[Dirvish] Push instead of pull?

Keith Lofstrom keithl at kl-ic.com
Wed Nov 2 16:10:05 PST 2005

On Wed, Nov 02, 2005 at 04:59:25PM -0600, Chris Dunning wrote:
> I seem to remember seeing this in the documentation somewhere, but I 
> can't find it now.  Is it possible to push backups, rather than pulling 
> them?
> On my network, I have both wired desktop machines and wireless laptops.  
> The wired machines all have dedicated IPs, and I pull backups down for 
> them each night.  This is working great.  The laptops are in and out all 
> the time, visiting coffee shops, the local college campus, clients, 
> etc.  I've tried setting up profiles on each of those that would take a 
> dedicated IP here and use DHCP otherwise, but so far that's not working 
> so well.  They do spend the night here most nights.  Is it possible to 
> run Dirvish on the laptops, pushing the backups to the backup server 
> each night on cron?  Alternately, is there a way to notify the server of 
> the laptop's IP address when it logs back in to the network?  I know 
> that last question is beyond the scope of this mailing list, but maybe 
> someone can point me in the right direction.
> Thanks in advance - I'm looking forward to <more> complete backups.

Push backups are not a good idea - there are too many security problems.
However, "push initiated" might be a good idea - putting some kind of
flag on the client where the pull server can find it, then initiating
pull backups controlled by the server.

Rsync, the core of dirvish, can really hog the client and the network
when it runs.  Chances are, when a user is plugging their laptop into
the main network after an absence, it means they have some immediate
task in mind, and would not be pleased with a major slowdown.  The
other users of the network will also be annoyed (especially a sub-
megabyte-per-second 802.11B network), unless that instance of
dirvish and rsync is really throttled back.  And the laptop may
only be on the network for a few minutes, not permitting a throttled
full rsync to occur.

Perhaps a little nag window should pop up on the user's screen, which
reminds them that a backup is overdue.  It asks if they would like to
do one now.  The nag window program could be parameterized, and could
generate a flag file somewhere that the server can see.  Somehow, the
laptop user's immediate intentions must be part of the decision to
back up, so I can't see how to completely automate this without
capturing those intentions.  The social engineering aspects outweigh
the technical ones.

Other ideas?


Keith Lofstrom          keithl at keithl.com         Voice (503)-520-1993
KLIC --- Keith Lofstrom Integrated Circuits --- "Your Ideas in Silicon"
Design Contracting in Bipolar and CMOS - Analog, Digital, and Scan ICs

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