SUMMARY: Backing up PC-NFS 5.0 clients to a Sun

From: Elmar Kurgpold (ekurgpol@Law.USC.EDU)
Date: Mon Feb 14 1994 - 23:16:22 CST

I guess it's summary time. Here's the original question:

EK: I hope this doesn't fall under the category of shameless solicitation, but
EK: I need info fast. We are using Legato NetWorker which does everything we
EK: need with the one (glaring) exception of supporting PC-NFS 5.0. It's a
EK: bit unclear at this point whether Sun or Legato is responsible for the
EK: incompatability, although I'm told they've been working together to solve
EK: the problem.
EK: Now then, does anyone have experience in backing up PC-NFS 5.0 clients to
EK: a Sun (BSD or Solaris) with an Exabyte 8mm drive? Actually we've got two
EK: 8mm 5GB drives, and approximately 120 PC clients plus a dozen or so Suns.
EK: If I need to run two different packages for the two architectures, then
EK: fine. If you want to tell me that what I have is good, then fine. Any
EK: recommendations are fine; public domain, commercial, good, bad,
EK: replacements for PC-NFS that support winsock... Get the point?

I got some good comments. Basically, it looks like NetWorker is the only
big time commercial product that will backup PC data in conjunction with
Sun (or other) data onto one tape drive-- or at least do it well. No
other products mentioned fall into this category. See my comments below.

1. Use tar.exe to copy files from the PC hard disk to remote tape drive.

This seems to be the hands-down winner for number of votes. There are
methods where you can tar direct to a remote tape drive (I think that's
with Sun's tar, which is now bundled with SelectMail). Apparently you can
even give PC users access to mt commands. It seems to me that this would
give each PC user access to all other files on any tape that happened to
be mounted in the drive. And even if you could trust your users, how
would you know which backup files to access when doing a restore? Most
people who mentioned this method said they only used it occasionally, or
for just one or two clients.

Better than the above method is to use tar to create an archive file on
your Sun's disk and just backup the Sun to tape. Yeah, this requires a
lot of disk space, but I think even a 2GB hard drive is cheaper than the
whole Legato NetWorker package.

2. Setup the PC as an NFS server, then mount to a Sun and just backup
    the Sun.

I had a suggestion from Dr. Peter J. Welcher ( for SOSS, a
freeware NFS server package, which works fairly well. Of course, PC-NFS
never seems to work well when other non-PC-NFS apps want to access the net
interface. You can get around this by rebooting with a different config,
either using DOS 6.X or a floppy disk. The biggest problem that I found
is that SOSS does not recognize directory names on the PC disk that
contain a dot ("."), so your C:\USER.DAT directory (for example) would not
get backed up.

Dr. Welcher also said "NetManage makes PC an NFS server, I believe
(check!)." I didn't check this out.
3. Use PKZIP to compress files into archive files on the Sun disk

David Burwell <> mailed me a nice batch file
that uses pkzip to backup the disk to an NFS mounted filesystem. The
batch file creates a directory named after the PC hostname and creates a
zip file under that directory. It even checks for drives d-f, and backs
them up if necessary. Sometimes I'll use those letters for NFS mounts, so
I'm not sure how that would work with the batch file. This requires a
couple of utilities like awk, and I modified the batch file until it also
required grep, but you can get these in the public domain and store them
on the same NFS drive. I probably would have recommended this method for
use at my site if pkzip hadn't run out of memory. :-( What's the matter
with these dumb PC utilities-- they choke on only 200 MB of data! PKZIP,
PKUNZIP, [G]AWK, and GREP are available via archie.

4. Stick with NetWorker

I'm holding my breath (but not too tight) and I'm going to try to push the
management to wait for the NetWorker/PC-NFS fix. Last word from Legato
Systems is that they received an early PC-NFS 5.1 from Sun and the bug is
still there. Legato has now given Sun everything they need to
troubleshoot the problem (shouldn't this have been done long ago?). I am
also told that there is an engineer at Sun whose top priority this week
(starting February 14) is to fix PC-NFS to work with NetWorker. I'm
expecting an update sometime this week. Those interested can e-mail me
and I'll let you know what happens.

Many thanks to all these people, plus Nancy Madision at Legato Systems:

jason andrade <>
"Ray W. Hiltbrand" <Ray.W.Hiltbrand@Eng.Auburn.EDU> (Bill Lenherr)
Claude Marinier <> (Derek Seymour - Sys Admin) (System Administrator - David Rossman) (David Burwell)
Vincent Everett <> (Timothy P. Henrion)
konc@fnts07 (John Konc - Fermi National Accelerator Lab.) (Amy Hollander)



------------------------------------- ,-,,-, __
| Elmar Kurgpold | ______/ /_,' |
| Network Administrator | \________________/
| University of Southern California | |<) (> |
| The Law Center | ( | oo |
| ekurgpol@Law.USC.EDU | ) `| |--'
| (213)740-2571 FAX: (213)740-5502 | (___^^^^|
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