Results of Amanda Users Survey 2003
AMANDA (Advanced Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archiver) is the most popular open source network backup program. For more information about Amanda visit the website http://amanda.zmanda.com/ or http://sf.net/projects/amanda/ or this wiki http://wiki.zmanda.com/
Readers of the amanda-users mailing list (approximately 1100 subscribers) were asked in April of 2003 to describe their use of the backup system by filling out a survey questionnaire that was posted to the mailing list weekly. Seventy two (72) surveys were submitted during the month-long collection period.
In several postings that follow, I will report summaries of the collected data. In some cases I've included comments (Surveyor's Notes) of my own reaction to the data.
Later, I plan to recast these results in the form of questions and answers to add to the FOM (FAQ-O-Matic) at amanda.org. Should you have any thoughts on this please let me know via the list or personal email.
[Surveyor's Note] While the number of submitted surveys neither surprised me, nor disappointed me, what did greatly disappoint me personally was this fact: Of the twenty five (25) individuals most active on the list (based on number of postings for 12 months), only seven (7) bothered to respond to the survey.
What follows is a summarization of the responses describing the organizations using Amanda.
Types of organizations using Amanda
|Internet Service Providers||5||-|
|Data Processing Services||11||software, graphics, integration, consulting|
|Manufacturers (DP)||5||computers, electronics, semiconductors|
|Manufacturers (non-DP)||4||rubber, chemical, turbine, videoBoris|
|Service Organizations||4||publishing, power utility, forestry, money management|
|Small Office/Home Office||6||-|
|Others||3||natural history museum, education charity, national opera and ballet|
[Surveyor's Note] The `Categories' were my grouping, they were not on the survey. I expected more in the SOHO category.
[Surveyor's Note] Extent of Amanda usage was asked on the survey. Few indicated that their entire firm based their backups on Amanda, and then only relatively small companies (like JG Computing :). Thus the category is `University Department' not `University'. Similarly, Amanda is used by a groups within organizations like the chemical manufacturer or computer manufacturer or federal government noted above, not the entire entity. But Amanda may have helped produce the tires you are riding on, the workstation you are typing on, or to collect the taxes you pay :))
Location of organizations using Amanda
|United Arab Emirates||1|
[Surveyor's Note] The totals are greater than number of submitted surveys as some respondents described multi-national installations.
[Surveyor's Note] Americans must be procrastinators. For a while, the number of non-US submitted surveys exceeded the ones from the US.
Length of Amanda usage at organization
|Usage in years||Num|
|10% of responders > 5 years use|
|33% of responders > 3 years use|
|50% of responders > 2 years use|
|33% of responders < 1 year use|
Mean and Median are ~29 months (2.5 years)
[Surveyor's Note] Some really long time users of Amanda. It must do the job.
Servers and Clients
|Number of servers in organisation||Num|
Operating Systems Running on Amanda Server Hosts
|Operating system (version)||Num|
|FreeBSD||Total 10, including|
|HP-UX||Total 2, including|
|IRIX||Total 2, including|
|SCO Openserver||Total 1, including|
|Solaris||Total 14, including|
|Tru64||Total 4, including|
|Linux||Total 48, including|
|8.0 with RHnet kernel||1|
Amanda Versions Run on Server Hosts
|2.4.1||Total 2, including|
|2.4.2||Total 33, including|
|2.4.3||Total 21, including|
|2.4.4||Total 21, including|
[Surveyor's Note] The percentage of older versions surprised me. Shouldn't have as I just upgraded 2 months ago. If it works why fix it?
Number of Amanda Clients
|Number of Clients||Host sites|
Operating Systems Run on Amanda Clients
(mentions, not number of hosts)
|Linux (all variants)||total 86 including|
|FreeBSD||total 17, including|
|HP-UX||total 8, including|
|Irix||total 8, including|
|Slackware||total 3, including|
|MacOS X||total 6, including|
|NetBSD||total 1, including Yellowdog|
|Tru64||total 8, including|
|NT 4 server||1|
|Solaris||total 39, including|
|SunOS||total 1 including|
Amanda Versions of Run on Client Hosts
|2.4.1||total 4, including|
|2.4.2||total 42, including|
|2.4.3||total 30, including|
|2.4.4||total 25, including|
Total Disk Capacity of Clients
smallest: 20 GB
largest: 5000 GB
|20 to 100 GB||13|
|101 to 200 GB||22|
|201 to 500 GB||16|
|501 to 1000 GB||12|
|1001 to 2000 GB||5|
|2001 to 5000 GB||6|
Total Data Currently Stored on Clients Disks
smallest: 3 GB
largest: 4000 GB
|3 to 50 GB||22|
|51 to 100 GB||14|
|101 to 200 GB||15|
|201 to 500 GB||10|
|501 to 1000 GB||7|
|1001 to 4000 GB||5|
Average Size of a Single Backup
smallest: 0.3 GB
largest: 700 GB
|Backup average size||num|
|0.3 to 10 GB||22|
|11 to 20 GB||11|
|21 to 50 GB||22|
|51 to 100 GB||13|
|101 to 200 GB||8|
Backup Program Used
|gnutar or some tar variant||72 (hfstar:3, nttar:1, smbtar:1)|
|dump or some dump variant||50 (e2fsdump:1, ext2dump:2, ufsdump:12, vdump:2, vfsdump:1, vxdump:2, xfsdump:5)|
|8 days - 2 weeks||17|
|15 days - 4 weeks||10|
|30 days - 75 days||5|
Frequency of Backups
Type of Compression Used
|sw - server||31|
|sw - client||46|
Brand and Model of Tape Drive Used at Amanda Installations
The number of mentions of each brand is shown followed by specific models where reported.
|3||Archive, including: 2 Qualstar TLS-4200 Python 04106 Python 06408|
|10||Quantum, including: DLT-VS80|
|5||Compaq, including: DLT-4000 AIT-2 DLT-7000 DLT-90 DLT-8000 MSL5126-S2 SDLT320|
|10||Seagate, including: DAT|
|1||Dell DLT-IV 12/24G 20/40G|
|5||Ecrix, including: CTL-96/4586N VXA-1 DDS4 DDS3 Scorpion-24/STD124000N|
|13||Sony, including: 8500 AIT-1 Eliant 820 AIT-2 VXA-2 AIT-3 DLT-IV|
|15||HP, including: DLT-9000 A4845A SDX-500C C1533A Sony SDX-700C C1557 C6280-7000|
|3||Sun, including: DDS-4 DDS3 DLT vs80 7000 ESL9595 Python SureStor DAT-24 SureStor DAT-8|
|7||Tandberg, including: Surestore Ultrium 230e DLT vs80 Ultrium 1 SDLT 220 SDLT-320|
|1||IBM DDS4 SLR5 SLR7|
|2||Wang, including: DAT 3400DX|
|3||None, backup to disk only|
|2||Overland Data, including: Loaderexpress DLT8000|
Native Tape Capacity of the Above Drives
|Capacity||4 GB||7 GB||10 GB||12 GB||15 GB||17 GB||20 GB||22 GB||25 GB||30 GB||35 GB||40 GB||50 GB||60 GB||80 GB||100 GB||110 GB||160 GB||500GB|
Preferred Brand of Tape
Tape Changers/Libraries Used at Amanda Installations
[Surveyor's Note] A total of 28 of 72 respondents reported having using tape changer or library. Several of those reported having more than one. Surprisingly, the 28 respondents reported 26 distinct models of changer/library.
The table below shows the models reported by 28 respondents. Where multiple reports for the same model existed, only one entry is show. Where the multiple reports showed different configurations (eg. 1 drive vs 2 drive), only the larger configuration is shown.
|BRAND MODEL||num of drives||tapes||Capacity|
|ADIC ??||1||4||200 GB|
|ADIC FastStor DLT||1||7||245 GB|
|Compaq MSL5126||1||25||4000 GB|
|Compaq SSL2020||2||20||1000 GB|
|Dell Powervault 122T||1||8||320 GB|
|Hewlett-Packard A4845A||5||588||20000 GB|
|Hewlett-Packard C1557A||1||6||72 GB|
|Hewlett-Packard ESL9595||2||595||70000 GB|
|Hewlett-Packard MSL5026S2||2||26||4160 GB|
|Hewlett-Packard SureStore 6x40||1||6||120 GB|
|Hewlett-Packard SureStore 6x24||1||6||72 GB|
|Overland Data LXB 4120||1||10||150 GB|
|Overland Data Library Pro||1||19||1900 GB|
|Overland Data LoaderXpress||1||15||525 GB|
|Qualstar 6220||2||20||700 GB|
|Qualstar TLS-4200||2||20||2000 GB|
|Quantum DLT7000 2560||1||8||320 GB|
|Segate CTL-96/4586N||1||4||14 GB|
|Sony TSL-9000||1||8||96 GB|
|SpectraLogic Bullfrog 10000||3||40||10000 GB|
|SpectraLogic Treefrog 2000||1||15||750 GB|
|StorageTek Timberwolf 9730||2||30||1000 GB|
|Straightline Harrier/830||2||30||1500 GB|
|Sun L20||2||20||2000 GB|
|Sun L40||2||40||1600 GB|
|Sun Storedge L9||1||9||360 GB|
Special Feature Usage
What follows is a summarization of the responses describing the use of two special features of recent versions of Amanda, the "file:driver" to use a hard disk drive as a backup device and RAIT (Redundant Array of 'Inexpensive' Tapedrives) to allow mirroring or striping of backups across multiple drives.
Do you use the <file:driver>?
- 53 no
- 11 yes
- 5 what is the <file:driver>
If not, do you expect to?
- 32 no
- 14 yes
- 8 maybe
Do you use RAIT?
- 68 no
- 0 yes
If not, do you expect to?
- 40 no
- 8 yes
- 3 maybe
[Surveyor's Note] I was mildly surprised, and amused, by the 5 "what is the <file:driver> responses. And considering those responses, but the lack of similar responses to the RAIT question. No respondent uses RAIT! Disappointing. I wonder if any site is currently using this feature.
Non UNIX Clients
What follows is a summarization of the responses describing the various methods to backup 'non-unix' clients, mostly PC's running versions of Windows.
PC's Backed Up Using SAMBA Connections to Amanda Clients
A total of 22 survey respondents (out of 72) report they use amanda and samba to backup PC clients.
- 10 have 1 PC client
- 10 have 2 - 5 PC clients
- 1 has 15 PC clients
- 1 has 40 PC clients
[Surveyor's Note] From these results it seems to me that amanda/samba is seldom a first choice for backing up PC's. Instead it seems to be used when a site has an existing amanda installation and would like to implement some form of PC backup.
The respondents mentioned the following Operating Systems were being run on the PC clients. The number is the number of mentions, not number of PC's.
- 1 Windows 95 2 Windows 2000 Server
- 1 Windows 98 5 Windows XP
- 3 Windows NT 1 Windows XP Pro
- 2 Windows NT 4 1 Snap Server
- 9 Windows 2000
[Surveyor's Note] Of interest to users running Lotus Domino: One respondent reported using "The Open File Manager" from http://www.stbernard.com to create online backups of their Lotus Domino database files which then could be backed up to their amanda host using samba.
PC's Backed Up Using Cygwin/Amanda Client Software
A total of 4 survey respondents (out of 72) report they use a cygwin/amanda client to backup PC clients.
- 2 have 1 PC client
- 1 has 3 PC clients
- 1 has 15 PC clients
The only PC operating systems mentioned were Windows 2000 and Windows 2000 Server.
PC's Backed Up by Amanda Using Other Techniques
A variety of techniques, other than samba or cygwin, were described by respondents to backup PC's
- Two respondents installed an NFS server on Windows 2000 and then NFS mounted the PC disks on the amanda host
and backed them up as local file systems.
- Similarly, two respondents mounted PC shares of Windows 95, Windows NT, and Windows 2000 on the amanda host
using 'smbmount' and backed them up as local 'smbfs' file systems.
- Several respondents reported they first backed up their PC's (Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP,
Windows 2000 Server) to disk files on the PC's and then backed that file up using amanda; presumably using samba or some file transfer technique.
- One mentioned that the backup stream was sent directly to a Linux host and backed up there as a local file.
- The backup programs the respondents mentioned included:
- 'Windows backup program'
- 'BackupPC', a Linux opensource program
- 'Win2000 Backup Tool'
- 'Backup Exec'
- One respondent noted their firewall was a PC running linux. That system was mirrored using rsync and the mirror
was backed up.
Other Backup Techniques Mentioned
Five respondents described backing up systems using "non-traditional" methods. These methods were used to backup systems running either MacOS or Windows. They included:
- MacOS 9, mounted (NFS?) onto a Linux host and backing up the mounts as
- Backing up 37 MacOS 8 and MacOS 9 systems using the program Retrospect. The output of Retrospect
was transferred to a Linux host using ftp and preserved with amanda.
- Build a native amanda client on MacOS X and use hfstar instead of gnutar.
- Backup 6 Windows XP hosts using a native windows amanda client.
- Backup 12 Windows 2000 Server hosts using a native windows amanda client. This respondent also noted
their intention to switch to a cygwin/amanda client in the near future.