How BackupPC Works

The BackupPC mannequin has one person per consumer. This matches the utilization sample of the sort
of setting it was particularly designed for: backing up a number of customers’ PCs (therefore
the title). This could sometimes be the person who owns the information on the machine. In
the case of a giant file server, it ought to be an administrator. BackupPC emails the
proprietor if it can’t again up the consumer after a configurable time, and the proprietor can
management restores utilizing the online interface. The next checklist describes how BackupPC
works:
Direct to disk
BackupPC shops all its backups straight on disk. An identical information throughout any listing or consumer are saved solely as soon as, which dramatically reduces the server storage
necessities. These information are saved in a disk pool. Along with the disk pool,
the backups are in a listing tree organized by host, then by backup with exhausting
hyperlinks to the disk pool.
BackupPC additionally has a nightly course of to reclaim house from the disk pool that’s
now not referenced by any backups, which helps preserve the general disk utilization
from rising out of bounds. That is an computerized course of that the administrator doesn’t must configure.
Help for any consumer OS
The server portion of BackupPC is designed to run on a Unix-style system utilizing
Perl and mod_perl below Apache for finest efficiency, however it may be run on any
internet server that helps Perl and operating Perl CGIs. (It does require both mod_
perl or setuid Perl.) The server ought to have a big disk or RAID disk for backup
storage.As for purchasers, nearly any Unix or Unix-like OS will be simply backed up. Most
trendy variations of the industrial Unix variants (Solaris, AIX, IRIX, HP-UX)
have tar, compress, gzip, rsync, and rsh and/or ssh both within the base distribution obtainable on the Net. Different Unix working programs (Linux, FreeBSD,
OpenBSD, NetBSD, Mac OS X) even have these instruments.
Home windows purchasers will be backed up in just a few other ways. If the native coverage
prevents extra software program being loaded, BackupPC can use a part of the
Samba suite (http://www.samba.org) to again up SMB shares on the consumer. If
software program will be put in regionally, then rsync along with the Cygwin device set
(http://www.cygwin.com) can be utilized on the consumer.
Help for native instruments
BackupPC makes use of normal Unix instruments for its duties. This consists of applications akin to
perl, tar, rsync, compress, gzip, bzip2, zip, apache, and samba. This makes porting the server to a brand new OS a lot smoother than making an attempt to port C code. BackupPC
doesn’t use a database or catalog to retailer backup data. As a substitute, it makes use of
the disk tree to retailer this data. Because of this upgrading the working
system of the BackupPC server (or upgrading the BackupPC software itself) is
painless.
Person management of backup/restores by internet interface
The Net is the principle interface for BackupPC. After the preliminary configuration,
there isn’t any must have command-line entry to the server to manage BackupPC. The online interface is written in Perl and has been designed to run both
below mod_perl or regular CGIs operating with setuid Perl. The interface permits
customers to log in and management on-demand backup and restores. The person can request
a one-time backup, a full backup, or an incremental backup. If the person must
recuperate a file, there are just a few choices. Particular person information will be downloaded merely
by deciding on them. Teams of information or directories will be restored again in place, or
the person can obtain the information as a tar file or, if configured, as a ZIP file. The
person has full management over which information or directories to revive and the place to
restore them. A historical past characteristic shows which information modified throughout every backup
in every listing.
Help for DHCP and disconnected purchasers
Since BackupPC’s purchasers are referenced by hostname, if the community being
backed up makes use of DHCP and has dynamic title decision enabled, nothing additional must be performed for the BackupPC server to again up DHCP purchasers. If that is
not the case, and the purchasers are Home windows machines, BackupPC will be configured
to look an tackle pool for the purchasers, finding them by way of their smb hostname.
If the consumer is just not on-line throughout its regular backup interval, the BackupPC server
doesn’t generate an error until a set time period has elapsed for the reason that final
profitable backup. At this level, the server emails the proprietor of the consumer andreminds him to make sure the machine is on the community for a backup. (The server
can even e mail any errors to the administrator.)
Shoppers that stay on a distant LAN will be backed up regionally assuming there may be
community connectivity between the websites. Because of this purchasers related by way of
Digital Personal Community (VPN) will be backed up. If the person doesn’t wish to
again up at that time, a visit to the online GUI can cancel the present backup. Shoppers can even optionally block out instances for no backups to completely repair the
difficulty. BackupPC makes use of ping’s round-trip time to find out whether or not a consumer is on
a distant community, and gained’t again up the machine if the round-trip time is
longer than a configurable setting.
Backup pooling
If many consumers use the identical OS, many duplicated information shall be backed up. Preserving a number of full backups will increase the variety of duplicate information, which will increase
the storage necessities for the server. BackupPC shops a listing tree per consumer backup however checks to see whether or not any file has been saved earlier than from any
consumer. If one has, BackupPC then makes use of a tough hyperlink to level to the prevailing file in
the widespread disk pool, saving a substantial amount of house. As well as, BackupPC can
optionally use compression to save lots of more room. For instance, on a server with
9 purchasers, eight Linux machines, and one Home windows 2000 machine, backing up
solely system configuration and person information, the server has 195 GB backup up earlier than
pooling and compression, however disk utilization is definitely under 40 GB. That is for 2
full backups and two weeks of day by day backups per consumer. Pooling of widespread information
and compression sometimes cut back the server’s disk storage necessities by components of six to eight.
Straightforward per-client configuration
After the administrator has outlined what the location backup insurance policies ought to be, it’s
very straightforward for her to override any configuration choice on a per consumer foundation. This
permits nice flexibility on what, when, and the way to again up a consumer. There are not any
courses of purchasers per se, however this may be achieved by symlinking configurations
for purchasers from a grasp for the “class.

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