Using backuppc as a dirty distributed shell

Backuppc is a neat server-based backup solution. In Linux envorinments it is often used in combination with rsync over ssh – and, let’s be hontest – often fairly lazy sudo or root rights for the rsync over ssh connection. This has a lot of disadvantages, but at least, you can use this setup as a cheap distributed shell, as a good maintained backuppc server might have access to a lot of your servers.

I wrote a small wrapper, that reads the (especially Debian/Ubuntu packaged) backuppc configuration and iterates through the hosts, allowing you to issue commands on every valid connection. I used it so far for listing used ssh keys, os patch levels and even small system manipulations.

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#!/bin/bash
SSH_KEY="-i /var/lib/backuppc/.ssh/id_rsa"
SSH_LOGINS=( `grep "root" /etc/backuppc/hosts | \
 awk '{print "root@"$1" "}' | \
 sed ':a;N;$!ba;s/\n//g'` )
 
for SSH_LOGIN in "${SSH_LOGINS[@]}"
do
 HOST=`echo "${SSH_LOGIN}" | awk -F"@" '{print $2'}`
 echo "--------------------------------------------"
 echo "checking host: ${HOST}"
 ssh -C -qq -o "NumberOfPasswordPrompts=0" \
 -o "PasswordAuthentication=no" ${SSH_KEY} ${SSH_LOGIN} "$1"
done

You can easily change this to your needs (e.g. changing login user, adding sudo and so on).

$ ./exec_remote_command.sh "date"
--------------------------------------------
checking host: a.b.com
Mo 9. Mai 15:40:26 CEST 2011
--------------------------------------------
checking host: b.b.com
[...]

Make sure to quote your command, especially when using commands with options, so the script can handle the command line as one argument.

A younger sister of the script is the following ssh key checker that lists and sorts the ssh keys used on systems by their key comment (feel free to include the key itself):

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#!/bin/bash
 
SSH_KEY="-i /var/lib/backuppc/.ssh/id_rsa"
SSH_LOGINS=( `grep "root" /etc/backuppc/hosts | \
 awk '{print "root@"$1" "}' | \
 sed ':a;N;$!ba;s/\n//g'` )
 
for SSH_LOGIN in "${SSH_LOGINS[@]}"
do
 HOST=`echo "${SSH_LOGIN}" | awk -F"@" '{print $2'}`
 echo "--------------------------------------------"
 echo "checking host: ${HOST}"
 ssh -C -qq -o "NumberOfPasswordPrompts=0" \
 -o "PasswordAuthentication=no" ${SSH_KEY} ${SSH_LOGIN} \
 "cut -d: -f6 /etc/passwd | xargs -i{} egrep -s \
 '^ssh-' {}/.ssh/authorized_keys {}/.ssh/authorized_keys2" | \
 cut -f 3- -d " " | sort
 ssh -C -qq -o "NumberOfPasswordPrompts=0" \
 -o "PasswordAuthentication=no" ${SSH_KEY} ${SSH_LOGIN} \
 "egrep -s '^ssh-' /etc/skel/.ssh/authorized_keys \
 /etc/skel/.ssh/authorized_keys2" | cut -f 3- -d " " | sort
done

A sample output of the script:

$ ./check_keys.sh 2>/dev/null
--------------------------------------------
checking host: a.b.com
[email protected] 
[email protected]
some random key comment
--------------------------------------------
checking host: b.b.com
[...]

That’s all for now. Don’t blame me for doing it this way – I am only the messenger :)

When backups fail: A mysql binlog race condition

Today I ran into my first MySQL binlog race condition: The initial problem was quite simple: A typical MySQL master->slave setup with heavy load on the master and nearly no load on the slave, which only serves as a hot fallback and job machine, showed differences on the same table on both machines. The differences showed up from time to time: entries that have been deleted from the master were still on the slave.

After several investigations I started examining the MySQL binlog from the master – a file containing all queries that will be transferred to the slave (and executed there if they don’t match any ignore-db-pattern). I grepped for ids of rows that have not been deleted on the slave as I’s interested if the DELETE statement was in the binlog. In order to read a binlog file just use „mysqlbinlog“ and parse the output with grep, less or similar. To my surprise I found the following entries:

$ mysqlbinlog mysql-complete-bin.000335 | grep 1006974
DELETE FROM `tickets` WHERE `id` = 1006974
SET INSERT_ID=1006974/*!*/;

As „SET INSERT_ID“ is a result of an INSERT statement it was clear, that MySQL wrote the INSERT => DELETE statements in the wrong order. As INSERT/DELETE sometimes occur quite fast after each other and several MySQL  threads are open in the same MySQL server, you might run into a rare INSERT/DELETE race condition as the master successfully executes them, while the slave receives them in the wrong order.

As a comparision this is a normal order of INSERT and DELETE (please note that the actual INSERT is not displayed here):

$ mysqlbinlog mysql-complete-bin.000336 | grep 1007729<br />SET INSERT_ID=1007729/*!*/;<br />DELETE FROM `tickets` WHERE `id` = 1007729<br />

Actually this all so far. Lesson learned for me: A mysql binlog might get you into serious trouble when firing a MySQL server with INSERT and DELETE on the same rows as the linear binlog file can fail the correct statement order, which might be a result of different MySQL threads and an unclean log behavior. I have not yet found a generic solution for the problem but I am looking forward to it.

A quick note on MySQL troubleshooting and MySQL replication

PLEASE NOTE: I am currently reviewing and extending this document.

While caring for a remarkable amount of MySQL server instances, troubleshooting becomes a common task. It might of interest for you which

Recovering a crashed MySQL server

After a server crash (meaning the system itself or just the MySQL daemon) corrupted table files are quite common. You’ll see this when checking the /var/log/syslog, as the MySQL daemon checks tables during its startup.

Apr 17 13:54:44 live1 mysqld[2613]: 090417 13:54:44 [ERROR]
  /usr/sbin/mysqld: Table './database1/table1' is marked as
  crashed and should be repaired

The MySQL daemon just told you that it found a broken MyISAM table. Now it’s up to you fixing it. You might already know, that there is the „REPAIR“ statement. So a lot of people enter their PhpMyAdmin afterwards, select database and table(s) and run the REPAIR statements. The problem with this is that in most cases your system is already in production – for instance is up again and the MySQL server already serves a bunch of requests. Therefore a REPAIR request gets slowed down dramatically. Consider taking your website down for the REPAIR – it will be faster and it’s definitely smarter not to deliver web pages based on corrupted tables.

The other disadvantage of the above method is, that you probably just shut down your web server and your PhpMyAdmin is down either or you have dozens of databases and tables and therefore it’s just a hard task to cycle through them. The better choice is the command line in this case.

If you only have a small number of corrupted tables, you can use the „mysql“ client utility doing something like:

$ mysql -u root -p
Enter password:
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 10
Server version: 5.0.75-0ubuntu10 (Ubuntu)

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the buffer.

mysql> REPAIR TABLE database1.table1;
+--------------------+--------+----------+----------+
| Table              | Op     | Msg_type | Msg_text |
+--------------------+--------+----------+----------+
| database1.table1   | repair | status   | OK       |
+--------------------+--------+----------+----------+
1 row in set (2.10 sec)

This works, but there is a better way: First, using OPTIMIZE in combination with REPAIR is suggested and there is a command line tool only for REPAIR jobs. Consider this call:

$ mysqlcheck -u root -p --auto-repair --check --optimize database1
Enter password:
database1.table1      OK
database1.table2      Table is already up to date

As you see, MySQL just checked the whole database and tried to repair and optimize it.

The great deal about using „mysqlcheck“ is, that it can also be run against all databases in one run without the need of getting a list of them in advance:

$ mysqlcheck -u root -p --auto-repair --check --optimize \
  --all-databases

Of course you need to consider if an optimize of all your databases and tables might just take too long if you have huge tables. On the other hand a complete run prevents of thinking about a probably missed table.

[update]

nobse pointed out in the comments, that it’s worth having a look at the automatic MyIsam repair options in MySQL. So have a look at them if you want to automate recovery:

option_mysqld_myisam-recover

Recovering a broken replication

MySQL replication is an easy method of load balancing database queries to multiple servers or just continuously backing up data. Though it is not hard to setup, troubleshooting it might be a hard task. A common reason for a broken replication is a server crash – the replication partner notices that there are broken queries – or even worse: the MySQL slave just guesses there is an error though there is none. I just ran into the latter one as a developer executed a „DROP VIEW“ on a non-existing VIEW on the master. The master justs returns an error and ignores. But as this query got replicated to the MySQL SLAVE, the slave thinks it cannot enroll a query and immediately stopped replication. This is just an example of a possible error (and a hint on using „IF EXISTS“ as often as possible).

Actually all you want to do now, is telling the slave to ignore just one query. All you need to do for this is stopping the slave, telling it to skip one query and starting the slave again:

$ mysql -u root -p
mysql> STOP SLAVE;
mysql> SET GLOBAL SQL_SLAVE_SKIP_COUNTER = 1;
mysql> START SLAVE;

That’s all about this.

Recreating databases and tables the right way

In the next topic you’ll recreate databases. A common mistake when dropping and recreating tables and databases is forgetting about all the settings it had – especially charsets which can run you into trouble later on („Why do all these umlauts show up scrambled?“). The best way of recreating tables and databases or creating them on other systems therefore is using the „SHOW CREATE“ statement. You can use „SHOW CREATE DATABASE database1“ or „SHOW CREATE TABLE database1.table1“ providing you with a CREATE statement with all current settings applied.

mysql> show create database database1;
+-----------+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Database  | Create Database                                                    |
+-----------+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
| database1 | CREATE DATABASE `database1` /*!40100 DEFAULT CHARACTER SET utf8 */ |
+-----------+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)

The important part in this case is the „comment“ after the actual create statement. It is executed only on compatible MySQL server versions and makes sure, your are running utf8 on the database.

Keep this in mind and it might save you a lot of trouble.

Fixing replication when master binlog is broken

When your MySQL master crashes there is a slight chance that your master binlog gets corrupted. This means that the slaves won’t receive updates anymore stating:

[ERROR] Slave: Could not parse relay log event entry. The possible reasons are: the master’s binary log is corrupted (you can check this by running ‚mysqlbinlog‘ on the binary log), the slave’s relay log is corrupted (you can check this by running ‚mysqlbinlog‘ on the relay log), a network problem, or a bug in the master’s or slave’s MySQL code. If you want to check the master’s binary log or slave’s relay log, you will be able to know their names by issuing ‚SHOW SLAVE STATUS‘ on this slave. Error_code: 0

You might have luck when only the slave’s relay log is corrupted as you can fix this with the steps mentioned above. But a corrupted binlog on the master might not be fixable though the databases itself can be fixed. Depending on your time you try to use the „SQL_SLAVE_SKIP_COUNTER“ from above but actually the only way is to setup

Setting up replication from scratch

There are circumstances forcing you to start replication from scratch. For instance you have a server going live for the first time and actually all those test imports don’t need to be replicated to the slave anymore as this might last hours. My quick note for this (consider backing up your master database before!)

slave: STOP SLAVE;
slave: RESET SLAVE;
slave: SHOW CREATE DATABASE datenbank;
slave: DROP DATABASE datenbank;
slave: CREATE DATABASE datenbank;

master: DROP DATABASE datenbak;
master: SHOW CREATE DATABASE datenbank;
master: CREATE DATABASE datenbank;
master: RESET MASTER

slave: CHANGE MASTER TO MASTER_USER="slave-user", \
MASTER_PASSWORD="slave-password", MASTER_HOST="master.host";
slave: START SLAVE

You just started replication from scratch, check „SHOW SLAVE STATUS“ on the slave and „SHOW MASTER STATUS“ on the master.

Deleting unneeded binlog files

Replication needs binlog files – a mysql file format for storing database changes in a binary format. Sometimes it is hard to decide how many of the binlog files you want to keep on the server possibly getting you into disk space trouble. Therefore deleting binlog files that have already been transferred to the client might be a smart idea when running low on space.

First you need to know which binlog files the slave already fetched. You can do this by having a look on „SHOW SLAVE STATUS;“ on the slave. Now log into the MySQL master and run something like:

mysql> PURGE BINARY LOGS TO 'mysql-bin.010';

You can even do this on a date format level:

mysql> PURGE BINARY LOGS BEFORE '2008-04-02 22:46:26';

Conclusion

The above hints might save you same time when recovering or troubleshooting a MySQL server. Please note, that these are hints and you have – at any time – make sure, that your data has an up to date backup. Nothing will help you more.

My (unofficial) package of the day: 3ware-cli and 3dms for monitoring 3ware raid controllers

Having a real hardware raid controller is a nice thing: Especially in a server setup it helps you keeping data safe on multiple disks. Though, a common mistake is, having a raid controller and not monitoring it. Why? Let’s say, you have a simple type 1 array (one disk mirrored to another) and one of the disks fails. If your raid systems works it will continue to work. But if you did not setup a monitoring for it, you won’t notice it and the chance of a total data loss increases as you are running on one disk now.

So monitoring a raid is actually the step that makes your raid system as safe as you wanted it when setting it up. Some raids are quite easy to monitor, like a Linux software raid system. Some need special software. As I recently got a bunch of dedicated (Hetzner DS8000 and other) servers with 3ware raid controllers, I checked the common software repositories for monitoring software and was surprised not finding any suitable. So a web research showed me that there are Linux tools from 3ware. Of course they don’t provide .deb packages so you need to take of this yourself if you don’t want to install the software manually.

But there exists an unofficial Debian repository by Jonas Genannt (thank you!), providing recent packages of 3ware utilities under http://jonas.genannt.name/. Check the repository, it offers 3ware-3dms and 3ware-cli. 3ware-3dms is a web application for managing your raid controller via browser, BUT: think twice, if you want this. The application opens a privileged port (888) as it is not able to bind on the local interface and has a crappy user identification system. As I am not a friend of opening ports and closing them afterwards via firewall I dropped the web solution.

The „3ware-cli“ utility is just a command line interface to 3ware controllers. Just grab a .deb from the repository above and install it via „dpkg -i xxx.deb“. Aftwerwards you stark asking your controller questions about it’s status. The command is called „tw_cli“, so let’s give it a try with „info“ as parameter:

# tw_cli info
Ctl   Model        (V)Ports  Drives   Units   NotOpt  RRate   VRate  BBU
------------------------------------------------------------------------
c0    8006-2LP     2         2        1       0       2       -      -

tw_cli told us, that there is one controller (meaning a real piece of raid hardware) called „c0“ with two drives. No we want more detailed information about the given controller:

# tw_cli info c0
 
Unit  UnitType  Status         %RCmpl  %V/I/M  Stripe  Size(GB)  Cache  AVrfy
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
u0    RAID-1    OK             -       -       -       232.885   ON     -      
 
Port   Status           Unit   Size        Blocks        Serial
---------------------------------------------------------------
p0     OK               u0     232.88 GB   488397168     6RYBP4R9
p1     OK               u0     232.88 GB   488397168     6RYBSHJC

tw_cli reports that controller c0 has one unit „u0“. A unit is the device that your operating system is working with – the „virtual“ raid drive provided by the raid controller. There are two ports/drives in this unit, called „p0“ and „p1“. Both of them have „OK“ as status message meaning that the drives are running fine.

You also ask a drive directly by asking tw_cli for the port on the controller:

# tw_cli info c0 p0

Port   Status           Unit   Size        Blocks        Serial
---------------------------------------------------------------
p0     OK               u0     232.88 GB   488397168     6RYBP4R9            

# tw_cli info c0 p1

Port   Status           Unit   Size        Blocks        Serial
---------------------------------------------------------------
p1     OK               u0     232.88 GB   488397168     6RYBSHJC

So you might already got the clue: As tw_cli is just a command line tool your task for an automated setup is setting up a cronjob checking the status of the ports (not the unit! the ports – trust me) regularly and sending a mail or nagios alarm when necessary. I just started writing a little shell script which, right now, just returns an exit status – 0 for a working raid and 1 for a problem:

#!/bin/bash
 
UNIT=u0
CONTROLLER=c0
PORTS=( p0 p1 )
 
tw_check() {
  local regex=${1:-${UNIT}}
  local field=3
  if [ $# -gt 0 ]; then
    field=2
  fi
  local check=$(tw_cli info ${CONTROLLER} $1 \
    | awk "/^$regex/ { print \${field} }")
  [ "XOK" = "X${check}" ]
  return $?
}
 
tw_check || exit 1
for PORT in ${PORTS[@]}; do
tw_check ${PORT} || exit 1
done

As you see you can configure unit, controller and ports. I have not checked this against systems with multiple controllers and units as I don’t have such a setup. But if you need you could just put the configuration stuff in a sourced configuration file.

After writing this little summary I checked all servers I am responsible of and noticed that nearly every server with hardware raid has a 3ware controller and can be checked with tw_cli. Fine…

Let me know how you manage your 3ware raid monitoring under GNU/Linux and Debian/Ubuntu based systems.

my package of the day – gpg for symmetric encryption

Though asymmetric encryption is state of the art today, there are still cases when you probably are in need of a simple symmetric encryption. In my case, I need an easy scriptable interface for encrypting files for backup as transparent as possible. While you can, of course, use asymmetric encryption for this, symmetric methods can save you a lot of time while still being secure enough.

So there are methods like stupid .zip encryption or a bunch of packages in the repositories like „bcrypt“ that provide you with their implementations. But there is a tool, you already know and maybe even use, but don’t think of when considering symmetric encryption: „gpg„. Actually gpg heavily relies on symmetric algorithms as you might know. The public/private key encryption is a combination of asymmetric and symmetric encryption as the latter is quite more cpu efficient. In our case, gpg will use the strong cast5 cipher by default.

Encrypting

So as gpg already knows about a bunch of symmetric encryption algorithms, why not use them? Let’s just see an example. You have a file named „secretfile1.txt“ and want to encrypt it:

$ gpg --symmetric secretfile1.txt

You will be prompted for a password. Afterwards you’ll have a file named secretfile1.txt.gpg. You are already done! Please note: The file size of the encrypted file might have decreased as gpg also compresses during encryption and outputs a binary. In my test case the file size went down from 700k to 100k. Nice.

Armoring

In case you need to have an easy portable file that is even ready to be copy-pasted, you can ask gpg to create an ascii armor container:

$ gpg --armor --symmetric secretfile1.txt

The output file will be called „secretfile1.txt.asc“. Don’t bother to open it in a text editor of your choice. The beginning will look similar to this:

$ head secretfile1.txt.asc
-----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (GNU/Linux)

jA0EAwMChpQrAA/o8IFgye1j3ErZPvXumcnIwbzSvENDD/fYlWMRiY/qqvn949kV
+mo/v+nQi7OFrrA45scQPuPbj8I1T+2f7XAT4ouW2kuHIJ/2zkyrxBMvO04fDH82
273NwUrXd/s+JJXe+wJz149K324rE7+FIHvfImiez8lRs5qyRI/drp/wFK8ZHRvF
gzhDGaTe8Dgj1YqHgWAY4eAjrXhYLI1imbIYrV1OVPia6Roif37FV7C1AT/i/2HX
2ytI2mBhQLdqkSVeqXZ74lgZhsitnOeqZH65IuTLi77PUcroFOuefw6+4qSpMIuM
8dyi4jCqQ1jCR7PRorpGvm3RtXhlkB689vrknKmOa5uztTj3MGrPOgC6jegBpu/L
3419sAxRtw8bj2lP76B+XXPZ2Tuzpg01hC/BWlifSexy+juYXv7iuF5BuQ1z7nTi

(In this case I used ‚head“ for displaying the first ten lines. Head is similar to tail, which you might already know.) Though the ascii file is larger than the binary .gpg file it is still much smaller than the original text file (about 200k in the above case). When tampering with binary files like already compressed tarballs the file size of the encrypted file might slightly increase. In my test, the size grew from a 478kB file to a 479kB file when using binary mode. In ascii armor mode the size nearly hit the 650kb mark, which is still pretty acceptable.

Decrypting

Decrypting is as easy. Just call „gpg –decrypt“, for instance:

$ gpg --decrypt secretfile1.txt.gpg
# or
$ gpg --decrypt secretfile1.txt.asc

gpg knows by itself, if it is given an ascii armored or binary file. But nevertheless the output will be written to standard output, so the following line might be much more helpful for you:

$ gpg --output secretfile1.txt --decrypt secretfile1.txt.gpg

Please note, that you need to stick to the order first –output, then –decrypt. Of course you can also use a redirector („>“).

Piping

So, for the sake of it: The real interesting thing is that you can use gpg symmetric encryption in a chain of programs, controlled by pipes. This enables you to encrypt/decrypt on the fly with shell scripts helping you to write strong backup scripts. Gpg already detects, if your are using it in a pipe. So let’s try it out:

$ tar c directory | gpg --symmetric --passphrase secretmantra \
| ssh hostname "cat &gt; backup.tar.gpg"

We just made a tarbal, encrypted it and sent it over ssh without creating temporary files. Nice, isn’t it? To be honest, piping over ssh is not a big deal anymore. But piping to ftp? Check this:

$  tar c directory | gpg --symmetric --passphrase SECRETMANTRA \
| curl --netrc-optional --silent --show-error --upload-file - \
--ftp-create-dirs ftp://USER:PASSWORD@SECRETHOST/SECRETFILE.tar.gpg

With the mighty curl we just piped from tar over gpg directly to a file on a ftp server without any temporary files. You might get a clue of the power of this chain. Now you can start using a dumb ftp server as encrypted backup device now completely transparently.

That’s all for now. If you like encryption, you should also check symmetric encryption and the possibilities of enhancing daily business scripts security by adding some strong crypto to it. Of course you can complain about the security of the password, the possible visibility via „ps aux“, but you should be able to reduce risks by putting some brain in it. In the meantime check „bashup„, the bash backup script, which uses methods described here to provide you with a powerful and scriptable backup library written in Bash with minimum depencies. And yes, gpg will be added soon.

Bashup – a first example for a simple tree backup over ssh

Some days (weeks?) ago I told you about the release of „Bashup“ a bourne shell compatible backup script on sourceforge. As the script is still in heave Alpha I’d like to give you a first insight into it’s development.

Bashup is written in heavy Bash syntax and has few dependencies to external programs. You should image it as a scripting library for backups as it allows to call different backup methods and is more a framework than a fully integrated solution. The power of this is the ability to be free in the creation of a backup process while still using easy methods.

The following is a fairly easy setup of bashup for backing up some directories over ssh. You see that we only source the bashup library here, setup some variables and call the bashup method then which executes the backup.

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#!/bin/bash
# source bashup lob
. bashup_lib.sh
 
# set setup source - we want to backup a tree
SOURCE=tree
# set source dirs
TREE_DIRECTORIES="$HOME/PDF $HOME/ogg"
# setup filter for compression
FILTER=bzip2
 
# set destination - we want to ssh
DESTINATION=ssh_file
# set ssh host, you could be clever
# and setup access in .ssh/config
SSH_HOST=host.name.tld
# set remote file name
FILE=file.name.bz2
 
# we want two types of logging
USE_REPORTERS="console log"
 
# set the log file names
COMBINED_LOG=combined.log
ERROR_LOG=error.log
 
# call bashup
bashup

I admit this example won’t win a Noble award but if you are busy with setting up backups on very different servers you might like the idea of a scripting environment which only needs bash. Imagine your power when digging deeper into the bashup lib and calling the special methods directly while piping output and more. This is possible of course.

In the next weeks I’ll show you how to use backup rotation (yes, also over ssh, ftp and other methods), mysql/postresql/oracle/subversion backup, nagios feedback integration and more.

If you like to test and tell me what you think or even want to provide patches, feel free to checkout bashup:

svn co https://bashup.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/bashup bashup

Bashup – a sophisticated Bash backup script

Mnemonikk (who still lacks a blog because he cannot decide which name to choose) finally made the step to create a sourceforge project for Bashup. Bashup is a more or less modular and Bourne shell compatible backup script with few dependencies. It targets backup for servers and provides features like mysql, oracle, postgresql, subversion repository and file system backup, backup over ftp, ssh, rsync, heavy rotation (yes – even over ftp) and reporting. The script is already used on a couple of different live servers. It matches the need for a script that is neither binary, nor python, ruby or perl but just plain shell and some external calls.

The script is released under GPL. Right now you can only get it by checking out the svn repository (see sourceforge project page for details) but will be branched with an official version number soon. I know there are a lot of backup solutions out there and this is just one more, but you might also know how difficult it can be to backup a system when having very limited possibilities to install software and servers distributed on very different data centers…

Feel free to contact me for gaining access as developer. Patches and new modules welcome!