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Using Rsync for Flexible Powerful Backup and Restore and Self Serve Restore

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Scott Flowers

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Posted: 16 Apr 2004

I am one of the network geeks for Associated Engineering, a small Canadian municipal engineering consultant. We are a firm Novell customer, using everything from NetWare, GroupWise, ZENworks, BorderManager, DirXML, and other great Novell products. I personally am also an open source fan and I have been pleased with Novell's tremendous support of Linux and open source projects, which brings me to this submission.

When Novell ported rsync to NetWare, we started looking at using it to supplement or replace tape backup in some of our systems. While hacking in our lab, I came upon an interesting application of rsync in combination with Linux that lets me make daily incremental backups from my NetWare servers to a Linux backup server that look like full backups on disk. Using that backup archive, I can allow my users to go and restore any file from any day in my archive with just a web browser.

I've written up a document about how to do this, along with a couple of scripts for bash that help make it work on the Linux end. I spoke to the Novell Branch Office appliance engineers that I met at BrainShare this year about this tip, and they encouraged me to submit it, so here it is.

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