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Re: using subversion as a workstation backup mechanism

From: Tim Harvey <tim_harvey_at_yahoo.com>
Date: 2006-03-14 17:58:11 CET

> It sounds like you want something along the lines of
> http://fsvs.tigris.org/ but I don't think it's available for Windows.

Thanks for pointing this project out... I wasn't aware of it. It looks like that is pretty much what I've implemented for testing, however for a windows system.

> Why not use your desktop management software (for example Altiris) to
> perform automated nightly backups of the desktops? You can probably
> do incremental backups, which shouldn't hit your network too much
> harder than Subversion (and if it's overnight, no one will notice).

I'm no IT guy but all of the backup packages that I'm familiar with take their incrememntal snapshots by differencing data from a server over the network which could incur a lot of network overhead, where Subversion does this by differencing data from the 'pristine' revision in the working directory. Additionally Subversion is free and opensource (something I put a HIGH value on myself) versus bulky overly-complicated bloat-ware (not referencing any particular product by that statement).

>Or, just mount everyone's home directories on the network, disallow
>writing to the local hard drive, and just back up the server :)

We already do this, however many applications (esp Microsoft crud) don't behave well using datafiles mounted from a network share (remember this is a 'windows office' unfortunately, asside from us software guys who use Linux). I'm trying to come up with a mechanism that will work for the windows folks.

On 3/14/06, Tim Harvey <tim_harvey@yahoo.com> wrote:
> I read the FAQ but I'm not sure I agree that its a 'bad idea'. It won't do
> what you would want to do 'efficiently' on a move or copy but its no worse
> than any backup solution I've seen.
> Our current backup solution is to run a script at login that does an 'xcopy'
> of C:\Backup with some options to limit it to new or changed files. The
> problem is that the network overhead is huge compared to using Subversion to
> do the same thing.
> Tim
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Ryan Schmidt <subversion-2006Q1@ryandesign.com>
> To: Tim Harvey <tim_harvey@yahoo.com>
> Cc: users@subversion.tigris.org
> Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2006 3:13:38 AM
> Subject: Re: using subversion as a workstation backup mechanism
> On Mar 13, 2006, at 22:13, Tim Harvey wrote:
> > - automate a script that runs nightly (via task scheduler) on the
> > user workstation that does the following:
> > - svn add all new files
> > - svn del all missing files
> > - svn commit
> >
> > Does anyone see any issues with this? [snip]
> That's a bad idea:
> http://subversion.tigris.org/faq.html#wc-change-detection
> > - have other people implemented automated backup mechanisms using
> > this concept
> I would recommend looking for software designed to back up
> workstations, and not try to make a revision control system do this.
Received on Tue Mar 14 18:00:57 2006

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