Friday, 22 July 2011

BurstNet NetBaq Review

I recently decided to try out the Burst.net NetBaq backup solution they offer on their website. The setup fee was $9.95 and for $4.95 provided 10GB of RAID 5 storage space.

It took a about 24 hours to get the details as per their website and I ordered over a weekend so this part was perfect!

The backup allows you to use rsync over ssh, ftp, or samba. They also provide a PPTP connection for those looking to VPN before copying files over.

Being a geek I wanted to try configure sshfs and mount a local folder to the backup server, it worked like a charm except I was starting to feel a bit unsafe as I was given normal user access without being chrooted to some directory. I was amazed... in front of me was a directory listing of the backup server's / directory!

I immediately started wondering, what if someone manages to gain root access from their user account or manages to exploit a vulnerability in the existing software, scary stuff! I'm pretty sure most people/companies don't spend time encrypting backups, would your backups be safe in the hands of others?

Below are the details for the server obtained from my ssh access, it's given in the hope it might help you setup your own backup server or determine if NetBaq is the right service for you (I decided to move to my own backup service running on a VPS with RAID 6 and encrypt all my archives with AES)...

1. Kernel: 2.6.32-5-686-bigmem on Debian GNU/Linux 6.0
2. CPU: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU 5150 @ 2.66GHz
3. RAID: 2 x 9550SX SATA-II RAID PCI-X
4. Processes of interest running: pure-ftpd, smbd, nfsd, exim4, pptpd, mdadm, 3dm2
5. 8GB memory
6. Partitions:

/dev/md0               92G  5.4G   82G   7% /
/dev/md2               15T  6.8T  7.5T  48% /home

I was also surprised to find a software RAID config instead of a hardware only RAID as normally seen. The software RAID also seems to have a mail alert address set to: root

If your looking for a backup service and don't mind using an application specific tool rather than ftp, nfs, rsync etc take a look at the Amazon S3 cloud, it really works and their data durability is just absolutely amazing!

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