Monday, July 28, 2008

Foundations Technology: idb (Backup)

Including Domino messaging and applications services in their server product was a good move for Nitix and I'm sure that demonstrating that 'proof of concept' in the marketplace was instrumental in convincing IBM to reach for their checkbook and buy the company. The downside is that many of the other technologies beavering away inside the Foundations (nee Nitix) server always seem to take a back seat to Domino and never get their own Moment in the Sun.

Consider the Foundations backup solution, idb (Intelligent Disk Backup). It's a great alternative for a SMB who needs backup but doesn't want to use a Daily-except-on-Friday-except-on-the-Last-Week-Of-The-Month-unless-it's-a-Public-Holiday color-coded schedule of a larger organisation. idb will stream your server data to a backup disk automatically as often as every 15 minutes. Since idb disks are hot-swappable then your offsite backup is always up to date and ready to go when you decide its time to leave the office for the day.

idb supports Complete System Restore, Specific Directory Restore and Specific File Restore. The last two options allow you to overwrite the original directory on the computer (Normal Mode) or restore into a new subdirectory (Safe Mode). You can also optionally restore the system configuration for your server.

If you don't want to use additional hard disks as backup then there's always Rsync. Let me quote the Foundations manual for this one:

Rsync is a Unix based utility that enables incremental files and directory synchronization from one location to another. This can be used to copy data files from the Lotus Foundations server, to another system which must also support rsync. An advantage to using this file transfer method is that only the changed portions of the files are transferred, rather than the entire new version of the files and directories.

Further down the track I can see a model where USB devices are an alternative backup strategy for a SMB who has only a couple of hundred mb of critical data and a once-a-day backup is all that's needed. How much would it cost to get a handful of 1GB memory sticks and use them as your Off-Site Backup storage medium? There's a bit of work to be done to tweak the Linux USB drivers first but if the demand is there then I'm sure IBM will get their Best People working on it.

Foundations is exciting technology for a number of reasons even without Domino Messaging and Applications.


Roland Reddekop said...

RSync sounds like a good alternative to iDb. Is there a free RSync server you can easily install on a Windows Workstation to accept the backup?

Graham Dodge said...

Hi Roland,
There are a few tools around to get RSync running on Windows but they are not officially supported by Lotus. 'Actively encouraged' with lots of cheering from the sidelines perhaps, but that's as far as they go.

You could search Google for 'rsync' and 'windows' or try these links:

I'd be interested in hearing how you go in this project. Stay in touch. said...

Hi Graham,
I want to use hadoop ( like economical file system, to do archiving at domino server.
Hadoop in background run rsync to do the data replication, do you have some tip to use rsync with lotus domino?
We want do a big central domino cluster with large file system.

than you.

Graham Dodge said...

Hi Pablo,
I haven't used hadoop or rsync with a Domino server on Linux or Foundations. I'd recommend getting some specialist Linux help with that.