Dirvish Backup – Multiple seperate backup schedules

I’ve been used Dirvish now for just over a year. It replaced a number of rsync replication scripts that I had running that were doing rolling backups. While moving to Dirvish has required a few extra scripts to be written, it has been a worthwhile experience. My own scripts weren’t able to handle holding backups for longer periods, at least not gracefully. The biggest issue we had was trying to get Dirvish to do different backups on different schedules. The Dirvish config, while it may look like it allows this at first glance, it really isn’t setup for it. Backups once per day is its bread and butter.

Hopefully this will help clear up a few minor issues with Dirvish and get you running with multiple independent schedules.

Credit where credit is due, some of this is a result of a different sources on Google. We have modified this a number of times over the last year to fit our needs so I’m not totally sure how much of the original remains.

Note: This is from a Debian based system. Paths reflect same.

Initial Dirvish Configuration

For this guide, out setup consists of 1 host which we backup once per day, and the same host which has a directory which gets backed up once per hour. Backups are being stored under /storage/Backups/dirvish.

Our master.conf file – notice that no hosts are actually defined here.

expire-default: +15 days
    *   *     *   *         1    +3 months
    *   *     1-7 *         1    +6 months
    *   *     1-7 1,4,7,10  1    +6 month
    *   10-20 *   *         *    +4 days
#   *   *     *   *         2-7  +15 days


     host     02:00



/etc/cron.d/dirvish – This is what calls the jobs

00 01 * * *     root    /usr/sbin/dirvish-expire --quiet   # Expire old images
00 02 * * *     root    /usr/sbin/dirvish-runall --quiet --config runall-daily.conf
00 * * * *      root    /usr/sbin/dirvish-runall --quiet --config runall-hourly.conf

With those in place, our host backs up at 2am every day. The hourly script kicks in every hour. We setup the vaults as normal in the folders defined about. So the hourly is /storage/Backups/dirvish/host/hourly.

Only thing that needs changing is the image-default option in the configs.

Daily vault: image-default: %Y%m%d
Hourly vault: image-default: %Y%m%d%H

Living with it

This setup has run great for us. We get what we need backed up when we need it backed up. There has been a few notable excepts however.

First, one of our hosts started locking up during backup windows. Dirvish then went nuts and started marking incomplete backups correct somehow. We noticed when our bandwidth shot up as it was recopying full machine images across.

Second, our expire rules tend to leave too much data. Yes we could probably fix this, and we probably will when space becomes an issue. I guess the first thing is for our hourlys to reduce down to one a day on the older sets instead of keeping the whole day. But since Dirvish is so good with space, a few months of hourlys isn’t taking too much space.

Overall however, I can’t say we’ll be moving from Dirvish anytime soon for backups, at least for our linux machines.

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