Data backup for individual hosts

Going Solo

© Lead Image © Kirsty Pargeter, Fotolia.com

© Lead Image © Kirsty Pargeter, Fotolia.com

Article from Issue 161/2014
Author(s):

Sometimes you just need to back up a few directories on a computer, not administer a distributed installation or an array of disks. Areca Backup gives you hassle-free backups of individual hard drives.

Creating a safe copy of a few directories is governed by laws different from those that apply to backing up complete data centers. The tools need to be especially easy to use, without complicated configuration files or deeply nested menus. The usual space-saving techniques, such as incremental backups, should be available. Pre-and post-backup scripts should be able to stop applications like databases during the backup. Several backup versions need to be archived, and encryption and compression would not be bad.

The backup should be capable of restoring to different hardware; but, for the sake of simplicity, it would be preferable not to store the data in a proprietary format, which would necessitate reinstalling the operating system and backup software in the case of disaster. LVM or RAID configurations should not be an obstacle. File permissions need to remain intact, and the backup should not trip over links or named pipes. Finally, you should also be able to check easily whether everything went as desired.

Treat

One open source tool that satisfies all these requirements is Areca Backup [1]. Beyond the features already listed, Areca has a few more treats to offer. For example, you can include or exclude source files in or from the backup and filter by various criteria. Constructs with AND, OR, and NOT are allowed. Backups can be simulated, so that you can estimate in advance what would reach the backup disk, and to what extent, with the given settings.

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