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Submission + - Database backup solution for a company that has a lot of customers?

Nillerz writes: I work for a company in a field that is still dominated by electricians, but is moving toward an IT future.

This means that they're starting to deal with problems that their industry hasn't had before, namely how are we going to securely store hundreds of customer database backups that are coming from off-site servers?

The ideal solution would be something that automatically backs up the database locally on their machines, encrypts it, gets a secure session over at our servers, uploads it, and exits. I don't know how likely it is that a solution already exists that does exactly this.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Which is better... Xbox or PlayStation 4? 4

An anonymous reader writes: I'm looking at getting a new gaming console for the kids Christmas this year. I'm stuck between getting an Xbox or a PlayStation 4. I'm really wary on the PlayStation because of the 5 PS2s with broken optical drives sitting in my garage, none lasted more than 2 years. On the other hand I'm also wary of buying a Microsoft product, I'm a Linux user for life after getting tired of their crappy operating system. I've also considered getting a gaming PC, whether Linux or Windows, but it's more expensive and game reviews show most are not as good as a dedicated game console. The kids want Fallout 4, I want Star Wars Battlefront and any version of Gran Turismo. We currently have a Nintendo WII and a crappy gaming PC with some Steam games. So, which gaming console should I get that will last a long time?

Comment Re:Pretty Laughable (Score 1) 311

That is correct, I measured double precision (64 bit) floating point performance on AMD Opterons, and the FPU is not a bottleneck, even in an artificial extreme FPU loading benchmark.

As far as I know the shared FPU can be divided not only into two 128 but parts, but it can be further divided into four 64 bit parts, therefore a single Bulldozer core can execute two 64 bit floating point calculation at once. This suit is complete bullshit.

They can as well sue Intel because their CPU has shared third level cache, and they have only a single, shared memory controller.

Comment Re:How powered off is "powered off"? (Score 4, Interesting) 184

You may be right in case of other equipment, but enterprise grade drives are really better. For example I do not know any consumer SSD which has power loss capacitors (Intel 320 is not produced anymore). Most consumer drives don't contain even those capacitors which would be necessary to prevent the loss of - not the freshly written but the - old(!) data in case of a power loss. Consumer HDDs lied (or lying?) about sync, they confirm sync before they actually save the data to disk. And I am sure that consumer SSDs do something similar, because consumer SSD are usually faster (although their speed frequently fluctuates to extreme extents) than their corresponding enterprise variants, which is impossible in a safe way without power loss protection capacitors.

Comment What it really says... (Score 5, Interesting) 184

The relevant table is on 27. page.

In short: if you use the SSD in a cold environment AND store it in hot environment than you may lose data quite quickly. Quicker than two weeks.

Client drives are also affected, but the data loss occurs slighly later. I guess reason of the difference is that enerprise drives assume a higher work temperature.

So the advice is that if you use the SSD in your air conditioned basement in a good case then do not store your SSD on the sun for extended periods.

And no, I do not use spinning media as a backup. I use tapes. Using spinning media for proper backups is almost impossible. See

Comment toy anyway (Score 1, Interesting) 65

It has no power loss protection, so now it could lose data much faster. It should be good for worthless data but that is all. I am not sure if it has at least small capacitors, the half-assed power loss mitigation technique which does not protect new flushed data, but at least prevents the loss of old, unrelated data.

Comment Re:Where is the support for ECC RAM? (Score 3, Informative) 166

What are you talking about? All AMD server boards support ECC. In contrast to Intel, AMD always puts every feature into every processor of the same generation. AMD does not dumb down artificially even its cheapest processor. That is one of the thing I like in AMD processors. I do not have to check which random feature is disabled in a particular processor. Even some desktop AMD motherboards have ECC support, like the SABERTOOTH 990FX.

Comment Compared to tape (Score 1) 71

I thought that our tape backup system is luxury, for such a small company. Quite the contrary, it seems that tape is very cheap. Back of the envelope calculation: Our daily full backup is about 600 gigabytes. We are using 6 pieces of LTO-3 tapes for the last days and 1 for each month, plus 1 for each year. That is about 23 tapes in use. Total of 23Ã--600GB is 13800GB, 138 dollar each month on Google Nearline, which is 1700$ per year. The total cost of the tape drive, the tapes and the SCSI adapter was less than 1700$. And I expect that to work for at least 5 years, not 1. That means that for backup tape is 80% cheaper. Of course deduplication would reduce the data amount to a few percentage of its current size. But then we would lose the plenty of redundancy we have with tapes. Google Nearline is offsite, that is good, or actually, that is required for backup. Offline copies are required too, and that is where the entire thing fails for this purpose. Google nearline is online storage from a backup point of view. In other words it cannot be used for backup. It can be part of a backup strategy, though. It could be good for saving backup copies of family photos, if the account password is managed very cautiously. Otherwise I do not see the use cases for this service, but I am sure there are some.

Comment Re:Shyeah, right. (Score 1) 284

I moved to the opposite direction, from disks to tapes. We are a small IT company with less than 10 employees, mostly developers, no dedicated sysadmin, but quite a few servers. We had no previous experiences, so our backup "methodolody" is only slowly improving in ad-hoc ways. First we had backups of critical data stored on online disks. Source code and a very few other things. No configuration files, no database. There were only ad-hoc copies of the latters. After a while I started to backup more data, and started to use a centralized backup software (namely Bacula). Backups were still written to online disks. Everything was online, and we are reguralry attacked by hackers. Not a good combination. In the next step I tried to occassionally copy the online backups to offline disks. That did not really worked. Copyying all backups were time consuming, and I usually forgot it or do not have time for it. Large hard disks are still not that cheap, and they cannot be simply taken out the server and put back. The drives must be mounted on a tray, which require additional costs and work. Most people forget that if I have a 300 GB dataset, then I need about 30 * 300 GB backup space. There are tricks to reduce that, but that makes everything more difficult, more time consuming, less safe. I started to use tapes 2 years ago, after I recognized that our backup software supports that better. I thought that tape for us will always be a luxury, but it makes things much simpler. Equipment cost was definitely not a motivation. And indeed that is what happened, now everything is super simple. Bacula tells me what tape should I put into the drive, or if I need to buy a new tape. We have offline copies and multiples copies recorded at different dates. We can retrieve and compare data from 1 day ago, 2 days, one week, one month one yeat, whaterver I want. That is a nice safety, much-much better than we had previously. Bacause tapes are cheaper, I do not mind adding new data to backup and new tapes, just to make things simple. The funny thing is that I believe we shortly reach the point when our very simple, very safe, tape based backup system will be actually cheaper than the equal hard disk based, even if I do not count labour, only equipment. I am sure that a larger organization with real sysadmins can do it better, but I am quite happy with our current state.

Comment Article is valid, answers are stupid (Score 2) 265

The submitter does NOT complain about Google's ability to catch spam! He asks why Gmail does not REJECT obvious spam. Rejecting an email means that - in this case the Gmail - server does not even accept it. In such cases the sender gets back a Delivery Status Notification from his own server, telling him that his email did not go through because of such and such error. An important point here is that the email is not lost without any notification. The sender can try to contact the recipient in another way. Actually this may be better than putting the email into a spam folder if that is not monitored regularly, or at all. Yes, this is a valid question, but almost none have undersood it.

Comment Re: it solves some unicode issues (Score 1) 774

I do not understand this complaint about unix configuration either. I am a relatively new Linux user (about 5 years, compared to 20 years on Windows), and I find the Unix configuration system is far-far better than the mess in Windows. Everything is in the /etc/ directory. In the rare cases when I install a tarball instead of a package, the configuration files are in /opt//conf. I manage about about 50 virtual servers, it really works well.

Text configuration files are easily managed by standard command line tools, including diffing and merging changes during upgrade, and non-interactive modifications.

If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us, we would all be millionaires. -- Abigail Van Buren