[Dirvish] Push instead of pull?

Chris Dunning chris at bluenoteweb.com
Wed Nov 2 17:36:16 PST 2005

Keith Lofstrom wrote:

>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 
>>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 -

    These laptops are normally out during the day, and return at night.  
They can be left on all night, connected to the AP.  If Dirvish were set 
to run at 2 AM, nobody would be inconvenienced by it.

    Regardless, it looks quite a bit more complicated than just finding 
a way to make these laptops assume a dedicated IP on the local network.  
I'll change my focus a bit and look in that direction.

    Thanks to both Keith and Steve for their quick responses!
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