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  1. #1

    format for server & RAID setup for multi platform read/write/access

    I'm looking to set up a server with attached mass storage device and tape autoloader to run linux. It's set up under Windows at the moment. Goal is to have users, connecting from individual workstations and laptops, backup their data to the linux server. On their personal machine, some users run linux, some MacOS, some Windows. I plan to set up the 5 500 GB drives as RAID5. I understand that if setting up as software raid the format is "physical volume for RAID". Under this setup, will Windows users be able to read/write and function as expected? MacOS folks? I can't assume only linux user access.

  2. #2
    Trusted Penguin Irithori's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    The "physical volume for RAID" is just a partitiontype.
    It tells tools like mdadm, that these partitions might be for them.

    Is it imperative, that the users backup *themselves*?

    In this case, you need a fileshare, that all three platforms can use.
    A samba server -offering (at least one) CIFShare- comes to mind.
    - Why more than one? Because user data is sensitive. User A might not want, that user B can get to his/her data just by accessing the backup CIFS..
    - As a consequence, the shares need to be password protected. Is there already a central instance for useraccounts?
    - You have more or less no control, if and how the users utilize the backup.
    Some might dump terrabytes on it, some dont use it at all.
    Some might use strange and unheard tools to do the job.
    Now, guess who will have to support any and all of these tools?
    Unless you establish a policy of: "I provide the infrastructure, but no more"

    If I would be asked to solve this, I would probably go a different route and implement a backup solution such as Bacula, the Open Source, Enterprise ready, Network Backup Tool for Linux, Unix, and Windows
    It is a central backup server, a bacula client + (minimal) config needs to be installed and started on each client.

    This shifts responsibility your way, but on the other hand you have also more control on what is going on.
    You see
    - if all backups are ok
    - how much was backuped per client and overall (important for capacity planning)
    -there is *one* tool, you need to learn and understand. Not dozens like in the scenario above.
    - There is no user account management involved. (bacula server and clients authenticate via a (individual) pre-shared key
    - bacula can (and should) control your tapelibrary
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.

  3. #3
    Yes, users do individual backs to the server as they see fit. I don't have the time or the will to implement that for each. This is a small science lab and all are responsible; nobody dumps huge data or pokes around in others areas. We now have both individual user accounts and a shared folder where public data is stored accessed, although not much use in that area.

    My question is more about IF the Windows and MacOS files will not corrupt on a non-NTFS filesystem. I was under the impression that ext filesystem is not right for Windows file. But, then again, one advantage of linux is that "a file is a file". Right?

    I assume WinSCP will be a good tool to move things back and forth for them.

    I'll likely implement Amanda to send data from server to tape autoloader for the server backups.

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  5. #4
    Trusted Penguin Irithori's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Well, the unix user/group/permission schema is fundamentally different to windows.
    If you plan to winscp the files to the linux box, then only the files themselves (aka content/data) are saved.

    Hmm, I would bet that sooner or later users will want to synchronize their workstation with the backup.
    In this case, winscp is the wrong tool.
    There are several windows/mac tools, that can backup/sync to a CIFShare.
    Thatīs why I mentioned it.
    And if you are not concerned about who accesses which files on the backupserver, then you can go for a very simple samba setup.

    Amanda.. I worked with it for some years, and it does have some advantages.
    Most prominent the auto balance feature, where amanda decides (by various factors) when to do a full backup.
    I switched to bacula, as it provides better features and is easier.
    At least for me, but ymmv
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.

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