Backup schedule - SUN

This is a discussion on Backup schedule - SUN ; Hi all, I need some advice on setting up a schedule for running backups on a solaris 9 server that has regular partitions for traditional OS directories such as /etc, /usr, /var and so on, and a /data mirror array ...

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Thread: Backup schedule

  1. Backup schedule

    Hi all,

    I need some advice on setting up a schedule for running backups on a
    solaris 9 server that has regular partitions for traditional OS
    directories such as /etc, /usr, /var and so on, and a /data mirror
    array created with solaris volume manager.

    I have an external DAT72 drive attached to the server which uses tapes
    that can hold 36GB uncompressed. I don't have experience running
    backups and I'm not sure how to tackle this. The tapes can't hold all
    of the system data since there are 3 disks, 76 GB each, 2 of them make
    the mirror array.

    I plan to use ufsdump/ufsrestore. Maybe make incremental backups on the
    week and full backups on weekends. How many tapes should I buy?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Billy


  2. Re: Backup schedule

    In article <1134160299.901870.136940@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups. com>,
    billypg@gmail.com wrote:

    > Hi all,
    >
    > I need some advice on setting up a schedule for running backups on a
    > solaris 9 server that has regular partitions for traditional OS
    > directories such as /etc, /usr, /var and so on, and a /data mirror
    > array created with solaris volume manager.
    >
    > I have an external DAT72 drive attached to the server which uses tapes
    > that can hold 36GB uncompressed. I don't have experience running
    > backups and I'm not sure how to tackle this. The tapes can't hold all
    > of the system data since there are 3 disks, 76 GB each, 2 of them make
    > the mirror array.
    >
    > I plan to use ufsdump/ufsrestore. Maybe make incremental backups on the
    > week and full backups on weekends. How many tapes should I buy?
    >
    > Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Billy


    First some questions:

    What are you using to do the backups? A 3rd-party backup tool or
    ufsdump or something else? I'm not sure that ufsdump can do
    multi-volume backups from a crontab. You may have to run multi-volume
    backups manually or use a 3rd-party tool that can do this.

    When are the backups performed and by whom? Unless you buy some sort of
    tape library, you'll have to use someone to change tapes, regardless of
    the software you use. It's your call on if it's cost effective to buy a
    tape library or hire a college student weekends or have you come in on
    weekends to change tapes (lucky you).

    How many tapes does a full backup use? How long does it take to do a
    full backup? Assume all data is going on tape in non-compressed format
    as a worst-case senario.

    Does anything need to be shutdown prior to running backups, e.g. a DBMS?
    This might affect the "backup window" around which backups need to get
    done.

    How often is a full backup done? How long do you need to keep this
    data? Suppose the accounting department needs data restored from last
    month's files? last year's files? 3 years ago for an audit?

    How much data changes between incremental backups?

    What's the maximum exposure you're willing to take on lost data? 1 day?
    1 week? Anything less than 1 day really needs something else to do the
    backups, like a Network Appliances Filer that can take "snapshots" of
    changed files periodically.

    What happens if you need to restore a file from backups? How would you
    do that? How about restoring the entire system? What would you need to
    do that? This is the part that 3rd-party tools, which keep a catalog of
    the files on each backup, can help a lot. But saving the index for each
    backup takes up disk space. The longer you keep tapes, the more space
    you'll need to store the index.

    What happens if the tape drive breaks or eats a tape? Is it on service
    contract or how would you fix it?

    To come up with an effective backup scheme, you really need to know the
    how much data you're backing up, how often, exposure, and with what.
    You haven't even begun to answer those questions, so you get the default
    response:

    That depends.

    --
    DeeDee, don't press that button! DeeDee! NO! Dee...




  3. Re: Backup schedule

    This is not such a critical server, it basically collects network
    statistics, so I decided to only backup some files on the array that
    are actually database dumps and would be used to rebuild the database
    to a state as it was the day before which is acceptable.

    Let's say something happens to the array, then I would have to
    reinstall the app (which installs the database) restore the most recent
    dump and load it.

    But if something happens to the disk that holds the OS files and the
    array is fine, I would reinstall Solaris on a new disk. What should I
    backup from there that would allow me to mount the array after
    reinstalling Solaris? The database replicas are also on the disks that
    make the array.

    My guess is that I don't need to backup anything and if something
    happens to the disk that holds the OS I reinstall solaris and from SMC
    I "attach" the array using the existing database replicas on the
    remaining disks. right?

    Thanks

    Billy


  4. Re: Backup schedule

    In article <1134421649.191339.52050@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.c om>,
    billypg@gmail.com wrote:

    > This is not such a critical server, it basically collects network
    > statistics, so I decided to only backup some files on the array that
    > are actually database dumps and would be used to rebuild the database
    > to a state as it was the day before which is acceptable.
    >
    > Let's say something happens to the array, then I would have to
    > reinstall the app (which installs the database) restore the most recent
    > dump and load it.
    >
    > But if something happens to the disk that holds the OS files and the
    > array is fine, I would reinstall Solaris on a new disk. What should I
    > backup from there that would allow me to mount the array after
    > reinstalling Solaris? The database replicas are also on the disks that
    > make the array.
    >
    > My guess is that I don't need to backup anything and if something
    > happens to the disk that holds the OS I reinstall solaris and from SMC
    > I "attach" the array using the existing database replicas on the
    > remaining disks. right?
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > Billy


    Willing to risk your job on that? My guess is you're responsible for
    any and all of it. If you can't back it up, you're at risk. Period. I
    once had a boss that took that literally. If it's connected to the
    system, it _must_ be backed up, regardless of how many disclaimer
    documents a group VP signs or if they just need storage for a short-term
    project or whatever. If it's on a machine and in use, it must be backed
    up. If it can't be, then it's not brought on line.

    You need to come up with a backup methodology and all contingencies that
    will allow you to recover from any disaster:

    - deleted file from yesterday, last week, last month, a year ago
    - lost data disk
    - lost system disk
    - lost entire system
    - lost datacenter
    (adjust for your recovery requirements--check with your boss)

    You haven't specified what you're using for a volume manager, but if
    it's Veritas, you'll need hardcopy to recreate the volumes. It's been a
    while since I used VxVM, but at the time, it didn't store the
    configuration on the filesystems anywhere they could be backed up. They
    were written into a private slice just for VxVM's use on the volume
    which holds rootdg.

    If you're using Disksuite or SVM, I'd still keep a copy of the volume
    and disk layout in the box next to all the licenses and software CDs you
    need to restore a system from bare metal.

    Another thing to consider is that restores can take 3X+ the backup time,
    depending on the number and size of files. Keep that in mind. Early on
    in eBay's life, they had several outages where they failed to take this
    into consideration and they had a couple very public lengthy downtimes.

    Your patchwork approach to backups has me uneasy. It must suit your
    site's needs but they flag a warning in my head. If data on this system
    isn't important, why bother backing it up at all? The last thing you
    want is to say to a user or your boss is "We don't back that up. It
    wasn't important." Tape drives are cheap (relative to your time and the
    risk of data loss). Buy enough to cover backing up everything at once.

    --
    DeeDee, don't press that button! DeeDee! NO! Dee...




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