Davrom Consulting Pty Ltd

Established Since 2001
PO Box 1644, Sunnybank Hills, Qld, 4109
ABN: 81 096 990 804


Site Time: 24 September 2017 - 20:11




Back to Newsletters

KEYWORDS=usb, backup, tape, christmas, maxtor, filesystem, mount, xenix, dmesg, Davrom Consulting Newsletter - Issue # 35 - Dated: 18 Dec 2006


From the desk of David Clark
Well it's Christmas time again and I would like to thank all our readers
for their continued support and input throughout the year. On behalf of
Rose-Marie and I, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and
Happy and Prosperous New Year. Please take care on the roads and we trust
you will enjoy a festive season that brings fond memories for many years
to come.

Davrom will be closed for the official holidays (25th and 26th of
December and the 1st of January), otherwise we will be here ready to
help.

For those who have been reading my newsletters since the OzSCO
newsletters starting back in April 1994, I can't pass on inserting ye
olde ASCII Christmas tree.
               #########################################
               ## \                                 / ##
               ##                                     ##
               ##                 *                   ##
               ##                 $                   ##
               ##                /o\                  ##
               ##               /\ *\                 ##
               ##              /o*/o/\                ##
               ##             /*/\ *\o\               ##
               ##            /\o*\/o\/*\              ##
               ##           /\/*/o\ /*\o\             ##
               ##          /*/\/\ /*o/\/*\            ##
               ##         o    o  #   o   o           ##
               ##                 #                   ##
               ##               __#__      __%__      ##
               ##              \_____/    |_____|     ##
               ##                                     ##
               ## /   Merry Christmas From DAVROM   \ ##
               #########################################               
I would like to thank the reader for their time in reading this
newsletter.

David.M.Clark


UNIX Quote
All I want for Christmas is the latest copy of Linux Magazine.


USB Hard Drive Backups

We have been implementing a variety of backup solutions for some time now
but there is one I believe we should touch on here for those running SCO
OpenServer 5.0.7 and Linux servers.

The key for any UNIX/Linux operating system is that the kernel is able to
recognise the USB hardware when it is attached. For the later versions of
Linux and SCO 5.0.7 systems with the later MPs applied, this is simply a
matter of attaching the USB external drive. Most mainstream stores sell
the range of external USB hard drives (Maxtor for example).

Once you plug the device in you need to check the operating systems'
kernal can "see" the device and this is normally done by executing the
"dmesg" command or tail-ing the system message log file which is
/usr/adm/messages or /usr/adm/syslog for SCO and /var/log/messages for
Linux.

From here you will need to setup the USB hard drive as an extra hard
drive on your server and it is safer to make the filesystems UNIX or
Linux rather than NTFS (Windows) or Fat32 (Windows). Once you are able to
mount the USB drive as a UNIX/Linux filesystem, you simply start copying
an archive to the new external filesystems.

We have setup a number of sites to do this automatically via cron - some
customers require off-site backups so all the customer has to do is
disconnect the drive each day and take it away.

Restoring from this type of backup will require you to be able to access
the system from a newly setup operating system or bootable CD/DVD media
so compared to some tape backup/restore solutions, the USB solution may
take longer to do.

USB hard drives offer an inexpensive backup medium that is portable and
simple to work with.


From the Trenches
Some comic or not so comic relief from the support days gone by.

The One Tape Tragedy:

In the early days of Xenix and ESDI drives (remember the old house brick
sized hard drives that weighed a ton) a customer brought in a drive that
had crashed owing to some kind of electric upset at the site it came
from. With it they brought in their single backup tape - this backup was
a complete cpio backup of the entire system (ideal for complete system
recovery). It was the one and only backup tape they had been using for
more than two years.

Faithfully they had sat around each afternoon to run the system backup
before going home to ensure they had captured the days work.

Unfortunately, the power spike/outage had happened during one of these
afternoon backups and when we tried to get to the disk, it was gone. No
amount of Xenix tricks would bring back anything from the disk. When we
turned our attentions to the tape it had only got to the backup process
of the end of the Xenix operating system - no data, no applications. We
tried to go beyond file marks on the tape but it was unsuccessful. Two
years of data needed to be punched in all over again.

One can never have too many backup tapes.


Tech Tip

Based on the USB drive article in this month's newsletter, let us take a
quick look at the dmesg command.

To view the latest system log messages type in:

dmesg | more

and if you are looking for any USB output you would type in:

dmesg | grep -i usb

A handy quick peek at what the latest messages are from your system.



Back to Newsletters




Website design by Davrom Consulting Pty Ltd
This site is fully tested with Google Chrome and Firefox web bowsers

Home Page | Support | Misc | David's Pages | Podcasts | Contact Us | Blog