Automate data backup at the command line

Automatic Backup

Lead Image © Tezz Stock, 123RF.com

Lead Image © Tezz Stock, 123RF.com

Article from Issue 206/2018
Author(s):

Backing up data is an unpopular task that many users – and even some administrators – consider a chore, prompting us to take a look at some command-line automatic backup programs.

Linux users have access to numerous backup tools. Administrators who like working with SSH appreciate that servers of any size and design can be backed up with command-line programs. However, the differences in terms of features are quite considerable (see Table 1 for an overview). Not every program is suitable for every application scenario. In this article, I investigate which tools work for which environments.

Server vs. Desktop

Home users often store large volumes of data on their computers, similar in volume to those found on servers in small businesses. High-definition video collections, as well as audio files with lossless compression and photo folders, are real memory hogs. New data is often added, but once stored, the data hardly ever changes.

On the other hand, you will also often find small files (such as correspondence, tables, presentations, and databases) on server systems. These data collections are constantly changing through modifications, such as newly created records or added documents. Accordingly, backup strategies must take existing data resources into account to guarantee rapid reconstruction in the event of data loss.

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