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Backup Strategy

The various OpenSkills systems hold a range of information on behalf of members. The backup strategy aims to keep that data safe.

In summary, we have:

How does it work

We use a single server (backup.openskills.org) as a collating point to which all OpenSkills services send their backup data, and then we back that one machine up to a number of geographically distributed machines from which the entire backup tree can be copied to CD or DVD.

We use rsync to move data between hosts. Rsync is an open source utility that provides fast incremental file transfer. Rsync also uses compression, and can run over a secure channel (e.g. SSH).

The backup server (backup.openskills.org) has an account and directory for each OpenSkills service. The backup administrator is responsible for the backup service itself.

The owner of each service is responsible for establishing a cron job to collect data into a tar file and to then rsync that file to the backup server. This service-specific backup may include a number of generations, rather than being a simple snapshot of the current service state. The backup must include all the information necessary to allow a quick and complete restore of the service to a new machine.

The backup administrator must ensure that the entire backup tree (containing the backed up information from all services) is rsync'ed to at least one machine with a CD or DVD burner, where the entire OpenSkills.org backup tree will be burned to a CD or DVD on a regular basis. There may be many locations which keep a copy of the backup tree and produce CDs or DVDs. Any member can help out by doing this. For more information on this see Copying the backup store to your computer.

Further information

For information on building the base backup server, see Building the Backup Server.

For information on how to backup a particular service, see Using the Backup Server and sample backup scripts.

To recover a service from backup, see Recovering a service from backup.

For information on backing up key state info for a particular host, see Backing up a host.

And don't forget: Copying the backup store to your computer.

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