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Risk of NOT unmounting drive after backups have completed?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by spaceman, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. spaceman

    spaceman Well-Known Member

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    G'day.

    We've got a co-located server in a local data. It has two drives, one for 'everything' and the other is purely for storing standard cPanel backups. Normally the backup drive is mounted before the backup processing begins, and unmounted the moment it finishes.

    My understanding of the benefits of mount/unmounting the backup drive is that this better isolates the drive from any problems (hardware problems, viruses, etc.) that might occur to or on the primary drive.

    So now we've just starting pulling the data from the backup drive using rsync to an offsite backup server right here in our office (a couple of kms from the data centre). Only problem is, we haven't worked out a way to do this which mounts/unmounts the backup drive from the process we're running from our office. So right now the backup drive is permanently mounted.

    So my question is
    1. How 'bad' is it to have our backup drive permanently mounted?
    2. Is there a way that we can initiate the mount/unmount process process from our end? Remember that we're pulling the data from the data centre, and not pushing it from the data centre. This is so as not to expose our backup machine in our office to the 'Net (which seems like a good idea).

    Thx.
     
    #1 spaceman, Dec 1, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2006
  2. chirpy

    chirpy Well-Known Member

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    The only reason I can think for dismounting the backup drive is incase you get a malicious hacker that decides to mess with your backup data. I can't see any risk from hardware failures or viruses (there aren't any for Linux).

    One solution might be to pus the backups using rsync over SSH with key authentication. That way you could run an SSH daemon on your local LAN with only key authentication allowed to the backup account.

    Other than that, it's going to be tricky for you to get the disk mounted by pulling. One inventive way might be to use a CGI script on a user account that has sudo permissions to use mount and umount and before and after the rsync pull browse the script to have it mount/umount the drive.
     
  3. PWSowner

    PWSowner Well-Known Member

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    You could have a root cron job mount and unmount backup at the right times. The unmount would have to be late enough to make sure the task has time to finish.
     
  4. JamesSmith

    JamesSmith Well-Known Member

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    If you're running backup in rsync mode, then it will protect you from someone defacing the backup files. But if your backups are anything like ours, they take an age to complete, so the deface could occur during the hours the backup is running. If possible run the backups in compression mode (will use more server resources) and unmount the share / drive if you want.
     
  5. spaceman

    spaceman Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all your comments.

    We've weighed up the pros and cons for our situation as we see them, and we've decided to simply leave the backup drive on the source machine permanently mounted. We feel that the marginally increased risk to that drive is mitigated (and then some) by the benefits of actually performing daily offite backups, something we weren't doing at all before.

    Thanks again.

    p.s. 'course I'll be the first post back here if some nasty person/script does chew up our backup drive because it was permanently mounted!
     
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