Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Networking > Remote backup

Remote backup
Thread Tools
skeates
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jul 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 2, 2008, 11:55 AM
 
Hi all.

I have an office network with an OSX server running 10.x. I have a few people bassed outside the office as in other countries that need to access the data on the server. They currently can, but what I need to do now is implement a back up scheme. One that will involeve remote back up via the web.

There will be some money spending involved and probably a new server purchased.

The server is currently backed up with retrospect onto a weekly and a daily backup.

The data on the server is highly sensitive data so needs to be secure at all times and the backups need to be as well.

I have an idea of what needs doing, but am just after other peoples ideas and suggestions as how to go about it. I think server is in order and probably a new ISP acount with a static IP and decent bandwith.

Any suggestions are welcome.
Thanks
     
legacyb4
Mac Elite
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Vancouver
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 2, 2008, 12:18 PM
 
Take a look at CrashPlan – Automatic Offsite Backup for their business edition.

I'm in the process of testing out their offering and so far, it's pretty good.
Macbook (Black) C2D/250GB/3GB | G5/1.6 250GBx2/2.0GB
Free Mobile Ringtone & Games Uploader | Flickr | Twitter
     
Sherman Homan
Mac Elite
Join Date: Sep 2006
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 2, 2008, 12:39 PM
 
If you are going to "roll your own" then you don't really need a server. Depending on the amount of data you can use a left over Mac capable of running 10.4 and a Retrospect server backup license. A speedy new Mac isn't necessary because the flow of data across your ISP connection will be the bottleneck. I would definitely get a static IP, services like dynDNS work pretty well, but you are looking for bullet proof with a backup system.
Retrospect will find your server, backup your chosen data points and encrypt it.
     
skeates  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jul 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 2, 2008, 02:02 PM
 
This is for a client of mine. A new server is defiantly needed. They have an old G4 blue machine running 10.X it has already had a hard drive failure. Lucky I managed to recover it.

Crash plan looks interesting.

I am a bit hesitant to go the retrospect way. I have been using it for a while, but I always find it a head ache. Although saying that will retrospect do backup via the net? I have not tried that and the version they are using is 5. I think there is a newer version 6 which I hope fixes all the bugs I seem to come across?

Thanks for the advice.
     
Sherman Homan
Mac Elite
Join Date: Sep 2006
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 2, 2008, 05:17 PM
 
Yeah, it is version 6.1 and then something really weird, like: 6.1.138. I have always had good luck with Retrospect. It absolutely will backup encrypted data across Teh IntraTubes in the middle of the night. CrashPlan looks good too, but a backup machine on a static IP in an off-site office or even a house has its appeal.
     
besson3c
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: yes
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 2, 2008, 05:22 PM
 
I don't understand what you mean by remote backup via the web, but if it were me I'd just enable SSH on another machine/NAS/whatever, and setup rsync to backup your machine. We backup 6 TB of data every night via rsync.
     
Simon
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: in front of my Mac
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 3, 2008, 03:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
...if it were me I'd just enable SSH on another machine/NAS/whatever, and setup rsync to backup your machine.
QFT.

You can put the whole thing in a nice little script, use SSH public key authentication, and let cron/launchd run the whole thing automatically.

You can then put this script on any of your coworkers' Macs and it will back their stuff up automatically in the background without them even noticing. It's simple to do, very reliable, and it's absolutely free.

If you need help with rsync, SSH public key authentication, or cron/launchd this board is the right place to ask.
     
skeates  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jul 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 3, 2008, 06:29 AM
 
SSH and RSYNC were my first thoughts.

I have played a bit with rsync granted this was a while ago. I wanted to make rsync only back up what files change or are created. I also wanted it to overwrite old files.

For instance file "test.txt" is created and backed up. That day it is edited. Rsync should now recopy that file and overwrite the old "test.txt"

For some resone this became a random and did not do it every time. I could have been doing something wrong not sure.

The other problem I have is schedualling stuff. I played a bit with cron jobs, setting them up manually and using apps like cronx. For some reason this just does not seem to work for me. Again I could be doing something wrong.

Any help with the two would be greatly apreciated. Rsync would be the ideal solution for me next being retrospect. I think that I might go with crashplan.

Crashplan seem quite simple and stright forward. I will not have acccess to some of these machines that will be backing up to the server so getting a user to set up retrospec or a script via a cron job does not bring bunndles of joy to my thoughts.

As I said if anyone has a decent rsync script they would not mind passing on that would be great as I would definatly make use of it. As well as that help with the Cron jobs. As far as I am aware 10 to 10.2 handles cron jobs one way and then 10.2 up to 10.4 another then 10.5 gets rid of cron and uses something else.

Thanks for all the advice it is very usefull.
     
besson3c
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: yes
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 3, 2008, 10:35 AM
 
There are rsync flags to base decisions about what has been changed based on file size, date, etc. If you had changed a single or equal number of characters in a file and there was a clock skew, something like this would confuse rsync. Have you checked to make sure your clocks have been set correctly? Otherwise, rsync should do exactly what you want...

You don't really need an rsync script, just an rsync cronjob:

For pushing data to your backup server:

rsync -av --delete /path/to/source/directory [email protected]:/path/to/destionation/directory

For pulling data from your workstation:

rsync -av --delete [email protected]:/path/to/destionation/directory /path/to/source/directory

Setup your public key authentication, decide when you want this cronjob to run, and you are done.


I personally would not recommend some point and click application to manage these backups in this case, as I prefer direct control over how these backups work with no unnecessary layers of abstraction that could go wrong. If there is a problem, I don't want to be hunting through support forums to find out whether there is some weird undisclosed bug in that version that is silently failing with no logs or way of tracing this problem until it is too late. I can guarantee you that rsync does exactly what you tell it to without a problem. It's simple, absolutely reliable, and scales wonderfully. When there is a problem, it will tell you about it - no obfuscation.

I've been in contact and/or interviewed for other enterprise level/mission critical type job environments, and I know that rsync is commonly used in environments other than ours too. It is definitely tried and tested. rsync is included in pretty much every Unix distro (including OS X), it is pretty much a standard component of the arsenal of any competent Unix sys admin. It works.

If you enable Postfix or another MTA on your machine running the job you can have error notifications mailed to you. If the machine you wish to run the job on is a laptop or some machine that is not always awake, look into anacron. This simple shim will allow you to schedule jobs that run base on time intervals rather than absolute times/dates (i.e. if you want a backup every 7 days, an anacron job will look every x number of minutes to see if 7 days have elapsed, and if so will initiate the backup).
     
stukdog
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 3, 2008, 10:34 PM
 
Perhaps a mini in a data center would do the trick?

We have a lot of people who will put a mac mini in our data center and back up to it. The primary benefit is a nice backup in a secure location. The secondary benefit is if your day-to-day server goes down, you'd have one in a data center ready to go. Fast and reachable from anywhere.

(Disclosure: I'm the owner of Macminicolo.net....but even if I wasn't I'd still recommend it for your situation. )
Macminicolo.net - Your mini. Our data center. The perfect low-cost server.
     
skeates  (op)
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jul 2007
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Apr 4, 2008, 04:53 AM
 
I think the mac mini idea is great. I have seen your website before and thought that is a brilliant solution. I will definatly pitch that to my client.

regarding the rsync you raised an intresting question in regards to the times on the files being out. How would you get around that if the machines backuping up were in multiple loacations (they travel alot country to country)? If your time zone went back then the new file on your system would technicaly be an older than the one on the server (backup device).

I think I am coming to a conclusion of what I am going to do now. I think I might go for the crashplan solution, on the systems they I can not get access to now. I think I will have a play and get rsync up and running for all the machines I can get working.

As soon as I get access to a remote machine I will then move them from crashplan to rsync.
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:34 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,