Caucus Backup Services
CaucusCare now offers an off-site data backup service for your Caucus
The details follow below.
You may also purchase backup services
directly over the web.
What is it?
The Caucus backup service (or "CBS") is essentially a complete "snapshot"
of the files and data that you select, updated once per day.
It even keeps files that you have deleted.
Technically speaking, it is
a daily "rsync" of your selected data, copied over the network
during the early hours of the morning when network traffic is low.
"Rsync" is short for remote synchronization, meaning that only
the data that has changed on your server is copied.
We use a "non-deleting" rsync, which means that even files
that you have deleted on your server are still kept in our backup.
Why should I use it?
You should already have some sort of local backup service
in place. Most hosting services, for example, offer
some sort of incremental backup service.
Some also provide you with
RAID (redundant array of independent disks) hardware,
which helps protect you from hardware failure
(but not human mishap).
The CBS, however, is an excellent complement to any existing
backup service. It offers some distinct advantages:
- Deleted files are kept forever.
Typically, incremental backups expire after a time -- often
just a few weeks. So if you want to recover a file that
was deleted or renamed two months ago, it may not be on
your incremental backups!
- Easy restoration.
With CBS, your files are backed up on a large hard disk on our server,
in a mirror of your existing server's directory structure.
(No waiting for a restore request to be queued off of tape or
a CD/DVD jukebox, or having to restore a full backup and
then a set of incrementals.)
The files are kept under a unix userid that you own --
you can use the unix 'ssh' or 'scp' tools to examine or copy
those files at any time of your choosing.
If your data is critical to your operation, you should have
a minimum of two backups, in separate locations, administered
by different people.
There are plenty of horror stories about backups that have happened to
- A server gets wiped clean because of a sales order
typo (this actually happened to
- The files the hosting service is backing up do not
include new disks that were added later on.
- Nobody knows how to use the file restore client (or if
it even works).
- The person who does know how to restore files is away on vacation.
What does it cost?
A one-time US $150 set-up fee.
After that, $15 per month, for up to 20 gigabytes (total snapshot storage);
contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
for pricing on larger systems.
What about security?
The data transfers to our server are automatically encrypted
by ssh, which is as secure as any internet transaction can get.
The backed-up data lives in a userid accessible only by you and
our system administrators.
We keep our server up to date with all current security patches
on a weekly basis.
What are the downsides?
The CBS should always be the complement to a separate incremental
The CBS always has the most recent daily versions of your files.
If a file changed 2 days ago, and you want that version,
you'll need to go to your incremental backup.
The CBS does not preserve the ownership information of the
original files, since they are being copied to a single userid on
our backup server.
It's assumed that you will know who should own files if you need to
copy them back to your server.
How do I use it?
We will help you set up a script, 'backup_to_caucuscare',
to be run by root via 'cron'
on your server. After that, the backup runs automatically.
We can also provide scripts that do automatic archiving of
individual Caucus conferences, which provides an additional layer
of backup specific to Caucus data.
At setup, we will supply you with a userid and password on
Then at any time, you may 'ssh' to our server, and use 'scp'
or 'rsync' to copy files back to your server.
Or we will do it for you (additional fees are charged beyond
one restore request per month).
How do I order it?
Contact us at
We can invoice you monthly or yearly at your preference.
And whether you use CBS or something else, backup your data!
We're considering offering expanded backup services, that may include:
Let us know if either of these enhancements would interest you.
- Preserving multiple dated sets of backups
- Recording file ownership information