Saturday, 24 December 2011

Beagleboard Ubuntu Backup

I use my Ubuntu 11.10 based Beagleboard as a low-power home server, which mainly stores my subversion repositories for my mobile apps development business. The server is headless and remains plugged in 24/7.
So I wanted to have some sort of cloud backup system, where my repositories and some parts of the Linux filesystem (mainly /etc) were backed-up to a remote location. At most I wanted to backup about 150MB of data.
After much searching around, I came up with the following two lists of possible solutions for backing up a home linux server:
  • Dropbox - Obvious choice given that your backups would also be accesible on various different platforms, but unfortunately they don't officially support an ARM CLI client (there have been some people who have been able to hack their packages to get them working, but I didn't want the hassle). You can login to Dropbox and vote for ARM support here.
  • UbuntuOne - This is available for ARM, but requires a GUI interface to manage, see here. There are ways around this, as described here, but I want a simple solution.
  • Using the standard backup-manager tool to backup to your own online server (unfortunately I don't have access to one). For those that do, you can use either of the following methods for transferring your archive: FTP, SSH, S3 and RSYNC. From the user guide: "The FTP, SSH and S3 methods are dedicated to upload archives, using those method depends on the use of at least one backup method. On the opposite, the RSYNC method uploads a directory to remote locations, this directory can be your repository or whatever other location of your file system".

  • Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), which the standard backup-manager tool can upload to. The pricing for this is flexible, and very very cheap for small amounts of data! To upload and store 1GB of data per month, the cost is less than $1.00!!! You can play around with the calculator here, be sure to select the "Amazon S3" tab along the left hand side. (Instructions for how to do this here.)
  • - Min cost per month is $5.60 (7GBs)
  • Many other paid services, some with their own clients and others that can be used with the backup-manager package.

Which Solution?
Based on the lists above and the drawbacks of each possible solution, I decided to go with using backup-manager with Amazon S3. The backups are for my business's subversion repositories, so I don't mind spending a little each month.
You can follow the instructions I have created to setup backups from your Ubuntu based Beagleboard to Amazon S3 here.

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