When bad things happen to good Amanda backup servers

Ensuring the Availability of the Amanda Backup Server

For users of Amanda Enterprise, we recommend using the Disaster Recovery (DR) Option for Amanda Enterprise. This option ensures all of your backup, configuration and catalog data is copied to the server running on your DR site.

After purchasing a new tape library and evaluating several options for backup software you finally designed a backup strategy for your organization. You have spent considerable time on research and testing, you have set up your Amanda backups to reliably run according to your backup policy. The Amanda backup server has gone through a couple of dump cycles and after several tests you are confident you can reliably restore files from your backups. Your data recovery procedures are in a safe place, and you have accomplished what you had in mind ... or have you?

What happens if your backup server is compromised? To comprehensively protect against data loss, a well-executed backup plan must provide coverage for all types of situations and your Amanda backup server itself must be easily recoverable. You should anticipate and test the disaster recovery of your backup server several times under different scenarios.

That’s just perfectly normal paranoia. Everyone in the Universe has that Slartibartfast in “The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy”

Since your Amanda backup server protects all the rest of your systems, that backup server could be considered as the most important server in your organization and should have more than one layer of protection.

Amanda depends on the configuration files to control backup media, to calculate dump cycles, to know exactly what is to be backed up, to send email to the correct address, where to find a file for restore, and for other information relevant to your environment.

The Amanda curinfo and index directories contain information that is updated at the time of every backup. If you have followed the suggested in Amanda documentation configuration steps, the /etc/amandates file, the /etc/dumpdates file, and the /etc/amanda and /var/lib/amanda directories contain everything needed to return a default Amanda server installation to your individual setup. To implement multi-layered protection to the Amanda backup server, we recommend using Amanda backups and the standard operating system tool, rsync.

chart amanda replicate

To download the rest of the white paper about ensuring availability of your backup server by using Amanda backup and rsync and to have access to other valuable Amanda resources just register, free of charge, to the Zmanda Network.

Cycorp has been using Amanda for over 7 years now. In that time, we have scaled from backing up a few Gigs to a DLT 2000XT drive to over 2 Terabytes with an SDLT600-based autoloader. Amanda has always scaled with us, and I have no doubt it always will...

Charles Smith
Cycorp Inc.,
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