Minimalist SysAdmin has written an excellent blog on his reasons to like Amanda. I am particularly thrilled to read his experience on robustness of Amanda. Amanda project seeks to make life of an administrator as easy as possible. Here is some of the results of work done by Amanda developers in action (and this only makes #6 on this list!):
6. Amanda is extremely robust against error situations. It typically does the right thing, and administrator intervention is only required when it really makes sense. For example, I had a tape drive failure several months ago. For a variety of reasons, it was out of service for a couple of days. My attention was focused on the tape drive, and I really didn’t want to have to think about a lot of other things. Amanda was scheduled to run daily backups. At the scheduled time, Amanda surveyed the situation and made an operational decision. No tape drive is available. Backups must be run. Holding disk space is available. Holding disk space should be used conservatively, since it cant be flushed to tape. So Amanda dropped back and did incremental backups on all the disk list entries and saved it all to the holding disk. It sent me an appropriate status report with a notice about the tape failure at the top. This went on for a couple of days. Then, when I got the drive repaired and reinstalled, Amanda said, “Oh Joy”, scheduled an appropriate mix of fulls and incrementals, and flushed everything out to tape. I never had to say anything to Amanda during this episode that spanned a couple of days. It just worked.