R1soft and Buffalo Terastation- An Efficient and Easy-To-Use Backup System for Web Hosts
In every server farm, backup systems play a vital role in data retention and and recovery. When it comes to Linux, there are many open source backup solutions available. You can setup a well organized backup strategy using rsync, dd, tar, cpio etc, as per your requirement. But, these backups may turn out to be time consuming during restoration and do not provide good options for bare metal restoration. It is always better to go for a good interface through which we can restore data, quickly. In such a scenario, R1soft can be used as an optimal solution.
Usually, a backup server will be used to store the entire backup data. Server farms consists of several terabytes of data, which makes it quite difficult to manage them using a local storage. So normally NAS devices are chosen to ensure reliable backup operations. For such a setup, Buffalo Terastation Pro, which provides a very reliable and good management interface will be a good option.
The Network Backup devices (Buffalo Terastation)
There are lots of dealers who provide Network Attached Storage (NAS). Some web hosts would opt for storage devices provided by data centers, whereas others go for their own storage servers. Most data centers do not provide bare metal servers with more than 1TB attached to the SATA drive. Also, tt is quite difficult to configure a backup server when you are in a colo.
An ideal option would be to plug your own NAS device in the network and configure it to take a backup of all the servers in the network. I prefer Buffalo Terastation which has options for utilizing UPS and RAID capabilities.
You can get a listing of available products from http://www.buffalotech.com/products/network-storage/terastation/.
The Network Backup Software ( R1SOFT)
A large number of backup softwares are available. There are a lot of open source solutions which are very effective as well. However, one of the most easiest ones to configure and manage would be the r1soft CDP. It comes with the option for continuous data protection which differs from traditional backup solutions like RAID, replication and mirroring, in such a way that we will be able to restore an old uncorrupted backup in various stages. It also provides a front end to manage all these backups.
R1soft utilizes the server client model- there will be a storage server with r1soft server running and r1soft agent in the other systems communicating with the storage server. The backup is based on DELTAS. Deltas is simply defined as, the data that has changed since the last backup run. Deltas’ are calculated using a near-continuous delta method in which, the underlying device driver is used to probe continuous changes in the underlying block device. It provides a reliable, fast and real time backup option than the traditional checksum (md5) based approach.
Hence, r1soft is a good method for implementing an entire backup operation. All we need to do is install the agent in the server whose backup is needed, and then add it to the backup operation.
The Actual Plan
I would strongly suggest using an underlying private network to handle the backup application so that, the data is reliable and no one can intercept it. A typical scenario would be to attach the storage server to a private backup network. A typical example is shown in the picture.
In this case, the Buffalo Terastation NAS device is 192.168.1.2 and we mount the NAS device as a CIFS share in the server in which we are going to install the r1soft server. The server for which the backup needs to be taken ( 192.168.1.4 ) would have the linux r1soft agent installed.
The Backup server and other servers in the network should have 2 NICs for effective backup operation.
The Implementation Plan
- Configure Buffalo Terastation with a share to be used in the r1soft backup server.
- Install and configure the r1soft backup server
- Configure r1soft clients to communicate with the backup server.
Configure Buffalo Terastation:
When the Buffalo Terastation backup device is connected to the LAN, it will be automatically configured with the private IP 192.168.11.150. It is better to configure the entire system with this network address. You can access the Buffalo Terastation management interface using:
Shared Folder => shared Folders and Setup => Add. Add a shared folder with your backup server requirement. For example, a folder named “share” with 1 TB. After this, configure ssh access to the Buffalo NAS Terastation.
SSH access to the NAS device can be configured using the following methods.
1. Install acp commander by downloading it from the following link
The general syntax would be:
java -jar acp_commander -t -o
For 192.168.11.150, it would be:
java -jar acp_commander -t 192.168.11.150 -o
Now you can telnet to the device
You can configure TELNET and SSH service using the following link
2. Configure the shared folder in the backup server
It is better to use LINUX servers as r1soft backup servers with Buffalo, because the filesystem used in Buffalo is a Unix based file system.
Configure the server with a private network IP address say, 1918.104.22.168 and mount the shared directory.
mount -t cifs //192.168.11.150/share /share -o rw,username=admin,password=password
If all is well, then add the following information in /etc/fstab so that it gets automatically mounted after a reboot.
//192.168.11.150/share /test cifs rw,username=admin,password=password 0 0
Install and configure r1soft backup server
- Download the zip file from http://repo.r1soft.com/trials/CDP_Server_Stand_Alone_(Linux).zip
- Unzip CDP_Server_Stand_Alone_(Linux).zip
- sh r1soft-trial/server/CDP-Server-Stand-Alone-linux32-2.13.0
Run “proceed” with the installation. You will be asked to provide a standard port. Change it to 800 and 441 so that there won’t be any conflicts with Apache in the server.
Once the installation is complete, you can configure the backup devices using the frontend interface. You may configure the devices using the link 192.168.11.5:800 or you can use the public IP interface of the server.
Configure Backup agent in client servers
Now you can install the r1soft CDP agents in the servers where you wish to take the backup. For example, a linux server with the IP address 192.168.11.6.
Configure R1soft and schedule backup
Configure r1soft and add hosts as described in the documentation,
Then schedule the backup process. That’s it. You are done.
About the Author :
Bubby Rayber has been with Bobcares for more than two years. He is a Linux expert, and specializes in installing and configuring systems and customizing them for specific needs. Bubby is now a valuable asset to the Bobcares Server Administration Department purely because of his efficiency in handling Installations. During free hours, he concentrates on his physique and is into all kinds of sports with special mention to cricket, ping pong and carom.