Skip to content

HTTPS clone URL

Subversion checkout URL

You can clone with
or
.
Download ZIP
Daily/Weekly/Monthly backup rotations implemented with Git
Branch: master

Fetching latest commit…

Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time

Failed to load latest commit information.
examples
.gitignore
README
editor
trimmer

README

Git Backup Rotator

This project provides a simple mechanism for storing rotating backups, using
the built-in capabilities of git.  Repository size remains linear with the
number of useful revisions.

Sources of backup might include binary filesystem dumps, sql dumps, or more
traditional file snapshots.  Clearly, this extends outside the realm of
version control.  Instead, it uses the filesystem-like capabilities of git
to easily store and manage traditional backup data, though admittedly in a
non-traditional way.

Design Goals:

* Fast restore speed, by keeping backups online
* Redundancy, by keeping backups offline (push to a remote)
* Durability, by keeping multiple offline backups
* Efficiency, by transmitting differences over the network
* Simplicity, by leveraging existing tools
* Record-keeping, by implementing standard backup rotations
* Ease of use, by operating through a simple config file and command-line
programs



How to Use It
=============

These steps assume some knowledge of scripting and of Git.  The steps are
written as manual steps, but clearly you'll want to automate them instead.  

To use the Git Backup Rotator, start by deciding how often you want to run
backups.  You might choose daily or on 3-hour intervals, anything in between
or even less often.  You know your application best - how much work can you
stand losing?

So you decided on, say, daily backups.  Fine.  Create a git repository:

> mkdir my-backup
> cd my-backup
> git init

Now, create a config file:

> touch daily.conf
> vi daily.conf

Settings in this config file include:

> export KEEP=10
> export FREQUENCY=daily

KEEP: how many <intervals> to keep each backup.  Note that expirations are
by time, not by count.  So if you do 3 "daily" backups in one day, those 3
backups will be kept for 10 days in this exaample.  (So, that should be
EXPIRE_INTERVAL="10 days", but hey, it's an early version)

FREQUENCY is used to calculate the time interval, and also to determin the
branch name.  (Frequency should be redundant with the conf file name, but it's not
yet).  

Also, we should probably just parse common intervals and support them
directly.  Instead, currently supported frequency include daily, weekly, 
monthly.  

Now, commit the conf file:

> git add daily.conf
> git commit -m "initial commit"

Make a production branch (this should be optional, you should be able to do
backups on any branch you like, such as master) and a daily branch for your
daily backups.

> git checkout -b production
> git branch daily

... and run a backup!  (this should certainly be scripted).

> mysqldump my_db > dump.sql
> git add dump.sql
> git commit -m "database backup `date`"

Finally, run the trimmer:

> /path/to/trimmer daily

The trimmer reads the daily.conf file, then checks out the daily branch,
merges from the upstream branch, and looks for revisions that need to be
expired.  After it returns, your backup is done!

Lather, rinse, and repeat: no backup is complete just by running dailies. 
You might also choose to keep weekly backups for two months, monthly
backups for 19 months, and yearly backups forever.  Just add weekly.conf,
monthly.conf, and yearly.conf

Oh, there's no way to say "keep forever".  Yet.

Note, there are some git settings you have to put in there to have it do
garbage collection on a reasonable frequency.  I'll add that to the docs or
automate it.  Meanwhile, see the example directory.


How it's implemented
====================

There are two main scripts that implement the system.  You write one of
them.  trigger is the other. This script determines which set of
commits need to updated/rotated, and it makes the calls to git rebase in
order to do the rotation.  Once the rotation is complete, it compacts the
database and garbage-collects the stale revision information.

In the background, the editor script acts like a text editor (without a
person driving it), answering the interaction required by git rebase 
--interactive.  It handles folding old commits together and writing commit 
messages for the newly-created (folded) revisions.

Once you configure the system for each level of backups, and add a script 
that stores new revisions, you're done!  These simple scripts run on a
scheduler and keep your backups lean and mean.
Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.