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QUOTE The technocratic imperative: What can be done must be done.

- Teddy Roszak
QUOTE

Project Codename: STaRBUC

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HTTP -- Download.SpinelliCreations.com/STaRBUC


FTP -- SpinelliCreations.com/starbuc

Project Description

Description

STaRBUC, the Standard Tape Resource Back-Up Console for Linux (Unix).

Epynomously named for the oh-so-sexy Katee Sackhoff of Ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica (nope, not afraid to admit that), STaRBUC solves a very real problem in the Linux Community - simple tape backup.

Has it been done before? - yup.
Has it been done better? - probably.
Has it been done on a much larger scale and with many more features and bells and whistles? - oh yes.

But has it ever been so damn simple? - NO!

STaRBUC is not intended to function as a backup data server / tape system application, nor is it intended to link multiple client servers to a host server. You've already got Amanda and BACULA to do that, silly!

Nay, instead STaRBUC is intended for the 'standalone' system.

Picture any of the following situations...
-- #1 -- you're a small office / home office user and need to back up just one server to locally attached tape
-- #2 -- you're a part of a large enterprise, but to your dismay the infrastructure is primarily Shitty Windows based. Oh no! The existing infrastructure backup servers and tape systems will do you no good as they don't recognize the XFS file system from IRIX (remember, Shitty Windows). So you've got to go out and get yourself a locally attached tape drive just for your one Linux / Unix server.
-- #3 -- you're running a secure server (in any environment) that shares hosted services over a firewalled connection, with no external high speed fibre or any other HBA-speed-cable interface. So you've got a dedicated tape backup device tied directly to the secure server, and need to perform backups.

In any of the above, STaRBUC is your best friend. It was actually built based upon need #2; in an organization where over 90% of the hosts were Win based, the backup executive was Win based, and everything and its brother just didn't want to play nice with the new state-of-the-art Linux gear, local tape backup became a necessity.

Language

pHp v5 (requires Apache 2 with mod_pHp)

Details

STaRBUC can be configured for multiple locally attached magnetic tape devices (backup TARGETS or DESTINATIONS) and multiple locally addressable source folders within the mounted filesystem(s) (backup SOURCES or DATA). The administrator can configure backup time-windows to ensure that backups are only allowed to be executed during a time when the source data is not volatile.

A user may then pull up the STaRBUC console via any web browser, and observe the status of all locally attached configured magnetic tape drives, execute backup operations from any SOURCE to any TARGET, and also perform some basic tape tasks such as Eject / Rewind / Re-Tension / etc...

But Why Even Bother?

The question has been asked, 'Why even bother? Can't you just schedule the backup instruction in Cron or another Task Scheduler, and be done with it? -- just have someone pop a tape in and out every night?'

Sure, if you don't care about the integrity of your data backups, and you (specifically YOU - the administrator) want to babysit each and every backup. Most admins are far too busy for this kind of micro-management.

... How would you be sure that 'yesterday's' tape has been removed and 'today's' tape inserted, unless a real live human being is responsible for switching tapes and then initiating a backup via STaRBUC's web console?
... How would you rewind or re-tension tapes that may have been dropped or shuffled about without granting someone else root access (or sudo user access) to the system in order to gain control of the scsi/sas attached tape drive?
... How would you authenticate and track user login and what actions they performed (for example, 'user A backed up folder /mnt/backup to tape drive /dev/tape-0 on january 5th at 9 pm')?

The simple answer is that you wouldn't -- not without a lot of work, granting multiple people system level executable access, and ultimately inserting a security hole into your server. STaRBUC allows you to grant the 'little people' in your organization tape-backup access to perform backup tasks and then logs their actions. It's just peachy keen!

Restoring from a Backup Tape

The RESTORE function is intentionally left out of STaRBUC's console. You wouldn't want your everyday personnel (who have privileges to backup to tape) to be able to overwrite your live system would you? Certainly not. Restoration for admin, however, is very simple...

Open up a terminal on your server (TTYx / SSH / Telnet / whatever), and run the following command after loading your desired restoration tape into the drive:
-- [root@yourserver]# tar -xlpzvf [TARGET TAPE DRIVE] [SOURCE PATH]

For example... [root@yourserver]# tar -xlpzf /dev/tape-0 /mnt/live ... will take everything from your backup tape that's inside drive /dev/tape-0 and dump it onto your system at /mnt/live.

Screen Captures and Related Images

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homepage

documentation links

authenticated login using Apache's builtin functionality

tape device status

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tape device function and control




Built: Oct. 25, 2010
Updated: Apr. 20, 2011