So I've just bought new hardware for a server intended to run Openmediavault as a media server running Docker containers. It's almost the same hardware as the build here with an Asrock J4105 as the base but with 8GB ram, a 128GB SSD and two 1TB 3.5" hard drives.
The main OMV installation was going to be installed on the SSD which I'd then repartition with Gparted GUI to give some of the SSD space as fast config "storage" for configuration files mostly related to Docker containers, particularly Homeassistant. One of the 1TB HDD's would be used for media file storage and the other would receive backup/copies of files from (I hadn't fully figured this out yet) the first HDD using rsync or similar (rather than raid). I'd then also use the Duplicati plugin to upload files to Backblaze.
I've been tinkering with OMV with Docker containers (which are fantastic) on an old Intel Atom D525 build for a while and found that the Docker side of things in particular can throw up unexpected outcomes, errors, "ghost" containers appearing etc which combined with the fact that I'm inexperienced and getting used to how it all works and the linux commandline even though I do have a little beginner experience, meant that I really needed a good backup strategy which I hadn't figured out. Despite this, I'd got together a decent system configuration after hours and hours of quirks probably partly related to hardware issues.... and then my hardware died...
A new system was needed and I eventually got hold of a J4015 motherboard (Intel is having supply issues and these things are like Hen's teeth). However, after searching the forums here, I just couldn't figure out the essential task of a reliable way of fairly easily backing up the entire system for when I wanted to test different settings or modify Docker containers or something went wrong etc. I'm used to using Macrium reflect in Windows to very easily create a differential image of the system drive which can just as easily be restored in case of any issues.
Then I thought of virtualisation and initially ESXI and the idea of running OMV virtualised. This would give me the ability to snapshot and restore the system drive easily but I'm not so sure how setting up the drives would work although I could figure that out. From there I remembered Promox which would kind of make more sense since it's Debian (as with OMV) Linux based. That added questions however since apparently you can run Docker directly from the Promox GUI (I've seen Portainer which I think does/helps with this). At that point, I'm starting to wonder if it makes sense to use OMV at all. If i can just use Portainer to run and manage Docker containers then I could conceivably also just set up a SAMBA server within/from Promox which could serve the files accumulated by the Docker containers? Also there was the question of performance which was important. The J4015 is fairly powerful for what it is with Hardware Virtualisation support, but it's not a fully fledged computer in terms of speed and I couldn't find a definitive answer about the performance hit of running OMV virtualised.
So I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on:
- Is there a fairly straightforward method of backing up/snapshotting an OMV installation which is installed directly to hardware, preferably incrementally, with a GUI and which can similarly be restored? I've seen many posts about this question but all of them are pretty opaque in exactly how restores are accomplished and usually refer to Clonezilla or command line tools like DD. The DD based backup tool provided in the OMV GUI (maybe OMV-extras) interface isn't very configurable from what I can see (how to backup only used parts of the disk and enable compression) and again - how would one easily and reliably restore from a backup this way? I think the OMV FAQ is crying out for a super clear and step by step way of creating and restoring OMV installation backups as many people ask the same questions but get answers assuming a "figure it out yourself, here's the linux commands you need to use" approach.
- If backing up and restoring an OMV installation (with snapshots or incrementally ideally) simply isn't an easy thing to do and necessarily requires either the use of existing tools "as-is" or command line expertise - fair enough. In that case - has anyone got experience running OMV as a Promox VM and ALSO on bare metal and knows the performance difference/penalty of doing it that way? How should storage be set up in this case? Does OMV need to be configured/updated with drivers etc for optimal performance on Promox? Are there any other things to consider?
- If i'm going this direction - then would it even make sense to run OMV inside a Promox VM? Could I just as well use it to run Docker containers and then also set it up to serve files over the network, thereby sidestepping the overhead of running OMV virtualised? - although visualising OMV would bring the previously mentioned benefits of being able to snapshot the WHOLE VM, including Docker setup and configs.
There's quite a few ways of doing this and I'm guessing drawbacks/benefits to each approach - any insight/feedback/advice would be great. Thanks