Backup software

Emborg – Front-End to BorgBackup

In Operation

User interface and ease of use

Backup software should be easy to use. A clear and intuitive user interface will particularly be useful for non-technical users.

Emborg is a strictly text-based affair. There is therefore no attractive frontend. To configure the software, you’ll need to be happy editing its configuration files and understand their purpose. You’ll also need to consult the documentation as it’s imperative you understand how the configuration files work, and which ones you’ll need for your requirements.

Automation and Scheduling

Performing backups manually is prone to mistakes, omissions, and delays. Good backup software should automate the backup process. Scheduling backups offers a level of consistency that helps keep the backup process reliable.

Emborg contains a executable, emborg-overdue, that can be run on the destination server to determine whether the backups have been performed recently.

Storing backups

Efficiency comes from avoiding duplication of file storage. File compression is also an important factor. Encryption ensures security of your files to protect from unauthorized access. Even if backup files are stolen, the actual data cannot be deciphered without a decryption key.

Courtesy of Borg Backup as the underlying software, deduplication technology is used. What does that mean? In essence this means Emborg doesn’t copy known data again; it recognises if identical files or chunks of files are present in more than one backup, but only stores that data once. But you can still browse each backup as normal.

You use Emborg’s retention limits (the keep_X settings) to specify how long to keep archives after they have been created.

The settings configuration file lets you specify the encryption key but make sure the file is not readable by others, or use the passcommand command.

Reporting and Testing

Regularly testing your data backup strategy is essential for ensuring that backups are functioning as expected and that any configuration changes don’t cause any unexpected errors. It also allows you to identify and address any backup issues.

Emborg has a raft of useful commands. The due and info commands allow you to interactively check on the current status of your backups.

Various monitoring services are available on the web. You can configure Emborg to notify them when back-up jobs have started and finished.

Borg-Space is an accessory for Emborg which reports and tracks the space required by your Borg repositories. It also allows you to graph the space used over time.

The check command lets you check the integrity of the repository and its archives, and the --repair option attempts to repair any damage found although this needs to be used with care.

Customization

Backup software should allow you to customize your backups based on your requirements.

There is plenty of customization available from the configuration files.

Cloud support

Local backups won’t protect you from burglary or natural disasters.

We got Emborg working well with BorgBase and Rsync.net. We can also backup via ssh to other servers.

Documentation

Good backup software will provide clear documentation that explains how to use the software.

Emborg has reasonable documentation which is both readable and offers some useful examples on how to configure the software for specific use cases. But the examples provided are rather limited. There’s definitely room for improvement. But then again, we sometimes see backup software that doesn’t even offer a man page.

Next page: Page 3 – Summary

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction and Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Summary

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Nessie
Nessie
3 months ago

Thanks for the review