 
to know when you can expect to have the database backup in a safe place 
off site, no question about it. But that is a very different set of 
requirements from the reliable backup of PCs.

Both approaches are completely valid, and have their place, in networks 
large and small, and while I think it would be possible (maybe even 
desirable) to build an extension to Box that could do this, it is a big 
undertaking, and would require significant effort.

I agree with Chris that I would probably not use the central management, 
because of the type of clients that I have connecting to my servers. 95% 
of the machines that I back up are remote (on DSL or WiMax connections) 
at the business offices of small businesses in my local area. The fact 
that Box simply connects when there is something to do, is perfect for 
backing up PCs. For servers, I use bbackupctl sync to get a scheduled 

I certainly don't want this diatribe to sound like I am opposed in some 
way to adding these features to Box, but from a selfish perspective, I 
would rather have more features added on the 
back-up-a-PC/laptop-in-a-reliable-way front...

My $0.02,

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