Choosing a storage snapshot tool

Conclusions

The software solutions presented in this article are designed to create images and clones of data carriers – all of these tasks are performed reliably and without errors. (See Table 1 for a side-by-side comparison of the tools described in this article.) Differences arise in the application scenarios.

Table 1

Cloning Software

 

Clonezilla

CYA

Partimage

qt-fsarchiver

Snapper

License

 GNU GPL

BSD

GNU GPL

GNU GPL

GNU GPL

Supported filesystems

ext2/3/4, XFS, JFS, Btrfs, HFS+, FAT16/32, NTFS, UFS

ext2/3/4, XFS, UFS, ZFS, Btrfs

ext2/3, XFS, ReiserFS, JFS, UFS, HPFS, NTFS, FAT16/32

ext2/3/4, XFS, JFS, FAT16/32, NTFS, Btrfs

Btrfs

Profiles

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

Archiving

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

Live system

Yes

No

Yes (SystemRescueCD)

Yes

No

Scheduled

No

Yes

No

No

Yes

Intranet connection

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

Image comparison

No

No

No

No

Yes

If you only want to create images under openSUSE – or another system with the Btrfs filesystem – it is best to use Snapper as a fast solution. For servers that lack a GUI, Partimage and CYA are better suited. However, due to the lack of filesystem support for ext4 and Btrfs, Partimage is only of limited use in Linux-only environments.

Qt-fsarchiver is the best fit for systems with a GUI. Thanks to the optionally available Live DVD, it can also act as a first-class alternative to the visually antiquated Clonezilla in heterogeneous IT infrastructures. Due to the intuitive user interface, qt-fsarchiver hardly requires any training. Thus, nothing stands in the way of an enterprise backup strategy that also includes images and cloned data media.

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