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The Amanda Network Backup Manager

James da Silva & Ólafur Guðmundsson
Department of Computer Science
University of Maryland


We present Amanda, a freely redistributable network backup manager written at the University of Maryland. Amanda is designed to make backing up large networks of data-full workstations to gigabyte tape drives automatic and efficient.

Amanda runs on top of standard Unix backup tools such as dump and tar. It takes care of balancing the backup schedule and handling any problems that arise. Amanda runs backups in parallel to insure a reasonable run time for the nightly backups, even in the presence of slow computers on the network. Tape labeling insures that the wrong tape is not overwritten. A report detailing any problems is mailed to the system administrator in the morning.

In our department, we use Amanda to back up about 35 gigabytes of data in 336 filesystems on more than 130 workstations, using a single 5 gigabyte 8mm tape drive. Nightly runs typically complete in three to four hours. Amanda is currently in daily use at sites around the world.

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