Archive for September, 2007

Minimalist SysAdmin’s top 10 reasons to like Amanda

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

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.

ZRM for MySQL 1.2.1 released

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Community version 1.2.1 of Zmanda Recovery Manager (ZRM) for MySQL, a robust and intelligent solution for backup and recovery of MySQL databases is available for download at Zmanda downloads page.

Changes in this release:

  1. Bug fixes
  2. Source tar ball (including debian package files)
  3. Help from ZRM online sites

For documentation see, ZRM for MySQL users manual. Please use bugzilla to report bugs and feature requests. If you have questions or feedback, please post them in forums.

Accelerate Amanda Backups with Hardware Boards

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Amanda Enterprise uses plug-in model to enable different compression and encryption methods for backing up data. Amanda’s flexible configuration allows users to match compression/encryption method to the data being backed up. Compression of backup images reduces the network bandwidth as well as backup media space requirement. Backup encryption is essential for security of backup images.

Hardware compression and encryption cards provide significant advantages compared to software methods. Software methods use lot of CPU resources in the server or client depending on where the compression/encryption is performed. The hardware acceleration cards make the backups faster with a reduction in use of CPU resources.

Indra Networks, a leading developer of hardware accelerator cards for data compression and encryption, have integrated Amanda Enterprise with their hardware accelerator boards. A white paper describing how to use Amanda enterprise with hardware compression and encryption cards is available in Zmanda Network. The paper also provides backup performance measurements with the hardware acceleration cards.