Thursday, April 27, 2006

Reliable Backup

Currently, I use a combination of cron, tar, ftp, and some of my own custom scripts to run backup jobs between my company's two offices. Sadly, the data in one office has become so big that it's rarely succesfully transferred to the other office. Consequently, we end up relying on the local backup machine instead of both local and remote backups.

Today on Slashdot, I saw an article about Cleversafe. Cleversafe seeks to build a grid of backup computers in any number of locations and slice-n-dice the data all over the place. What's great, though, is that you can rebuild the data from slightly more than half of the machines on the grid. It would also distribute the load of the data transfers between several different systems.

So, in essence, we could use home DSL-connected systems, workstations at the office, servers at the colo facility, and who knows what else to store backups. Not only would this fix my remote backup woes, but it would also offer a viable option for local mailbox backup.

As of now, I haven't had a chance to test the software, but it looks like it comes to the Open Source market via a commercial company. Hopefully that means it's fairly well tested. Regardless, it still needs Windows and Mac OS X support to make it a universal alternative. As it is now, I could run it on my FreeBSD RAID system which acts as a backup to a NAS and distribute the backup across several systems.

Definitely worth a look and a try...



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