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Re: A bit OT: Amanda Restore

On Sat, Mar 25, 2017 at 12:51:27AM +0900, Mark Fletcher wrote:
> A while back I installed Amanda for backups. I have a pretty simple 
> setup at the moment which I may expand later. At the moment only one 
> machine, running Jessie, is backed up by Amanda.
> My main PC is both the Amanda server and the machine Amanda is backing 
> up. Recently I started to think about what would happen if I suffered a 
> catastrophic failure on this machine. Like if one of its SSDs died a 
> sudden death.

I'm going to suggest that amanda is not the best solution for
you in this situation.

> The backup "tapes" are virtual tapes on large-capacity disks in an 
> external USB3 drive cage. The recovery scenario is my PC takes a 
> nosedive but the contents of the external drive cage are fine. For 
> example, failure of one internal SSD in the PC containing most of the 
> operating system, /home etc.

I'll take a wild guess and suggest that your SSD is 1 TB or

Let's take a cost-effective 2TB spinning disk and partition it in 2
equal-sized chunks. On odd-numbered days, copy your entire SSD
to partition 1 via dd. On weekends, copy your entire SSD to
partition 2 via dd. Make sure you have a GRUB boot CD or USB
stick available.

Now you have an image available that's no more than 2 days old,
and another which is no more than 7 days old. You should be able
to recover a single file that you accidentally deleted by simply
mounting the filesystem and copying it over. You can recover
from a whole-SSD failure by booting with GRUB and then picking
the right partition to boot from; when you have time, you can go
buy a new SSD.

For backing up other data stores you have in the system, amanda
might well be the right choice. But for bare-metal recovery
coupled with the more frequent oh-no-I-deleted-what? scenario,
this will make your life much happier.