Backup and recovery are integral part of any datacenter these days. With the current data explosion, the need for an efficient backup/recovery solution has become critical.
The open source world offers its own solutions in this space and provides data archiving/backup solutions for efficient performance, while ensuring cost savings.
How open source tools help a data centre
Open source tools have many advantages in the data centre environment. First and foremost is their low cost and the flexibility they provide. Also, being open source, everyone will be aware of the source code so any enhancements that need to be done have a greater chance of getting implemented, quickly.
Most open source projects have a lot of contributors. And being FOSS, systems administrators can always customise the code to suit their data centre needs.
Ten FOSS backup tools
AMANDA stands for Advanced Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archiver. It is a simple backup solution that allows the IT administrator to set up a single master backup server to back up multiple hosts over the network to media, which could range from tapes to hard disk drives.
AMANDA uses native utilities and formats and can back up a large number of servers and workstations running multiple versions of Linux or UNIX. It uses a native Windows client to back up Microsoft Windows desktops and servers.
Link – http://sourceforge.net/projects/amanda/
Bacula is a set of open source computer programs that allow the management of backup, recovery and verification of data across a network of computers of different kinds. Bacula is a simple and efficient solution whilst offering many advanced storage management features that make it easy to find and recover lost or damaged files. In technical terms, it is an open source, network based backup program.
Link – http://sourceforge.net/projects/bacula/files/
Bareos is a set of computer programs that permit an IT administrator to manage backup, recovery, and verification of computer data across a network of computers of different kinds. It can also run entirely upon a single computer and can back up to various types of media, including tape and disk.
In technical terms, it is a network client-server based backup program.
Clonezilla is a partition and disk cloning program, as the name suggests. It is similar to many varieties of ghost software available in the market. It helps you to do systems deployment, bare metal backup and recovery.
One of the main advantages of Clonezilla is that it can be used in large environments to recover multiple systems from bare metal, simultaneously.
Link – http://clonezilla.org/
FOG is a free open source cloning, imaging and rescue suite. It can be used to image Windows OSs and also includes features like memory and disk tests, disk wipe, anti-virus scans and task scheduling.
Link – http://sourceforge.net/projects/freeghost/
Rsync is a protocol built for UNIX-like systems that provides unbelievable versatility for backing up and synchronising data. It is mainly used locally to back up files to different directories or can be configured to sync across the Internet to other hosts.
Link - https://rsync.samba.org/download.html
Short for Backup and Restore Program BURP is a network backup tool based on librsync. Note that the server version runs on UNIX based systems, but the client can run on Windows systems as well. Operating systems: Windows and Linux.
Link – http://burp.grke.org/docs/quickstart.html
Duplicati is a backup client that securely stores encrypted, incremental, compressed backups on cloud storage servers and remote file servers. It provides various options and tweaks like filters, deletion rules as well as transfer and bandwidth options to run backups for specific purposes.
It also supports the AES 256 encryption standards.
Link – https://code.google.com/p/duplicati/source/checkout
BackupPC is a high-performance, enterprise-grade system for backing up Linux, Windows and Mac OS X PCs and laptops to a servers disk. BackupPC is highly configurable and easy to install and maintain.
Link – http://sourceforge.net/projects/backuppc/
10. Box Backup
Box Backup is an open source, completely automatic, online backup system. All backed up data is stored on the server in files on a file system. It doesnt require any additional devices like tapes, disk drives, etc.
Link – https://www.boxbackup.org/
In addition to the 10 backup and recovery tools listed here, there are a few others that I have provided a few links to, for you to explore:
UrBackup – http://www.urbackup.org/
Areca Backup – http://www.areca-backup.org/
Managing disaster recovery
Disaster recovery or DR is the process by which we can recover and protect IT infrastructure in the event of a disaster. As data is getting more and more important by the day, DR plays a vital role in keeping businesses running. So how can an IT administrator avoid downtime and bring a business back into action after a disaster? This requires methodical planning, testing of the solutions that are being used in a data centre, and then implementation.
A lot of DR methods are now available, ranging from tape archive backups, replication and cloud backups.
 Sourceforge.net, www.enterprisestorageforum.com, Open Source storage forums.