JP Vossen on 5 Dec 2009 00:00:09 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Self-hosted online backups?

> Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2009 17:16:41 +0000
> From: "brent timothy saner" <>
> Subject: Re: [PLUG] Self-hosted online backups?
> Has anyone suggested boxbackup yet? Client/server model, key-based
> authentication and encryption, client-side compression iirc (to save
> on b/w), and best of all: free/opensource.

This is a totally new one on me, and it looks like we may have a winner! 
  It's in the Lenny, Hardy and Jaunty repos, but not Etch.  (Grrrr, now 
I really need to upgrade that Etch server.  Oh wait, it's in  I found the 
web site and docs oddly laid out, but these are great pages:

Cons are:
	SSL certs are a PITA (I'd rather have used SSH)
	Client and server daemon (not ad hoc)
	Requires ports opened in FW

Pros outweigh the cons since:
	It looks like it does everything I want!
	Can do more-or-less real-time or traditional snapshots

Duplicity was close, but it is not very flexible about retention, it 
doesn't do multiple versions efficiently and it doesn't handle hardlinks.

AFAICT Duplicity has a full backup and linked incremental backups and 
that's it.  It "fills" the backups for you, so you don't need to worry 
about where the data physically comes from during a restore, but 
separate full backups don't seem to be linked.  So it seems like you 
either do 1 full and an "infinite" number of incremetals, which will get 
out of hand, or you periodically do fulls which result in lots of wasted 

I'm a little more hazy about the multiple versions part, but if I 
remember right it doesn't really do them, you'd only get that from 
multiple full backups, as above.

And it doesn't do hardlinks, which is not that big a deal except I'd 
considered using Duplicity to backup my BackupPC pool offsite.  That 
would have been great, except it's big and it's mostly tens or hundreds 
of thousands of hardlinks, and making good copies--offsite or 
otherwise--is apparently really hard to do, which I hadn't previously known.

I don't know about hardlinks, but Box Backup will keep all the old 
versions of things until it hits its account limit (set server-side) 
then it'll start cleanup.  But versions are diffs against current going 
back in time, so they are small.

It's early yet but this looks very promising, thanks Brent!

PS--Thanks also to everyone else who commented.  I have another message 
in draft, but it got pretty big (who, me?) and now needs to be updated a 
lot more.
JP Vossen, CISSP            |:::======|
My Account, My Opinions     |=========|
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