Amanda – backup solution

AMANDA, the Advanced Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archiver, is a backup system that allows the administrator to set up a single master backup server to back up multiple hosts over network to tape drives/changers or disks or optical media.

Amanda uses native dump and/or GNU tar facilities and can back up a large number of workstations running multiple versions of Unix.

The software is released under an open source license.

Features include:

  • Has configuration options for controlling almost all aspects of the backup operation and provides several scheduling methods.
  • Designed to handle large numbers of clients and data, yet is reasonably simple to install and maintain. It scales well, so small configurations, even a single host, are possible.
  • It will back up multiple machines in parallel to a holding disk. For example, a ~2 Gb 8mm tape on a ~240K/s interface to a host with a large holding disk can be filled by Amanda in under 4 hours.
  • Supports a wide range of tape storage devices. It uses basic operations through the normal operating system I/O subsystem and a simple definition of characteristics. New devices are usually trivial to add.
  • Supports secure communication between server and client using OpenSSH.
  • Supports using more than one tape in a single run, but does not yet split a dump image across tapes. This also means it does not support dump images larger than a single tape.
  • Either the client or tape server may do software compression, or hardware compression may be used. On the client side, software compression reduces network traffic. On the server side, it reduces client CPU load. Software compression may be selected on an image-by-image basis.
  • Supports Kerberos 4 security, including encrypted dumps.
  • Can encrypt dumps on Amanda client or on Amanda client using GPG or any encryption program.
  • Support for:  Periodic archival backup, such as taking full dumps to a vault away
    from the primary site Incremental-only backups where full dumps are done outside of Amanda, such as very active areas that must be taken offline, or no full dumps at all for areas that can easily be recovered from vendor media Always doing full dumps, such as database areas that change completely between each run or critical areas that are easier to deal with during an emergency if they are a single-restore operation.
  • Support for multiple simultaneous writes to storage devices.
  • Support for LEOM in storage devices.
  • Uses a simple tape management system and protects itself from overwriting tapes that still have valid dump images and from tapes not allocated to the configuration. Images may be overwritten when a client is down for an extended period or if not enough tapes are allocated, but only after Amanda has issued several warnings. Amanda can also be told to not reuse specific tapes.
  • A validation program may be used before each run to note potential problems during normal working hours when they are easier to correct. An activity report is sent via e-mail after each run. Amanda can also send a report to a printer and even generate sticky tape labels.
  • Recovers gracefully from errors, including down or hung machines.
  • Includes a pre-run checker program, that conducts sanity checks on both the tape server host and all the client hosts (in parallel), and will send an e-mail report of any problems that could cause the backups to fail.

Support: Wiki, Mailing Lists, Forums
Developer: Amanda Development Team including James da Silva, Mike Grupenhoff, James Mathiesen, George Scott and many others.
License: Amanda Copyright and License

Amanda is written in C and Perl. Learn C with our recommended free books and free tutorials. Learn Perl with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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