[OpenAFS] Announcing BackupAFS 1.0.0rc1

Stephen Joyce stephen@physics.unc.edu
Fri, 12 Nov 2010 15:40:44 -0500 (EST)

AFS community,

I'd like to announce the general availability of BackupAFS 1.0.0rc1. The 
project page is located at <http://www.physics.unc.edu/~stephen/BackupAFS/> 
which includes a link to the sourceforge download site 
<https://sourceforge.net/projects/backupafs/>. Feedback is encouraged. If 
no issues are found with rc1, the release will likely occur in 1-2 weeks.

BackupAFS is a high-performance, enterprise-grade system for backing up 
OpenAFS volumes to a server's disk. This is a strategy commonly known as 
"disk to disk", or "disk2disk" backup, and thanks to the low cost and high 
performance of modern hard disks, is both fast and economical. BackupAFS is 
highly configurable and easy to install and maintain.

Given the ever decreasing cost of disks and raid systems, it is now 
practical and cost effective to store backups on a (remote) server's local 
disk or network storage. For some sites this might be the complete backup 
solution. For other sites additional permanent archives could be created by 
periodically backing up the server to tape.

BackupAFS features include:

  o Optional compression provides additional reductions in storage 
(around 35-40%, depending on your data).

  o A powerful http/cgi user interface allows administrators to view the 
current status, edit configuration, add/delete volumesets, view log files, 
and allows users to initiate and cancel backups and browse and restore 
volumes from backups.

  o No additional software is needed. BackupAFS uses the OpenAFS 'vos' 
binary and stores its files in standard 'vos dump' format.

  o Flexible restore options. Volume dump files can be downloaded from 
any backup directly from the CGI interface. Volumes may also be restored 
directly into AFS, overwriting any existing volume of the same name or with 
an optional extension (.restore for instance) to prevent namespace 

  o Flexible configuration parameters allow a configurable number of 
multiple backups to be performed in parallel, specification of which 
volumes to backup, various schedules for full and incremental backups, 
schedules for email notifications to users and admins and so on. 
Configuration parameters can be set system-wide or also on a per-volumeset 

  o Admins (and optionally users) may be sent periodic email reminders if 
their volumeset has not recently been backed up. Email content, timing and 
policies are configurable.

  o BackupAFS is Open Source software hosted by SourceForge.

BackupAFS represents the next iteration of the project which started as 
BackupPC4AFS. Besides the features mentioned above, major distinguishing 
characteristics from the older software include:

  o "Unmangled" data storage. BackupAFS no longer uses the BackupPC 
"mangled" style of file storage, allowing for easier browsing of backups 
via the CGI interface or via the CLI.

  o No longer uses the AFS "backup" database for storage of volumeset 
definitions. Volume sets and child volume entries are stored within 
BackupAFS and are editable via the CGI interface.

  o Accurate reporting of file sizes and space saved by compression.

  o Better error checking and reporting and more sensible defaults 
appropriate for AFS. It is no longer necessary to hack config.pl. The path 
to the vos binary and arguments passed to the vos xfer mechanism are 
configurable via the CGI.

  o Support for delegating "ownership" of some or all volumesets to junior 
admins or power users (who can edit the backup schedule or run dumps or 
restores for their volumesets, but cannot change the volumeset 

  o Better AFS-specific documentation.

  o Lots of superfluous code and documentation useful only to BackupPC was 
removed. This represents a true fork of the code. More cleanup is needed 
and will occur in later versions.

For users of BackupPC4AFS, scripts are included which ease the migration 

BackupAFS_migrate_compress_volsets - to schedule compression of older 

BackupAFS_migrate_populate_VolSet-List - to export volumeset definitions 
from the AFS backup database and import them to BackupAFS.

BackupAFS_migrate_unmangle_datadir - to "unmangle" the file and directory 
names created by BackupPC4AFS.

Cheers, Stephen
"If I'd asked my customers what they wanted, they'd have said a faster horse."
 			-- Henry Ford