Thursday, June 24, 2004

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Rsync with Debian

I've been doing some reading on rsync and it is a really neat utility. I would like to use the tool to help move 8 Windows 2000 server backups across our network to a centralized backup server with a tape drive.


I looked into Arkeia (nonGPL), Bacula, and Armanda. Bacula and Arkeia have Windows clients, however Bacula can't backup a Windows registry. I would need to run ntbackup and then run bacula. Arkeia seemed to work great but I started getting concerned about how much stress I was adding to our network and it is a lot more expensive than I was anticipating ($3000-6000 depending how many servers have clients).


That is when I found out about rsync and BackupPC (GPL). Rsync has a great alogorithm that allows it to 'cheat' a file transfer by only sending the binary differences between computers (You can read about it at http://samba.anu.edu.au/rsync/). This sounds like just the type of tool I need to use to create good network backups.


Now for the test: see if I can use rsync to speed up apt-get updates. After running 'apt-cache search rsync', I found out that apt-proxy can use the rsync protocol. However, the Readme.gz file mentions that rsync doesn't work well with compressed files and this article brings up the same concerns.


Since it is easier to try and fail than to spend any more time searching, my next post will show my results.