Grid backups and oar files

How many times has the OpenSim community found out too late that their grid has no backups or that their operator doesn’t have the skill to deploy them? Something goes wrong, and the grid closes, leaving customers with nothing. Events like this should never be; unfortunately, the opposite has been exact. Customers losing their creations has been a recurring theme. Grid backups and Oar files should be the absolute basics for anyone who is supplying service and in many areas of the world its the law.

So what are the basics?

The 3-2-1 backup system has been a minimum standard for many years.  In addition to the live data, you should have three copies backed up. One of the three should be stored off-site to mitigate against natural disasters and other premises specific issues. The remaining two should be on different medium to each other. At the Fire And Ice Grid, we do this and more.

Grid backups and oar files stored in cloud data centres
Data centre

Our approach to Grid backups and oar files

Primary grid backup and oar store.

Our backup system works on a multi-layered approach spread over a two-day cycle. On the first day, we take an oar of every region. The following day we take a backup of the databases which make up our service. Daily backups are made directly to off-site cloud-based storage.

Secondary Backup

Running in conjunction with this, we operate another two-day cycle. On the first day, a duplicate of the primary cloud storage is taken and stored on a different cloud backup.

3rd Backup

The following day a clone of the secondary store is made and stored on physical hardware in our office. Our main servers in large data centres (like most), so with this system we have three copies of all data in three different locations.

4th Level of protection

As a final precaution, monthly a second copy of the office-based backup is made to different drive again. Oars are kept for one month in the primary cloud storage. At any one time, there will be approximately fifteen copies of every sim as an oar in each backup. Across all our backup storage locations, this means over two months; we store sixty copies of your regions. The Fire and Ice grids approach to grid backups and oar files keeps your creations safe, secure and available to you.

Grid backups and oar files in multiple locations on multiple servers

Our servers are spread across multiple data centres in multiple countries just like our backup system. The result is that even if one of them burnt down we could quickly deploy a new server with an existing supplier. We are covered against almost all eventualities. There is always a level of risk, but if a global catastrophe happens the chances are you will be more worried about that than a digital home.

Interconnected Cloud based system
a versatile and easily fixable system

Older articles about backups.

This article replaces our previous post about our backup systems.

Technical Details

A description of how this is all done at a technical is on Ubuntu Opensim Server Backup. – Sara Payne’s BlogSara Payne’s Blog

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