Want recommendation for Linux server disk-to-disk backup solutions (both bare-metal and data-only)

I have the hardware ready, but I need the software. I have read the other questions here on EE and I have researched through Google, but I would like to get other opinions. I think I will need two programs: for bare-metal recovery and for data-only.

I have one machine to make the Backup Server. It is older and slow but has new, big HDDs.

I have three (maybe will become four) servers to backup. The IT staff is just me, and we cannot hire contractors, so I want a dependable solution that won't demand a lot of time to restore a server.

I am using a home-made rsync solution that my predecessor put in place, but it cannot be used for bare-metal recovery, and I have to manually prune the current backup server when it becomes full.

I will be backing up the data nightly to the backup server, which will be housed in another building on campus. Also, I will be archiving database dumps to removable HDDs and storing them in the safe. The legistics of the operation are sound and in place, but I cannot decide on hardware.

I know that rsnapshot would give me a no-prune rsync solution. I know that many recommend Amanda and Bacula. I have read that Acronis does images and even DVDs to backup the server, but I don't know if Acronis works on RAID machines. I have heard of Mondo as well.

Advice and recommendations, please.
shinmaikeruAsked:
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fosiul01Commented:
from this page it looks like acronis will work for hotswap hardrive

http://www.acronis.com/enterprise/products/ATISLin/
http://www.purplerage.it/acronistrueimage/sl.php

and if you want to do just data databackup i would of RSYNC its free and reliable...
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SysExpertCommented:
For bare metal, look at

Free Drive imaging Free ghost alternatives
also some free alternatives

http://ghost.radified.com/ghost_alternatives.htm
http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=16534

http://www.clonezilla.org/
 
http://www.osalt.com/ghost

http://zdnet.com.com/3000-2248-10147532.html?tag=lst-0-17 DrvImager XP - not found

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/image.html  free for 30 days full version

http://www.raymond.cc/blog/archives/2008/06/17/how-to-create-full-windows-backup-by-imaging-without-using-norton-ghost/

You would only need to do an image after a major OS change. Otherwise just backup the data.

The solutions may also depend on how large our backup window is etc.

I hope this helps !
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shinmaikeruAuthor Commented:
It seems that I did not make clear the requirements for the system. Both the backup server and the servers to be backed up are Linux, and they are all using RAID. The backup server will hold the bare-metal images and the nightly data backups. If possible, I might just make nightly image backups and forgo the data-only backups. A restore would have to be run from the backup server over the network.

Also, an external USB drive will be used to archive only the database server's data.

I will look into the links provided, but it is often unclear whether or not the disk imaging programs offered can handle RAID configurations. I looked at Acronis' site and chatted with a sales person, but she (judging gender from the name) could not answer my question about RAID and restoring disk-to-disk over the network. She basically told me that it is 699 USD per license and that the software runs on the server being backed up, which means I would need one license per server. I asked to be contacted by someone more knowledgeable.
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SysExpertCommented:
You may have to do some testing.

Most will allow a Full 30 day Eval, so you can check

http://www.clonezilla.org/ is free and has a server based  component to backup and restore over a network.


I hope this helps !
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shinmaikeruAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the time and advice.
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shinmaikeruAuthor Commented:
I will take this in steps, then.

I will first set up the backup server with Rsnapshot (an rsync solution) so that I can migrate the other servers and continue data backups. Rsync solutions enable you to give users a read-only samba mount where they can find their yesterday-files themselves instead of asking you to go to the backup server to restore files they unwittingly erased.

As for bare-metal, I posted to the Rsnapshot mailing list to ask what they were doing for bare-metal backups, and one user wrote that s/he simply backs up the entire server. When it is time to restore, s/he says "Just boot to a LiveCD, set up disks and network, and copy over the files."

I will try this out, but I will also try out Clonezilla after all the servers are migrated.

I am still waiting to hear from Acronis as a possible next-budget item.

Thank you again.
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