Remote backup for clueless n00bs
I finally convinced my boss that we needed to move beyond half-assed shared hosting companies if we're going to be doing this web hosting thing seriously, and now we have our own private server (of the virtual kind, for now). I'm still in the process of setting it up, but it's a bit of a learning process for me - this will be the first Unix machine I've set up and administered entirely remotely.
One thing I'm clueless about and having a surprisingly difficult time getting a consistent answer about is the most foolproof way to back it up remotely. My copy of Absolute FreeBSD goes into dump and restore in some depth, but doesn't assume I'm doing anything different than backing up to a local tape drive…
What I'm hoping for is a method whereby I can pull the entire system's contents into an archive on my Mac at work, and then if things go bad, I can just push the backup back onto the server, reboot the virtual machine and be up and running again. Is that just a fantasy?
On the other hand, since we're just operating a fairly simple web server, should I not even bother trying to back up the whole thing and only worry about backing up the web files and databases? The downtime in case of a screw-up will be longer since I'll have to reinstall and reconfigure everything, but maybe that'll be less complicated… Thinking aloud…
Anyway, just seeking some input from sysadmins more wizened than I.