Subject: Re: Questions regarding dump
To: Matthew Jacob <>
From: Grey Wolf <>
List: current-users
Date: 07/19/2000 14:00:22
On Wed, 19 Jul 2000, Matthew Jacob wrote:

# I think that neither the dump format nor the dump/restore program set itself
# is anything close to adequate for the amount of storage out there. I shouldn't
# have said "retired" I suppose- but I don't see trying to continually update
# it.

I suppose...

# There is a growing consensus in a number or areas that tape backup is
# completly pointless anyhow by now. Bob Snively has said so several times on
# the ANSI and Fibre Channel (t11) committee mail lists- which is why it's only
# with great reluctance that FCP-2 accomodates some of the 'special' needs of
# tape drives as full FC attached devices (I haven't fully grokked those changes
# yet- ISTR Bob saying that buffered mode should get tossed in favor of ordered
# tags becuase you can't easily do buffered mode when frames arrive out of
# order, or something like that...)

What the hell are they smoking?  Is there another REMOVABLE medium which
we should be using instead?  And how much will it cost me?

# > So far:
# > 
# > - Alexandria has been eaten by Veritas, which is a fscking NIGHTmare to
# >   work with.  It's proprietary, which means there's no way to restore from
# >   a tape if you lose the software.  It turns into a catch-026.
# > 
# > - Legato is proprietary.  See above.
# I agree. You also forget NetBackup, which is the Seagate stuff that Veritas
# bought (and still is alive && well && in Minnesota...)

Oh, yeah, _that_.

# > - Amanda does not handle spanning multiple volumes.
# Amanda is irretrievably broken, and really counts as a pre-Perl/pre-TCL/TK
# backup script despatcher.

Yow, that's worse than I had anticipated.

# > This leaves us with dump/restore and various (possibly interactive) scripts.
# Because of brokenness in Amanda && proprietariness in Legato, etc., neither
# are appropriate for *BSD unless you, as sysadmin, are willing to use them as
# part of a larger environment or like breakage. It is the latter situation
# which caused me to move my ftp site to a 384Kbit DSL because of all the Legato
# client downloads. Saying that the Legato/propietary solution is 'all bad'
# (which you and others within NetBSD have said before) is a bit of 'head in
# sand'.

I don't say it's 'all bad' as much as I say 'it does not fit my criteria of
usability'.  Sorry, but with all the other free stuff out there, I don't
see it as unreasonable that I should be able to back up my system for free.

# But I agree it's not optimal- which is why I am trying to schedule time to
# implement NDMP which, as a public and open standard that has some substantial
# support in Veritas, Legato and NetApp proprietary backup programs, might
# provide an adult and modern backup toolset that can assist *BSD to work in the
# commercial space (and thus be a selling point- I mean, really, when you talk
# to most enterprise sites and say, "*BSD? Data managment and backup? Uh, tar,
# cpio, dump.....").
# > Now, either there's a real trick to writing dump/restore software, or nobody
# > knows WTF they are doing.  Until either one of these is disproven, I'm going
# > to elect what works.
# I wouldn't have you do things any other way. Really. But we may not agree on
# what works and what doesn't. I mean, if ANSI labelled tapes work for you,
# that's great. Nobody is requiring you to change. Polite interest or
# disinterest in somebody offering to try and implement something else, which
# you can then try out, seems not inappropriate either.

(read:  "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.")

Your point is taken, and I don't regard myself as having nixed your idea
for implementing something else.  Indeed, I believe I took issue, as with
Mike Cheponis' "get rid of man pages as we know them" thread, with the
notion of getting rid of a known, well-working approach.

To reference a previous thread, man works pretty well.
To reference the current thread, dump works pretty well.
To assume that the individual will be able to just go out and buy,
off the shelf, for a reasonable price, a new-fangled cutting-edge removable
backup medium solution is as folly as some of the other "let's-abandon-the-
folks-with-slow-old-obsolete-hardware" approaches toward things I've seen
lately.  You'll pardon me if I note that that particular approach is
kind of counter to what is, to me, one of NetBSD's key factors.

(Not to mention that I, as an owner of a piece of kind-o-slow kind-o-
obsolete hardware with only a (broken) EXB-8200 (remember the one that
won't do EOF marks properly) as a backup device have a vested interest
in this kind of support...).

# -matt


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