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May 8 – 12, 2023
Norfolk Waterside Marriott
US/Eastern timezone

Evolution of the CERN Backup system based on RESTIC and the CERN Tape Archive (CTA)

May 9, 2023, 2:45 PM
Norfolk Ballroom III-V (Norfolk Waterside Marriott)

Norfolk Ballroom III-V

Norfolk Waterside Marriott

235 East Main Street Norfolk, VA 23510
Oral Track 1 - Data and Metadata Organization, Management and Access Track 1 - Data and Metadata Organization, Management and Access


Dr Rademakers, Fons (CERN)


The CERN IT Department is responsible for ensuring the integrity and security of data stored in the IT Storage Services. General storage backends such as EOSHOME/PROJECT/MEDIA and CEPHFS are used to store data for a wide range of use cases for all stakeholders at CERN, including experiment project spaces and user home directories.

In recent years a backup system, CBACK, was developed based on the open source backup program Restic. CBACK is currently used to backup all CERNBox data (about 18PB) stored on disks in the CERN Computing Centre to a disk based S3 service instance in the Prevessin Nethub.

To significantly increase the reliability and security of the backups and reduce the storage costs, by limiting the amount of data on disk, we have added a tape storage backend to CBACK. Tape backup also offers a better protection against potential ransomware attacks. To achieve this we have created a transparent interface to the CERN Tape Archive (CTA) service.

With this addition CBACK can reliably be extended to new use cases. CBACK has already been extended to backup CephFS Manila shares and in principle can be used to back up any local mountable file system, such as EOS, CephFS, NFS or DFS. Furthermore, CBACK can potentially serve as a replacement for certain use cases currently covered by IBM Spectrum Protect, including the backup of PCs belonging to individual users.

In this presentation we will describe the architecture and implementation of CBACK with the new tape storage backend and a number of developments planned for the near future.

Consider for long presentation No

Primary authors

Presentation materials

Peer reviewing