Mondo rescues open source DR

Free software keeps enterprise data safe

Businesses looking for an open source disaster recovery solution for Linux should consider Mondo Rescue, which is more flexible than other solutions, according to its developers.

Now developed by HP's EMEA open source and Linux professional lead Bruno Cornec, Mondo Rescue is available globally under the GNU GPL.

Speaking at the linux.conf.au Linux and open source conference in Sydney last week, Cornec outlined why he revived the Mondo Rescue project because he needed a tool to replicate configurations of Linux systems at HP.

"There were only two choices, one was mkcdrec and the other was Mondo Rescue," Cornec said.

Cornec praised Mondo Rescue for being Linux distribution neutral, supporting all the kernel's file systems, and a combination of software and hardware RAID.

"It supports removable media in the form of tapes and ISO files, so you can redeploy a system from bare metal," he said.

The DR tool is divided into two parts, with archiving performed with mondoarchive.

Its authors claim Mondo is used by many big name enterprises, including Lockheed-Martin, Nortel Networks, Siemens, HP, IBM, NASA, the US Department of Agriculture, and "dozens of smaller companies and tens of thousands of users".

Mondo Rescue uses either bzip2 or gzip for data compression, and apio for reliable backups, according to Cornec. Each file is compressed individually and then archived with apio, and full and differential backups are supported.

If required, administrators can exclude directories from the backup, and for restorations booting from physical media to restore an entire system is supported.

"You can also boot from the network and you have the ability to change the layout of your file system during the restore," he said, adding Mondo does not "dump the file system", rather it recreates the partition.

Being network transparent, Mondo allows backups to be hosted on an NFS server and those images can be redeployed "easily".

The developers are now working on adding an option to integrate all the device drivers for the target machine.

The Mondo Rescue project is online at www.mondorescue.org.

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