Backing Up with AMANDA

Samba can be an effective part of a network backup solution, but it’s got its limitations. Most importantly, it can be difficult to schedule backups, particularly on larger networks; you must add each machine individually to a network backup schedule. One solution to this problem is AMANDA, which was designed to automate the tape backup process as much as possible, while also providing tools to simplify the restore process. AMANDA serves as a “wrapper” around several other tools, and as such requires extra configuration. Once it’s configured, though, AMANDA simplifies the day-to-day administration of a backup plan.

To begin using AMANDA, you should first understand its principles of operation: what can it do and how does it do it? Three types of configuration are then relevant: the AMANDA backup server, Linux backup clients, and Windows backup clients. Once you’ve configured all your systems, you can proceed to using AMANDA for both backups and restores.

AMANDA Principles

AMANDA was designed as a network-centric backup solution, in the sense that it’s designed to treat a network as a single entity that’s to be backed up. This contrasts with tar or even smbtar, which treat backups on a computer-by-computer basis. Of course, you must still tell AMANDA about the individual computers that are to be backed up, but you needn’t be concerned with details such as scheduling when each system is backed up. Instead, let AMANDA work out those details, based on information ...

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