Backup software that supports backup to tape

perdrix

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Mar 3, 2016
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Looking for good backup software that allows backup to multiple tapes (IOW backup size > single tape size). Disk backup also useful.

Support for Linux and Mac as well as Windows would be excellent.

Restore individual files from tape without needing to restore the entire backup to a staging area would be very useful.

Bare metal restore is a requirement (using bootable WinPE or Linux or whatever).

I was considering Veeam, but notice that it's a Russian company and I'd prefer not to support the Russia ecomomy.

Thanks
David
 
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BoredSysadmin

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Mar 2, 2019
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Veeam is a Swiss company (HQ location) with a corporate location in Ohio, USA. NYC-based Insight Partners currently own them.
The only thing connected to Russia is that both founders are of Russian birth.

By buying Veeam products, you won't be supporting the Russian economy in any way.

However, we use Veeam products dressed up in iLand/11:11 systems coats for o365 backups, and we hate the solution. I can't blame it solely on Veeam, but the thick clients I've used Veeam did not impress me much.
I used Netbackup, BackupExec, and Commvault - but I can't recommend either.

If you want a secure modern backup solution that works, look at Rubrik.
 

ano

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Nov 7, 2022
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Veeam is a Swiss company (HQ location) with a corporate location in Ohio, USA. NYC-based Insight Partners currently own them.
The only thing connected to Russia is that both founders are of Russian birth.

By buying Veeam products, you won't be supporting the Russian economy in any way.

However, we use Veeam products dressed up in iLand/11:11 systems coats for o365 backups, and we hate the solution. I can't blame it solely on Veeam, but the thick clients I've used Veeam did not impress me much.
I used Netbackup, BackupExec, and Commvault - but I can't recommend either.

If you want a secure modern backup solution that works, look at Rubrik.
interesting, didnt know, the veeam 365 backups use an INSANE ammount of cpu and ram, and the need for object storage + local is... weird, but just local seems to crash horribly quite often, so you need the s3 locally as well.
 

sko

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Jun 11, 2021
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How about the de-facto industry standards Bacula or Amanda?

We've used Amanda for years with tapes and disk-based backups and I also used it at home for several years. It's kind of an 'fire and forget' solution. Set up once and it 'just works'™, optionally sending you reports every day/week/month and/or if something fails.

However, with ZFS and snapshots those kind of backup solutions have become completely obsolete for me, so I haven't touched any of them for at least ~7 years now. It's ZFS throughout all backup tiers and very important stuff additionally goes to tarsnap - that's the only file-based backup layer I have left...

I also never cared about Windows - either it runs as VM and the whole image is snapshotted/backed up, or windows clients store anything important on network shares which are backed up. Bacula and Amanda have Windows ports/client binaries, but I have no idea how complicated they are to use or get running - given that both solutions rely on tar and rsync I suspect lots of f*king around with cygwin or other layers is involved to give windows the basic functionality and tools like tar/rsync etc... On Mac you should be fine, as it already comes with all those basic tools you'd expect from an OS.
 

olhachycher

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Jan 11, 2023
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There are several backup software options that support backup to tape, can handle large backup sizes, and offer bare metal restore capabilities. Some examples include:

  • Symantec Backup Exec: This software supports Windows, Linux, and Mac, and allows for backup to multiple tapes as well as disk backup. It also has the ability to restore individual files from tape and offers bare metal restore.
  • Acronis Backup: This software supports Windows, Linux, and Mac, and allows for backup to multiple tapes as well as disk backup. It also has the ability to restore individual files from tape and offers bare metal restore.
  • Veritas Backup Exec: This software supports Windows, Linux, and Mac, and allows for backup to multiple tapes as well as disk backup. It also has the ability to restore individual files from tape and offers bare metal restore.
  • IBM Tivoli Storage Manager: This software supports Windows, Linux, and Mac, and allows for backup to multiple tapes as well as disk backup. It also has the ability to restore individual files from tape and offers bare metal restore.
It's worth to note that, Veeam is not a Russian company, is a Swiss company, which is known for its data protection and disaster recovery software.

You may want to evaluate these options and compare their features to determine which one best meets your specific needs.
 
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Stephan

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Apr 21, 2017
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Source data to be backed up (VMs, files etc.)? Budget? Open source a must-have? So many questions.

Symantec Backup Exec is now again Veritas, after they ran the product into the ground for the last 10 years.

Veeam is the raison-d'etre for VMware in many places. It works.

Personally I use Bareos with data coming from tar, borg, pg_dump, a custom VM snapshotter, ZFS snapshots, going to LTO-5 and 6 tapes.

ZFS snapshots alone are of course better than nothing at all, but depending where you live you are only one direct lightning strike, fire, flood, earthquake, war, burglary, police action, or one very thorough blackmail trojan away from complete data loss.
 

tjk

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Personally I use Bareos with data coming from tar, borg, pg_dump, a custom VM snapshotter, ZFS snapshots, going to LTO-5 and 6 tapes.
How do you like Bareos? You using their commercial offering or OSS? IIRC, it is a fork of Bacula right? Any advantages of Bareos vs Bacula in your opinion?
 

Stephan

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Apr 21, 2017
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@tjk I am using the open source version, but I submit bugs when I see them. Unpaid intern. ;-)

It has been forked 10 years ago, correct. Can't speak to Bacula, only used it briefly also 10 years ago. Amanda would have been the other open source tape backup software.

Advantages I see for Bareos are a working web UI (screenshots: https://seitics.de/files/bareos/screenshots/), constant stream of bugfixes from the company behind it, up-to-date documentation, and new features from time to time. I use the fine-grained tweakability it inherited from Bacula to

- Run ZFS snapshot create/delete to write consistent backups
- Check LTO drive health
- Auto-eject full tapes (only using single drives so far)
- Turn on/off drives for a job using a USB relay box to save on noise/power. Yep, I drilled a hole into a 2000 EUR drive, because IBM is too cool to remember the power state.
- Write the Bareos Postgres database after every main run to tape in a separate "disaster recovery" job, together with all PKGBUILD files and configuration files. So I can bootstrap the backup server with any tape and get the complete file history back.

Since I wanted open source, I went as far as packaging it myself a bit more elegantly for Arch. Compiled and compressed my package is 5 MB for the entire server, client and web UI. So really light on resources. Tweaked (block/file sizes), it will max out the theoretical LTO drive speed written in the datasheet.

Well. People with backups are rare. People with tape backup much rarer. People doing tape backup using open source, super rare. So naturally you have to do serious work getting to know the software. Anybody new probably has to commit 1-2 work weeks to get a Bareos/LTO setup running. Two more weeks in the span of a year to tweak it. But I use it only in case of serious disaster. My go-to "backups" are ZFS snapshots. For me the investment was worth it, because it concerns data from the company that we have worked on for years, as well as irreplaceable data I use to run my life. Like I said, all it would take is one direct lightning strike.
 
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sko

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ZFS snapshots alone are of course better than nothing at all, but depending where you live you are only one direct lightning strike, fire, flood, earthquake, war, burglary, police action, or one very thorough blackmail trojan away from complete data loss.
Of course when I talk about backups I don't refer to local snapshots. Those could be counted as "Tier 0.5", but we first distribute all Snapshots locally to another machine (TIER 1), then to another Building (TIER 2) and then to one of our branches with decent enough internet connection (because, you know, Germany... we are the 3rd world country of broadband thanks to Deutsche Telekom...).
Because the deltas with ZFS snapshots are relatively small, we can run the replication jobs 24h without interrupting anything important. Those replications are simple shell scripts run by cron - took one or two edge cases to get the scripts rock-solid, but now it all 'just works'. I get weekly status reports (simply gathering some pool/dataset stats and zpool history to verify the amount of new data and deleted old snapshots is plausible) and thanks to ZFS being very easy to monitor, in case something seems off (e.g. latest or oldest snapshot too old etc; huge positive or negative delta on a dataset/pool) the monitoring triggers.

The check for size deltas is also used on our fileserver where windows boxes have SMB access to detect and minimize effects of file encrypting ransomware (or stupid users): check the delta between latest and latest-1 snapshot (taken every 5 mins) and if that delta gets unusually large the affected dataset is switched to RO and a zabbix alarm is triggered. Turns out we never had any ransomware in all those years, but several times users messed up and tried to wipe a whole share and triggered that.

And regarding the blackmail trojan: windows boxes don't have access to anything else but the windows VLAN. Everything server-related and/or important is located in other VLANs. Management interfaces (IPMI, hypervisor hosts etc) are in a completely locked down VLAN that isn't accessible from anywhere outside and the windows-infested networks. Basically anything that is connected to those VLANs runs Free- or OpenBSD or illumos...
 
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Connorise

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Mar 2, 2017
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  • Acronis Backup: This software supports Windows, Linux, and Mac, and allows for backup to multiple tapes as well as disk backup. It also has the ability to restore individual files from tape and offers bare metal restore.
You may want to evaluate these options and compare their features to determine which one best meets your specific needs.
I had a really strange issue with Acronis CyberProtect in three or four systems I was looking after. It appeared to be clashing with Failover Clustering drivers and causing me real trouble transferring the CSV ownership. CSV just failed to move, leading the VMs down.
There was an easy fix: remove CyberProtect from the systems and give it a reboot.