Subject: Re: Suggestions for a backup solution
To: Jukka Marin <>
From: Steven M. Bellovin <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 01/02/2002 14:52:22
In message <>, Jukka Marin writes:
>On Wed, Jan 02, 2002 at 02:01:31PM -0500, Ian P. Thomas wrote:
>> 	I'm about to purchase some sort of backup solution.  I would 
>> like to know what a good solution for a home PC would be.  100 MB Zip
>> disks seem to small.  What I would like to do is back up the whole disk
>> to some media on a weekly basis, or more frequently.  Is a tape drive the 
>> best route to go for this?  If so, I'm assuming that SCSI drives would be
>> best.  What brands run best on NetBSD?  I know where to look for supported
>> hardware, but some drivers work better than others.
>Why not buy an extra disk and automatically create tarballs to it?
>Maybe doing a tape backup once a week or month in addition to this.
>I have found DAT drives working well - but the tapes are quite small,
>compared to disks available now.

That's the real problem:  disks have gotten really big.  I back up my 
laptop's 20G NetBSD partition to a desktop with a 75G drive.  My office 
desktop has two big drives; I use one to hold backups of the other, 
plus "off-site" backups of my laptop.  But I don't find these solutions 
to be completely satisfactory, because I want something that is (a) 
more easily moved to offsite locations, and (b) more immune to the 
vagaries of host software and hardware.  (Case in point:  I just posted 
a report of a hardware problem on my office machine.  At the time, I 
thought it was a controller problem, though I'm now inclined to think 
it's the drive.  But -- even though the second drive checks out clean, 
I'm reluctant to mount it in case there is a controller glitch.  I 
don't dare touch it -- it's my clean backup.  But what good is a backup 
you can't use?)

		--Steve Bellovin,
		Full text of "Firewalls" book now at