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Old 5th May 2008
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Default Disaster recovery best practices

I am looking for a disaster recovery method whereby the full system is backed up ready to be restored to a new system. In the Windows world there are a variety of tools that can take an image of the entire system, making the restore a one step procedure and short time to a fully recovered system.

Does such a method exist for FreeBSD (likely not)?

If not, dump and restore appears to be the mostly suitable candidate. But the online resources I've found are generally incomplete or vague. Questions like how to script the snapshot portion of the backup along with temporary database server shutdown to get clean DB backups and minimize DB downtime are still missing.

Does such a Disaster Recovery document exist? Does someone have a method they use and would care to share? Should I be looking at a different method altogether?
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Old 6th May 2008
jb_daefo jb_daefo is offline
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the shareware BootIt $35 or so (installable to a windows, and
maybe to its own partition, as well as to cd-r) is a
multiboot tool (supplanting GAG, maybe Grub, maybe the
BSD bootloader) which can backup FS as images (even multiple-ly
in BATCH mode)
opensource equivalents exist.
no recc. per se on that as a Server solution as I have no experience
in it. But the freebsd-questions maillist archives have had many
discussions relevant to your question.
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Old 6th May 2008
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TerryP TerryP is offline
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I'm not a professional user of FreeBSD (as my job doesn't entail computers :-() but I would guess that the closest documents to it would be the handbook, dump manual, and sh manual. Depending on dumps output and the situation at hand it might be possible to take down the DB until the snapshots finished and then bring it back online through a script.

Depending on your situation you could probably use some form of database replication, i.e. one database servicing clients and another 'slave' database that is periodontally brought into sync with the master.

And set things up so that while one database goes offline during a dump, the other is rotated into servicing requests. And then sync the slave with the master before bringing it back online

At least, if maximizing database uptime was *my* primary concern that is the kind of thing I would look at trying to do.

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Old 6th May 2008
FloridaBSD FloridaBSD is offline
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The best disaster recovery scheme I can recommend to you is to back up your data religiously, in addition to this I highly recommend that every body whom has nay highly sensitive data on their hard drive envest in a network attached storage device.
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Old 29th November 2010
ghostcorps ghostcorps is offline
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Hi all,

Lets say the disaster recovery process is not implemented and a blackout hits. And after the blackout a 2.3Tb RAID5 array on a RocketRAID 2030 no longer mounts.

mount /dev/da2p1 says that the filesystem is dirty and to try fsck...

fsck cannot determine filesystem type...

fsck_ffs looks like it worked, but when I try to mount it again it says operation not permitted...

What would you do?

I am dying here!
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Old 29th November 2010
ghostcorps ghostcorps is offline
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sorry I meant a RocketRAID 2320.
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Old 29th November 2010
ghostcorps ghostcorps is offline
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I tried mounting it read only and it worked like a charm
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Old 7th December 2010
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phoenix phoenix is offline
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We backup 127 servers each night via rsync to a FreeBSD storage server using ZFS. Each server in it's own sub-directory, using exclude files to skip things like /dev, /tmp, mozilla cache, etc.

Recovery process is simple:
  1. do a minimal install of FreeBSD, partitioning the disks as needed
  2. boot Frenzy CD
  3. get an IP
  4. mount local partitions into ~/mnt/ creating usr/, var/, home/ et al as needed
  5. rsync from backups server directory into ~/mnt/
  6. reboot

Depending on the network (100 vs 1000 Mbps) and the amount of data to be transferred, the restore process can take under 20 minutes (firewall), 90 minutes-ish (elementary school server) to a couple hours (secondary school server).

Other than 1 glitch with the way rsync handles a group of hardlinked files on one day becoming a bunch of scripts another day (gzip package in Debian 4.0 vs 5.0), everything works tickety-boo. We've restored several servers over the years since we started the system.

Search for rsbackup for all the gory details on our setup.

It's simple to modify the setup to use HAST to give you real-time replication into another off-site server (we're in the process of migrating to this setup). Or, one can script zfs send/recv, or script rsync to do the same.

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Old 7th December 2010
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vermaden vermaden is offline
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Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
[*]rsync from backups server directory into ~/mnt/
... I just wonder, rsync(1) is great for backup, but restore is only one way 'stream' without checking for file contents changes etc. so using 'raw' tar(1) pipe should make the restore a lot faster (especially if there are a lot small files):
backup_server # tar -cf - /servers/host | ssh -c blowfish root@host "tar -C ~/mnt -xpf -"

... and with really good compression for slow networks:
backup_server # tar -cf - /servers/host | gzip -9 -c | ssh -c blowfish root@host "tar -C ~/mnt -xzpf -"

... even better then gzip(1) with xz(1):
backup_server # tar -cf - /servers/host | xz -9 -c | ssh -c blowfish root@host "xz -d -c | tar -C ~/mnt -xpf -"
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