After I discussed a possible backup solution using rdiff-backup in the last part of this series I want to show you the second tool which is rsnapshot.
As I already pointed out, I'm not using rdiff-backup anymore. The reason is mainly that it is simply too slow. I'm using a Raspberry Pi as my NAS and it is absolutely not capable of handling larger backups with rdiff-backup. It works for smaller backup sizes, but not for my entire home directory. Even when I pushed the initial full backup directly to the backup disk (not using my Raspberry), all future incremental backups were still unbearably slow. Even when no files changed at all, it took hours over hours for simply comparing all the files I had in my home directory to those on the NAS, whereas a full comparison using rsnapshot is done within five to ten minutes. Now keep this in mind and look at the fact that incomplete backups made with rdiff-backup can't be resumed. You could imagine that in the end you wouldn't have any backup at all. Basically all rdiff-backup would do is to compare and push your files over the day and abort in the evening when you shut down your workstation. And then the next day it would spend all the time reverting the incomplete backup and running another one which might not finish either.
So this is the main reason I stopped my experiments with rdiff-backup. It was a nice time, but I finally moved on. Therefore say hello to our new precious star: rsnapshot!
Backups are a very vital part of every computer system, be it a corporate PC network or simply your local workstation. Unfortunately, they are often neglected, although everyone knows how important they are. The “I haven't had any bad incidences yet, but I know I really should… guess what… I'll do it next week” attitude is only too well known by everybody, including myself.
Performing backups is a tedious process if done wrong. Thus backups need to done automatically in the background without any user intervention. As soon as someone feels the need to do something in order to get his stuff backed up, he will ultimately end up with no backup at all (and probably a bad conscience he only forgets too fast).
In this little two-part article series I will present two tools I've been playing around with a lot and I'll show you how you can use them to set up your own personal NAS with a spare piece of hardware such as a Raspberry Pi. No need for any expensive special storage system.
After upgrading your web server you need to restart it, but how is this done correctly? Just killing the server would interrupt all connections and that could cause problems such as inconsistent data and angry users. So what we need to do is to restart the web server gracefully so that all connections being served can finish. Once all connections are closed, the server restarts.