Talk:Wikimedia Foundation Report, May 2008

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Backup mechanism[edit]

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Dan Rosenthal wrote: > Completely Trivial Question: Are the backups being done on Time Capsule over > wireless, or on normal wired Time Machine backups?

I've been experimenting with networked backups to our office Linux/Samba server, with mixed results.

On the plus side, Time Machine is built into the operating system and can transparently mount the remote filesystem and do its updates in the background -- not requiring manual intervention for continuous operation is a requirement for serious backups.

(For background, a lot of our staff workstations in the office are Apple laptops. Backing up laptops reliably is not an easy problem; you want it to happen when the folks are in the office, without requiring them to remember to plug in an extra hard drive or manually start some process. It's too easy to get out of the habit, and then whoops! You didn't update your backup for six months and your laptop is broken/lost/whatever.)

On the minus side, unless your remote filesystem is on an Apple(R)(TM) Time Capsule(R)(TM) (which provides no per-user security, a non-starter in a workplace environment) you have to jump through some hoops to set it up in the first place, and there is a higher than I'd like possibility of the backup image file getting corrupted.

Additionally, Time Machine doesn't play nice with FileVault, Apple's optional system for encrypting home directories -- which would provide some extra peace of mind in case of laptop loss or theft.

Ultimately we may move to something like a simple rsync or rdiff wrapper, assuming we can find or build one that provides an automatic, transparent user experience for the network mounts; this could have the additional advantage of being consistent between the Mac OS X and Linux machines. --Brion