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Thread: Considering switching to Amanda - some questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    5

    Default Considering switching to Amanda - some questions

    Hi,

    I'm thinking about switching to Amanda. I inherited a Bacula-based backup system (old version 3) and the server's drives are failing so I'm going to deploy a new server and am considering switching to Amanda at the same time.

    My setup: I need to backup 2 linux file servers, each hostinng a RAID's, sizes ~36TB and ~28TB. The raids full yet but let's assume we'll get close to full eventually. I have a 2-drive (LTO-5), 30-tape Quantum tape library. In addition, I'll probably back up the /etc dirs of a few servers.

    From what I've read, Amanda could be a better choice for me than Bacula since mine is a pretty straight-forward setup. Does that seem right? Bacula's been something of a beast for me, especially when I had a catalog meltdown and had to restore the catalog piecemeal from tape.

    I have a number of questions. I'll post some here, and then some in followup posts to keep it manageable. Thanks for any help!

    1) I'm curious about how often amanda is updated, approximately. I see the current version was released June 2013. How about the previous release of 3.x?

    2) Is it clear whether it's better to use the amanda.org mailing lists or the forums on zmanda.com? The mailing lists seem significantly slower than Bacula's. Is Amanda less widely used? Or maybe that's because there are fewer problems with Amanda? :)

    3) Are multi-drive tape changers directly supported? If I run amanda and multiple clients need backing up, amanda will use both tape drives simultaneously?

    4) Anyway to find out if my Quantum Scalar I-500 tape library is supported? The link on the site regarding supported tape devices is dead. It seems Amanda uses low-level tape commands, so it shouldn't be an issue? Anything to test it's compatibility?

    5) Many links on the FAQ and wiki pages are dead. Is that an ongoing issue or just temporary? It doesn't bode too well for the documentation.

    Thanks!

    -Michael

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Posts
    306

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mgstauff View Post
    Hi,
    Hello!

    I'm thinking about switching to Amanda. I inherited a Bacula-based backup system (old version 3) and the server's drives are failing so I'm going to deploy a new server and am considering switching to Amanda at the same time.

    My setup: I need to backup 2 linux file servers, each hostinng a RAID's, sizes ~36TB and ~28TB. The raids full yet but let's assume we'll get close to full eventually. I have a 2-drive (LTO-5), 30-tape Quantum tape library. In addition, I'll probably back up the /etc dirs of a few servers.
    Your setup would be fairly straightforward in Amanda.

    From what I've read, Amanda could be a better choice for me than Bacula since mine is a pretty straight-forward setup. Does that seem right? Bacula's been something of a beast for me, especially when I had a catalog meltdown and had to restore the catalog piecemeal from tape.

    I have a number of questions. I'll post some here, and then some in followup posts to keep it manageable. Thanks for any help!

    1) I'm curious about how often amanda is updated, approximately. I see the current version was released June 2013. How about the previous release of 3.x?
    Recently, it has been about every 6 months. 3.3.2 was released July
    2012 with 3.3.3 release Jan 2013 followed by 3.3.4 last June/July.

    2) Is it clear whether it's better to use the amanda.org mailing lists or the forums on zmanda.com? The mailing lists seem significantly slower than Bacula's. Is Amanda less widely used? Or maybe that's because there are fewer problems with Amanda?
    Both mailing lists and forums are regularly watched so it is your pick
    which you prefer working with. There is a large Amanda users base but I
    cannot compare with Bacula and its mailing list. Hopefully it is just
    due to less problems in Amanda :-)

    3) Are multi-drive tape changers directly supported? If I run amanda and multiple clients need backing up, amanda will use both tape drives simultaneously?
    Yes. If there are multiple objects to back up and Amanda estimates that
    it will ultimately need to write all the data to more than 1 tape, it
    will load up to this number of tapes into drives and begin writing data
    to multiple drives simultaneously.

    4) Anyway to find out if my Quantum Scalar I-500 tape library is supported? The link on the site regarding supported tape devices is dead. It seems Amanda uses low-level tape commands, so it shouldn't be an issue? Anything to test it's compatibility?
    Amanda depends on the system to correctly recognize the robot and tape
    devices and the UNIX mt and mtx commands to work with the tape drives
    and robot respectively. If Quantum claims to support the OS you plan to
    use as the backup server and this library can be operated with the mt
    and mtx command, Amanda should be able to work with the library
    correctly.

    5) Many links on the FAQ and wiki pages are dead. Is that an ongoing issue or just temporary? It doesn't bode too well for the documentation.
    I am seeing that several of the FAQ links do not appear to be going
    where they should be. I did a quick fix on these. I am not immediately
    finding such links to be incorrect on wiki in general, however. Feel
    free to point out any that I am missing I will look into these.

    Paul

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