External Drives - Daily rotation

Greetings, All!

I have client/server setup on one machine. We have a different external HDD that we plug in every day so, one drive for each weekday, i.e. 5 HDD in rotation. What is the best practice for file and image back-ups in this context?

Right now, I get full image backup because it can’t find the previous, so no incremental, and the file backup only works when invoked manually. I then get meta errors because ur cannot find specified paths. I believe this is because the info is on the previous disk that the operations ran on. I have a non-removable disk directory as the Nondefault temporary file directory, but I’m still apparently missing something basic here.

My incremental file window is 1-5/12-24 and the full file window is 1-5/19-24. Image windows are similar. Again, full image only is functioning whereas incremental image and all file backups do not function as expected.

Please advise. Thank you in advance.

You might want to investigate using virtual sub clients to handle the external drives, each could be set to handle only the external, with a backup window set to the appropriate days.

I noticed that I did not specify that the external HDD are the backup destinations, not a source.

I am confused, I assume you want to use the external drive as the backup destination, not the source being backed up.

I had not imagined trying to use urbackup that way but I would think you would need to place the urbackup data directory on the external drive with the data being backed up so that each disk was a complete backup system. To change days you would need to shut down urbackup,switch external disks and then start the service again.

You would need to maintain the five sets of urbackup settings with either the clients configured to work with five servers or with each urbackup server data having the same id.

Following this procedure does not seem sustainable to me, there is bound to be a mistake made eventually.

Agreed. This sounds overly complex. Someone takes the previous days drive off site with them. In the past, we used Cobian Backup. Drives would be swapped out without any special consideration. Cobian is old and not supported any more though. This is a throwback to when we used to use tapes, in fact the person swapping them out still referrers to them as tapes, even though we haven;t used actual tapes in almost 20 years!

I just wanted to clarify that the drives were the destination since I hadn’t in the OP. I have a bit of OCD when it comes to stating things accurately :grimacing:.

You might be able to clone the backup storage on a daily basis, post the daily (nightly) backup of the databases, I’m not sure how effective such a strategy would be though, I suppose it should work.

Is this just not something that is typical anymore? What’s the “new” way to have ongoing backups?

Urbackup features de-duplication of frequent file backups and relies on the file system to provide compression if required so the net effect is that a number of backups for a number of machines can be kept in a reasonable size. Each file is held only once if it is the same in all places. This gives good protection against random file destruction on user machines but does not provide redundancy of backups.

Some people deal with this by using redundant file storage for the backup using raid or whatever. Others define two backup servers independently backing up the same clients. Another solution is to use a low level disk replication of the backup storage area, dd or the like. File level copies of the backup area will not work well because of the heavy use of hard links on the file system and the huge number of files involved.

The old method of rotating backup storage does not work well for this style of backup.

If I was to try this I suspect I would look at lvm on linux and either dd a snapshot of the backup area to the external disk or run a mirror that I split and restore with the next disk in sequence each day but I don’t feel the need to bother with rotating media offsite, I hold the most important files redundantly off-site via the internet.

This makes sense. I can backup to one of the local volumes and then use robocopy/mir to the external HDD. I can’t convince decision makers that cloud is secure. Thanks for the @amazing insight!

On linux if using btrfs you can do btrfs send.

Roughly , this would send the differential between the two volume images (server and external disk) until it s the same thing.