EDIT: 27 July 2020
In the end I settled on writing my own
rsyncscript. Here's my thoughts I hope will help somebody:
A small office 3-5 workstations with files on local as well as on a file server, a couple of servers. Less than 4TB of user data. We do not need encryption as our volumes are encrypted. We do not backup our data over the internet. Three profiles of incremental backups:
- local-to-local and server-to-server - on a 20 minute rotational schedule (addresses accidental deletes/changes by users)
- local-to-server - every 12 hours (addresses local workstation failures/theft)
- server-to-offsite - every 7 days
1. NO ->
Borgand other deduplication solutions
Although deduplication is an attractive feature, Borg simply does not work for us. Cons:
- even with a GUI front end (
Vorta) you cannot easily traverse the FS tree structure without awkward mounting/unmounting. If you are running into a couple of dozen of snapshots, Borg's interface becomes very annoying. I want to see the file structure instantaneously and effortlessly. And I cannot.
- the GUI front end I tried (Vorta) comes in a flatpak of 0.5GB on Mint 19.3, it's just silly.
- Users occassionally need to
difftwo snapshots to see what changed as effortlessly as possible - that's very cumbersome. Productivity of users is my concern, not storage restrictions.
- I have not bought into bitwise deduplication. There is no free cheese, you either need storage or CPU, given our use case, it just does not make sense. YMMV.
2. NO ->
I only considered Backintime as other comparable apps (e.g.
rsnapshot) are either too lightweight or not very well maintained or/and both. Backintime was promising but:
- It has really poor shell functionality, basically being a GUI focussed tool. On a headless server, it's buggy, unreliable, and configurations are very backward (plus see the next point). E.g. see viewtopic.php?f=90&t=326229
- cron scheduling is a killer which is only managed from GUI (in fact cron entries get reset if you start the GUI).
- ssh support is half cooked, as is handling file permissions (e.g. see viewtopic.php?f=90&t=325385). I'm sure there may be workarounds, I am not that interested in the app to spend my time on it.
- it could be fine for a Windows-refugee user whose only workflow is GUI, for us it's just a fail. Shame, and annoyingly, the application was very close to being what we need.