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Is it possible to use BRU to copy data between systems?

Views: 12851
Posted: 02 Oct, 2007

Using BRU to Copy Data Between Systems

Copying data from an old system to a new system can be quite a task. In previous years, when moving data between systems, we may have been considering 2 to 3 gigabytes. However, with modern desktop systems coming with 80 or 120 gigabyte drives built-in, we may now be discussing the movement of a terabyte or more.

Using most backup utilities, you could back the data up from the original system onto tape, move the tape drive and the backup utility to the new system and then restore. However, if you are looking at a terabyte or more, the backup process could take 80 to 100 hours or more, depending on the tape technology used; not to mention the number of tapes involved.

Using BRU and your network, you can actually bypass the tape process and copy the original data directly to the new system. Because BRU provides safety checks through the copy process, and since BRU maintains all file attributes of the copied files, you are assured of getting an exact duplicate. Therefore, you could clone a complete system or simply relocate a user's home directory with the knowledge that the new system will be an exact duplicate of the original system.

By simply mounting the remote system's drive onto your original system, you can copy the data using BRU. Because BRU is a lightweight process, the copy can be performed without taking the systems offline or limiting user access.

As an example, we will use a Mac OS X system as the original host. The new host is a new OS X Xserve system with Apple's Xserve RAID as the storage destination. The RAID system is mounted on the original host system under /Volumes/xserve1/RAID01. We are copying the entire shared /Users/Animation path from the original host.

To start, open a Terminal and set your current working directory to the /Users/Animation directory. Next, create a receiving directory on the remote system. Finally, use BRU to completely copy the data from the original host to the new host's RAID volume. The shell commands to achieve this are:

$ cd /Users/Animation
$ mkdir /Volumes/xserve1/RAID01/Animation
$ bru -cRf - . | ( cd /Volumes/xserve1/RAID01/Animation ; bru -xvf - )

This process uses BRU as both the backup and restore segments of a pipe. Thanks to the Unix core of OS X, what could've been a very complex set of backup and restore operations with tape has become a relatively simple three line Terminal session - and, you don't even need to be root!

Others in this Category
document Moving from Retrospect? Information that you need to know before using BRU
document How can I test to see if my tape drive/library is operating properly under Mac OS X?
document How do I control tape devices with tapectl(tm)?
document SCSI Compatibility Issues Under Mac OS X
document How do I control my tape library with the libctl (tm) command on Mac OS X?
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