Summary: backup & restore 8.5GB to/from tape

From: J. Leung (
Date: Mon Jun 12 2000 - 13:17:19 CDT

Thanks to:
Claudio Cuestas <>
Rasana Atreya <>
Tim Carlson <>
Steve Maher <>
Robert S. Linzell <>
"Litwin, Gary" <>
David B. Harrington <>
Bismark Espinoza <bismark@alta.Jpl.Nasa.Gov>

Consensus: ufsdump

Detailed individual replies
1. My take on this is, if you are trying to backup the data locally on
   your machine, first determine was is the total disk space, then I
   would suggest to use gzip not tar, due to the fact that tar does
   not offer any type of compression, aside from backing up data is
   also good to compress the data so it takes less space on the device.

   To utilize a backup software and tape drives you may wanna look
   into Solstice Networker and use either dlt tape drive + tape or
   other type of data backup/revovery device.

2. With ufsdump it is easier to restore selectively. With tar you
   cannot pick and choose what you want to restore.

3. We always use ufsdump. Stay away from tar and dd. For that amount
   of data, check out the HP DDS3 tape drive. We have three of them
   and think they are great.

4. ufsdump works well for us.

        ufsdump 0cuf /dev/rmt/0n /filesystem

   this will do a full dump to the default no-rewind tape device. Must
   use mt command to move from one filesystem dump to another.

5. I recommend ufsdump, primarily because of ease of restoring
   files/filesystems and ease of use with remote tape drives (no
   remote shell call required). Also, ufsrestore is much friendlier
   than dd or tar to extract off of tape, and in an emergency, this
   aspect is _crucial_. Tar and dd (AFAIK) cannot extract entire
   filesystems (in a single, simple command), which ufsrestore can
   (this is the word of experience!). Also, tar and dd are
   notoriously difficult to use for extracting particular individual
   files (or multiple files). GNU tar is better than standard tar for
   remote tape operations and for single/multiple file extractions,
   FWIW. If using a remote tape drive, you'll need to set the
   /.rhosts (and probably /etc/hosts.equiv) entries on all involved
   machines. HTH.

6. I have a rather large site, and use Legato Networker for backups,
   however this is a pretty expensive solution.
   If the data is on a single partition, one of my preferred ways is
   to use ufsdump:
        ufsdump 0f - /directory_name | dd of=/dev/rmt/0cbn obs=32768
   After using ufsdump I usually do an interactive test restore to
   make sure all went well.

7. I use Solaris Backup (SBU) which is a very expensive product, but
   allows automatic backup of several clients, and your chouce of
   Recovery is a piece of cake, to the point that you can recover
   (with a GUI) down to individual file level.
   Ufsdump and tar are good, and I use them sometimes, too.

8. Get a 8mm tape drive and backup using ufsdump.

Orginal question
Dear gurus,

        We have ~8.5GB data that needs to backup to tape on a bi-weekly
basis on a Solaris 2.6. We are wondering what would be the most efficient
way to accomplish this task and to retore from tape, if necessary. Does
anybody have any comments on tar, dd or ufsdump etc.?

Janet Leung, ISD USC, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0251

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