Urbackup use case for appliances

Hello everyone.

(Originally posted on Reddit, where a user suggested urbackup)

So for quite some while, I’ve been toying around with the idea of building backup appliances for small to medium-sized organisations. These would in essence be BSD servers with a ZFS pool on it, running bacula or something else.
Backup strategy would be every week a full disk backup of every server (~ disk clone) with an incremental for the rest of the week every few hours. Those backups are then stored every night off-site. (ideally those are sent deduplicated)
The clients can request file restores of specific files, folders or whole servers. Disaster recovery consists of ISOs that can be burned on usb sticks that will automatically pull the latest bacula backup. (feasible via rear) and they may contact us so we can fire up a VM of their latest backup (full+incr) on the local appliance or on our off-site backup server. (bhyve or so)
For the more regular backup stuff, the local appliances would serve the backups and disaster recovery ISOs over a password-protected samba share. (Could I export the files in a backup or would this require unpacking it, I suppose so…)

I was wondering the following things;

  • Does the OS version of urbackup support full disk backups or only
    folder backups?
  • Can urbackup generate disaster recovery ISOs? Does
    urbackup have an interface where a client could only restore specific files? If not, can this be scripted?
  • Does urbackup do deduplicated replication?
  • Does urbackup support receiving clients on a single server? (e.g. multiple storage daemons, one for
    each client) Or would I Just offer a filesystem to all local appliances.
  • Is deduplicated volumes done on a ZFS pool or in urbackup itself?

All ideas, experiences or suggestions are welcome!

The current version (1.4.x) is unsuited for Linux full system backup as it does not support backing up and restoring file attributes. The next version will have that. That one can then be also integrated into REAR.