Learning Guide

What you need to know about Linux backup tools

Linux is a popular operating system for many organizations. And unlike Windows and other operating systems, Linux is publicly open and distributed by a number of different companies. Because of this, Linux backup

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is different than backup on other operating systems, and can pose a number of different challenges to users. According to Brien Posey, a freelance writer and former CIO, Linux backup can be confusing because "there are so many different flavors of Linux. There are many different versions of Windows, too, but all of the Windows versions were written by the same company. Additionally, Linux is extensible, and there are numerous add-ons for Linux that are open source in nature, and freely available," he said.

W. Curtis Preston, an independent backup expert and executive editor at TechTarget, also pointed out that "Linux has no built-in snapshot driver system like Window's VSS. It is up to you and your application to make sure that it is in a proper state when the file system is backed up," he said.

Furthermore, choosing a Linux backup tool can be confusing. Since there are so many versions of Linux, the number of Linux backup tools increases, and the choices can be daunting. "There are many different criteria that go into choosing a backup application," said Posey. "All of these criteria really boil down to picking a backup application that will meet your needs. This is especially important in a cross-platform environment, because not every backup application can back up every remote system." Preston added that you also need to look for "automation, scalability and good reporting" in a Linux backup tool.

To help you gain a more in-depth look at Linux backup tools, we have compiled a list of articles and tips on backup for Linux. Find out the pros and cons of popular Linux backup tools and the different challenges associated with Linux backup. Plus, learn more about Linux and Linux backup from our sister site, SearchEnterpriseLinux.com, and learn how to create a backup solution for Linux, as well as the importance of backing up the master boot in Linux.

LINUX BACKUP TOOLS: TABLE OF CONTENTS
 Choosing a Linux system backup tool: Pros and cons of popular Linux backup apps
 Addressing challenges associated with Linux backup
 Creating a simple backup solution for Linux with rsync, SSH and cron
 Symantec releases Linux version of Backup Exec System Recovery
 Backing up the Linux master boot record


 

  Choosing a Linux system backup tool: Pros and cons of popular Linux backup apps

There are a number of different data backup tools for Linux available, such as Amanda, Bacula, BackupPC, rsync, and a number of other commercial Linux backup products. However, many people don't know which option to choose from for their data backup environments. This tip lists the pros and cons of each Linux backup tool and how to determine which one best fits your environment. For example, Amanda and Bacula are free, open-source products developed for small- to medium-sized computer centers. BackupPC is also a free, open-source product, but is aimed at high-performance, enterprise-grade backup systems. And rsync is designed more for ad hoc backups. Read more about the pros and cons of Linux backup tools and how to determine which one is right for you in this tip.

  Addressing challenges associated with Linux backup

Choosing the right Linux backup tool isn't the only challenge people face with Linux backups. Many people run into other problems associated with performing data backup and recovery in a Linux environment. In this Q&A, read about the common pitfalls people experience in their Linux environment, find out the major data backup software vendors that offer Linux products, and understand the role of data deduplication in a Linux environment. Read the Q&A on Linux backup challenges or download the MP3 file.

  Creating a simple backup solution for Linux with rsync, SSH and cron

Backing up Linux servers can be daunting to small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), who may not have as well-organized a data backup strategy as large enterprises. This article from SearchEnterpriseLinux.com describes three backup solutions SMBs can create for Linux systems. First, you can use rsync, which helps with the remote synchronization of files. Second, you can configure an automatic SSH login. Once this SSH login is created, it will automatically connect with your public/private key pair, and then generate an encrypted package. Third, you should schedule your backup job using cron, which will automatically synchronize your data daily. Read the full story to find out more about how to set up these backup solutions for Linux servers.

  Symantec releases Linux version of Backup Exec System Recovery

Last year, Symantec Corp. released a new version of its bare-metal restore software that added support for Linux servers. Linux was the first non-Windows operating system to be supported by Backup Exec System Recovery (BESR). And BESR offers one centralized management platform, the System Recovery Management Solution. Read more about this Linux backup tool in the full article.

  Backing up the Linux master boot record

Most people know instinctively to back up critical data on their Linux servers, however, one Linux backup procedure that might be overlooked is backing up your master boot record (MBR). The MBR is an essential part of your computer that contains GRUB as well as the partition table. It's essential that you back it up. In order to make a full backup of the MBR, you need to follow three basic steps: find your master boot record on Linux, back up the MBR using the dd command, and restore the Linux master boot record if you are having problems related to the MBR. Read the full article for all the details on backing up the Linux master boot record.

This was first published in August 2010

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