[OpenAFS] Announcing BackupAFS 1.0.0 availability

Stephen Joyce stephen@physics.unc.edu
Mon, 22 Nov 2010 13:48:48 -0500 (EST)

AFS community,

I'd like to announce the general availability of BackupAFS 1.0.0. There 
were two release candidates and the changes since rc1 were minor:

- Fixed a display issue when browsing backups.
- Added the migration scripts to the list of binaries which the installer 
script actually installs.
- Cleaned up the docs a bit more.

The project page is located at <http://BackupAFS.sourceforge.net/> which 
includes screenshots and a link to the download site 
<https://sourceforge.net/projects/backupafs/>. Feedback is encouraged.

[Those of you who read the rc1 announcement may wish to skip the rest.]

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 

  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 collisions.

  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 basis.

  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 

  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 definitions).

  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 backups.

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