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PHP just does some things better. cloud backups, pecl-expect

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Alan Knowles

Posts: 376
Nickname: alank
Registered: Sep, 2004

Alan Knowles is Freelance Developer, works on PHP extensions and PEAR.
PHP just does some things better. cloud backups, pecl-expect Posted: Mar 5, 2013 10:43 AM
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This post originated from an RSS feed registered with PHP Buzz by Alan Knowles.
Original Post: PHP just does some things better. cloud backups, pecl-expect
Feed Title: Smoking toooo much PHP
Feed URL: http://www.akbkhome.com/blog.php/RSS.xml
Feed Description: More than just a blog :)
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Article originally from rooJSolutions blog
 Backups, yes we do backup occasionally, and I've been looking for a better solutions than my historical office<->hosting replication, which although cheap, always made me wonder if I was still making copies. So after our recent office move, and minor server upgrade, I thought better double check on it all.. As usual, the thing had failed due to various reasons, and needed replacing. 

So since I've been thinking about a new solution for our clients, I decided to go ahead and try it out for our data. I've been googling affordable cloud based storage for a while and found a company onlinestoragesolutions.com, the pricing is very reasonable US$45 for 2 years currently, with unlimited everything. There are a few review sites that seem to throw some cold water over the offer, but I had one client sign up without any major issues (for another reason), so at that price I though let's give it a go....

One of the key features they advertise is rsync, which since we run all linux machines would be ideal. However after paying, and getting access, I realized it's not quite a simple as pointing your rsync at their server. You need to set up an ssh tunnel to route rsync through.

Can't be that difficult I thought.... Turns out that setting up a password based ssh tunnel, automatically on a cron job, is no small task, there are questions all over stackexchange and various forums, none that I saw managed to find a solution. Most of the suggestions are based around the 'expect' program, a usefull unix tool which can be used to script ssh access. The problem in this case was that setting up the tunnel, then doing the rsync, and then closing the tunnel is not something that a bash, expect or any other method I found could do easily if at all.

So almost at the point of giving up, I started looking around at php's popen (which would not work either), and fell over the pecl expect extension. 

Below is the result of a few minutes coding, which does exactly what is needed, and can be run directly from cron. Feel free to escape from overpriced backup solutions..


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