I’ve been trying to find backup programs for 2 different situations, and I have yet to find anything that is just right. I’d like to draw on the accumulated wisdom of community for some suggestions. I have 2 situations where I need a program, and it is quite possible that a different program is best for each situations. I’ll tell you the situations, then what I’ve tried so far.
The first situation is that I am the volunteer sysadmin at my son’s small school. The school’s needs are quite modest, and the system needs to just work with minimal attention. I’m going to take an old PC with 2 40GB disks set up as Raid 1 and install Debian on that. I was planning to put an old DVD burner into the machine for backup purposes. This machine will store home directories for half a dozen people or so, along with some shared files. Client machines will be one Windows XP Home machine for QuickBooks, and several PC’s running BeatrIX from CD for web browsing, email and access to files on the server. At a minimum, I’d be ok with something that just backed up the shared files and home directories (probably < 1GB of data). A program that allowed the server or windows machine to be reinstalled from bare metal might be handy down the road. What I visualize is something that takes periodic full backups, with daily incremental backups in between, and writes them out to the DVD. Every now and then it sends someone an email when it needs a new DVD. I want something that requires minimal attention, because I won't be around to tend to it, and the people that are around have minimal technical skills. School budgets being what they are, the monetary cost of this solution should be as low as possible. If can use our educational or non-profit status to our advantage, we can do so. The second situation is my personal server, running Debian. I've got a 40GB disk with material that changes moderately frequently. I would also like to backup Windows XP and Linux machines on my home network, and these have anywhere from 10 - 200 GB of data, but generally toward the smaller side, and their files don't change very frequently. I was very happy with Retrospect in the past. Unfortunately, it only runs on Windows. I am hoping to find something similar on Linux now that I've switched my file server to Linux I historically used a single DLT drive, but that ate a tape and died recently. I do have an Overland DLT tape library, but it is extremely loud, designed for server rooms and not offices, but it is probably the device best suited for the backup. I'd considering using a DVD drive. Full backups would be a nuisance, but lots of incrementals would fit on a DVD, particularly if compressed. Because I'm around daily, the backup program can require more interaction than the first situation. I'm happy if I can get the backup going for free, but I'd be willing to pay up to about $250 if I had to to buy a reliable and easy to use system. I've looked at the Administration/Backup page on linux.org, and I've looked closely at Bacula, DAR and backup2l. For the first situation, I liked backup2l's notion of multiple levels, but found that to restore a single file could require reassembling a single huge archive because the program is unaware that the backup archive has been split to fit on DVDs. So backup2l is out. DAR is better about that, but it just writes files out to disk and doesn't have anything to do with writing files out to DVD and managing the media. I could write my own code to handle this, but I'm hard pressed to find the time. I'm hoping to find something that integrates everything. For the second situation, Backula might work if I use the tape library because it seems more oriented toward tape drives than DVDs. If I don't use the tape library, then I don't have any better idea than I do for the first situation. I'd be happy to get pointers to specific programs, commercial or non-commercial, that I should consider. Thanks.