Encrypted offsite backups on auto-mounted media with Bacula & vchanger

Since backups are the most important process regardless of what industry you are in, it pays to put a lot of thought into creating a reliable, easy-to-use, scalable, and secure backup solution.

Why reliable?
This should be pretty obvious. Without a reliable backup solution that "just works" you can not be 100% sure that you will be able to restore any data at any time, and this clearly a bad thing. Files are lost or accidentally deleted by users and there is no excuse for not being able to restore this data.

Why easy-to-use?
If your backup process is not simple and painless for the end users (eg: the person or persons responsible for rotating the backup media) then sooner or later shortcuts will be taken, steps will be skipped, errors or warnings will be ignored, and you will not have the data you need when disaster strikes - and it will strike, it's just a matter of time.

Why Scalable?
How much data are you backing up today? Tomorrow? Next week, month, year? If you build a backup system to only handle your current needs, it will surely need to be replaced sooner than you'd think. You want to make sure that the backup solution you build will take care of your needs now and will continue to work into the future with minor adjustments rather than needing to be completely replaced in a year or two

Why Secure?
The only thing more important than having good offsite backups of your data is making sure that someone else does not have access to your data. This is where encryption comes in. If your backups are written to an encrypted device (hard drive, tape drive, CDROM, etc) then you can safely transport your backup media on a regular schedule to an off-site location without the fear of your data being compromised.

Monitoring Your Bacula Backups With Xymon

In a recent post to the Bacula mailing list, someone had asked if there was a way to alert their Nagios network monitoring server when their Bacula backup server was waiting on an operator to change a tape.

At Reverse Polarity, we have been installing and supporting Xymon for years - as far back as when it began as plug-in to the Big Brother network monitoring server.

Xymon is an open-source network monitoring program with an easy to use web interface. Since someone was asking about a Nagios plugin to monitor their Bacula server it only seemed logical that someone might want a way to monitor Bacula with a Xymon server.

As it turns out, someone DID want a Xymon monitor for Bacula - Us!

As luck would have it we had already written a Xymon script to monitor our Bacula server and alert if a backup job had failed. All our script needed was some minor additional features and some finishing touches for it to be ready to be released for others to use.

I am excited to say that the script, which is available HERE was announced on the Bacula users mailing list and the Xymon users mailing list on June 4th, 2010 and within 10 minutes was being downloaded and implemented by others!

posted from my Nokia N900