Category Archives: Status Reports

Bacula Status Report — 17 March 2017

The last Status Report was in October 2016, so it is probably time for another one.
I would like to discuss the following subjects:

1. Bacula Release Status

2. Bacula Binaries

3. Next Bacula Version

4. My “retirement”

1. Bacula Release Status
As probably know, the latest release of Bacula version 7.4.7 was released on 16 March 2017. Since version 7.4.0, we have had several minor releases, so most of the minor annoyances, including a few long time bugs are behind us. Just the same there are quite a few additional fixes and many new features coming in the next release (see below).

2. Bacula Binaries
As soon as possible we will be releasing Bacula binaries built for the most popular platforms. This is thanks to the build support from Bacula Systems. We will start with a small number most popular binaries and over time expand it to include a broader base of OS releases.

Please note that the release format will be through standard packaging using debs rpms, … that are specific to each system. However, unlike most Linux distributions, we will install the Community Binaries into the directory /opt/bacula as recommended in the Bacula manual and as used by the Bacula Enterprise Edition. This Bacula file release standard is not uncommon and vastly simplifies installation, support, backup and recovery of Bacula itself. Basically, most of the release will be installed into /opt/bacula except for the few system files that must be placed in certain locations such as the start/stop scripts and the man text.

One change that may be a bit controversial for some of you is that we will ask you to register to get access to the binaries. This will really not be too different from signing up for the email lists. I have always wanted to know who is using Bacula and provided you supply correct information, this will help a lot. You will be asked a few simple questions and also be given an opportunity to receive the Bacula Enterprise Newsletter. If you decline the newsletter, you will not be bothered. The advantage of getting the newsletter is you will be informed what is coming in the next Enterprise releases, which means that most of those features will follow into a subsequent community release.

3. Next Bacula Version
I had expected to release the next major version of Bacula in the March-June time frame. The good news is that I have finished the major part of the backporting (currently almost 600,000 lines of code difference from release 7.4). The new release (probably 9.0.0) will not occur in March but hopefully will occur before the end of June. The backporting now compiles correctly, but getting it to work and pass all the regression tests will be several more months of work.

One of the main changes involved massive changes in the Storage Daemon architecture. Basically this first major step has converted the Storage Daemon device drivers into a class based architecture, which allows us to easily and more reliably add new drivers, such as deduplication and cloud backup.

4. “Retirement”
I have been trying for some time to retire (long overdue), and I think I have now succeeded, which means that I have no fixed outside work obligations. This allows me to devote as much time as I want to the Community version of Bacula, and I am now able to choose which programming projects I work on as well as set my own deadlines. So I am not really retiring (the reason I put the word in quotes), but it is nice to make my own schedules and still have more time for the community.

Thanks for using Bacula — be happy.

Kern

Bacula Status Report — 5 October 2016

The last Status Report was in February 2016, so this one is a bit
overdue. That said, I would like to discuss the following subjects:

1. Bacula Release Status

2. Windows Binaries

3. Next Bacula Version

4. Bacula Forks

5. The Storage, Visualisation, Cloud (SVC) awards 2016

1. Bacula Release Status
As probably know, the latest release of Bacula version 7.4.4 was released on 20 September 2016. Since version 7.4.0, we have had several minor releases, which are in general due to new MySQL and C++ software versions that created incompatibilities with Bacula. Hopefully all those are behind us.

The MySQL problems were:
1. MySQL no longer accepts 0 for a DATETIME default (despite the act that 0 is a perfectly valid Unix time value). This was fixed by removing the DEFAULT for all DATETIME fields.
2. MySQL no longer releases the _r.so version of the library needed by Bacula since they now include the thread safe feature in the standard library. This was fixed by using more modern tools for detecting libraries.

The C++ problems were that the new GCC 6.0 aggressive compiler behavior that elides (deletes) code written by the Bacula developers. There is no benefit to the new GCC aggressive optimization and it breaks a lot of programs including Bacula. This problem showed up on ArchLinux and Fedora 24.

2. Windows Binaries
I have now rebuilt the Enterprise Windows binaries to be compatible with Bacula version 7.4.4. They are currently available in the ww.bacula.org  “Download Center”. If you want them for non-personal usage, please go to the Bacula Systems web site where you will find the binaries at a very reasonable price.

As soon as possible we will be releasing Bacula binaries built for the most popular platforms, so I have decided to split the current Download Center page on www.bacula.org into a Source Download page and a Binaries Download page. Please take note of it, because I will move the Windows binaries from the current single download page into the binary download page.

3. Next Bacula Version
I had expected to release the next major version of Bacula in October or November, but due to recent massive changes in the Storage Daemon architecture, it will take me until the March-June time frame to get everything properly integrated. This will be the first major step in a large rewrite of the Storage Daemon. The second step will come 6-9 months later (if all goes well).

Basically this first major step has converted the Storage Daemon device drivers into a class based architecture, which allows us to easily and more reliably add new drivers, such as deduplication and cloud backup.

4. Bacula Forks
Since Bacula is an Open Source project anyone can take the code and add to it or modify it as they like. However if they then redistribute it, they need to abide by the Open Source license. In the case of Bacula this is GPLv3. When someone forks Bacula, it is a sign that they like to code.

However, in most cases (not all) forking, in my personal opinion, leads to duplication of effort, which is a pity since it is difficult to create a code base such as Bacula. We encourage people to contribute with patches, bug reports, ideas, and feature requests on our bugs site:
http://bugs.bacula.org/

As you probably know there are several known forks of Bacula, but there are also least two others that have forked Bacula without any announcement. One is commercial, and the other seems to be a country sponsored fork.

Concerning one of the known forks, in September there was a post from the the main Bareos developer and by far their most experienced developer announcing that he has quit the project.

This announcement is not a surprise for me as I have been expecting it at some point, simply because it is very difficult or impossible to be the only senior developer for a project the size of Bacula and hence for this particular fork. This announcement reinforces the Bacula position as the world’s most popular and most used Open Source backup software. Unfortunately for Bareos users, (in my personal opinion) it also puts a question mark on the future prospects for the project.

A problem of this type is not a possibility for the Bacula project, because there are multiple senior developers and also Bacula Systems is constantly developing new code that is flowing back to the community version. Thus the Bacula project is assured of having a bright future ahead.

5. The SVC Awards 2016
Bacula has been nominated for the SVC awards. The award is based on the number of votes that the nominee receives. Unfortunately they accept only votes from buisnesses. So if you are a business (or other entity) and like Bacula, you might want to vote (hopefully for Bacula). To do so, please see:

http://www.svcawards.com/

Note, the voting closes 11 November.

Thanks for using Bacula — be happy.

Kern

Bacula Status Report — 4 February 2016

I would like to discuss the following topics:

1. Bacula Release Status

2. Next Release

3. Vacation

1. Bacula Release Status
As probably know, the latest release of Bacula version 7.4.0 was released on 16 January 2016. This will be a quite stable release because it is based on version 7.2.0 (very stable) plus a few Enterprise bug fixes and features, which are well tested. As always the new code has been very well tested on Linux, but there could be a few minor problems on other OS versions such as Solaris.

2. Next Version

I expect that the next Bacula community version will be released in October or November, and as usual, it will have a number of backports from the Enterprise version as well as some new features that have been submitted (see bacula-devel list and bug reports) thanks to devoted community developers :-). There are also some new features that I have been working on and others I have planned.

This next Bacula version will be more significant than the 7.4.0 release, if only because one of the submissions that was held back in the 7.4.0 release requires a database upgrade. In addition, if all works out as I plan, there will be a number of other nice new features. Finally I hope to finally fix some of the outstanding bug reports that are annoying to users, but have been on hold since it takes a large amount of time to duplicate those particular problems.

3. Vacation
You may recall that last year I was away on vacation several months. Because Bacula Systems is doing very well with the means to hire new programmers, that permits me to do two things:

1. Take more vacation time — this time in Australia, Bali, Micronesia, and Japan.

2. Be able to consistently devote far more time to developing features important for the community version, which I have been doing since December of last year and will continue to do indefinitely.

When I have Internet and time, I will monitor the Bacula status and respond in case of a serious problem, while in my absence Eric Bollengier will be ensuring that the bacula.org site continues to function (it has been the target of several DoS attacks since the 7.4.0 release).

Thanks for using Bacula — be happy.

Kern

Bacula Status Report 27 August 2015

I would like to discuss the following topics:

1. Bacula Release Status

2. The FSFE and licenses

3. Vacation

1. Bacula Release Status
As probably know, the latest release of Bacula version 7.2.0 was released on 14 August 2015. This should be a quite stable release because it is based on the latest Enterprise version, which is well tested. However, it also has a some new refactored code. The new code has been very well tested on Linux, but I expect a few compilation problems on other OS versions such as Solaris and FreeBSD where I did not unfortunately have time to test this release (see point 3 below).

2. The FSFE and licenses
In my last Status report of 15 April 2015, I mentioned that the relationship that the FSFE and Bacula have had since 2006 was in the process of changing. The latest status of that change has been published at:

https://fsfe.org/news/2015/news-20150817-01.en.html

I repeat here what I wrote in the last status report in April:

As many of you know in 2006, I signed a Fiduciary License Agreement (FLA) that gave the FSFE the exclusive copyright for the Bacula.org software. That means that they had the responsibility to protect the software. In 2006, I felt that the Bacula project needed protection and guidance of the FSFE and their FLA process, and I was pleased to have their help. As the project has grown and become more global and solid, I feel that I can more efficiently manage this responsibility myself, and I thank the FSFE for their help over the years.

The Bacula.org software that has been released will always remain Free Software, and it is not possible for anyone to change that fact. I have been writing and releasing free software and open source software since 1972, and as I have stated many times, I am and will remain a very strong supporter and creator of open source software, and future Bacula.org community software will always be open source.

The bottom line is: this is a consolidation of the copyright holder, and there is no practical change for Bacula users. From a licensing stand point, we will have most, if not all, the licenses held by a single party (ultimately the Bacula Foundation) rather than held by two different parties (FSFE and myself).

If you have never signed a Fiduciary License Agreement (FLA) with the FSFE, you need do nothing. If you have previously signed an FLA with the FSFE (even if you also signed one with me), then you would do the Bacula project (and me) a big service by going to:

www.bacula.org -> General -> License

and then click on the Copyright Assignment Agreement link at the bottom of that page, print it, fill it out, sign it, and send it to me either by regular mail or as a scanned pdf of all pages.

3. Vacation
Backporting the Enterprise code to the community was a big and hard project because the code bases had significantly diverged, but it is now done. Consequently, I will be on vacation in the USA and Canada between now and the first week in October. There will be a maintenance or bug fix release with at least one new feature probably in November to cleanup any new bugs and the build problems.

Thanks for using Bacula.

Kern

Bacula Status Report 15 April 2015

I would like to discuss the following topics:

1. Bacula Release Status

2. The FSFE and licenses

1. Bacula Release Status
As probably know, the latest release of Bacula is 7.0.5. This release  has proved quite stable but there are a few bugs open on it, and I am working on them. I am also working on back porting bug fixes and new features from the Bacula Enterprise version 8.2.0. I hope this work will be complete sometime in June so that I can make a new release (7.2.0) in June or July of this year.

In addition, Bacula Systems has hired a new IT Administrator who will begin in May. Part of his time will be devoted to improving the Bacula community web site as well as providing binary packages for the community. Providing binary packages for the community has been an ongoing project of mine, which has been delayed due to lack of man-power. By the way, the new IT Administrator has been working with Bacula for a long time and is well known to the community.

2. The FSFE and licenses
I would like to report that the FSFE has posted a notification of changed relations between the FSFE and myself. You can find the statement at the following link:

http://fsfe.org/news/2015/news-20150414-01.en.html

As many of you know in 2006, I signed a Fiduciary License Agreement (FLA) that gave the FSFE the exclusive copyright for the Bacula.org software. That means that they had the responsibility to protect the software. In 2006, I felt that the Bacula project needed protection and guidance of the FSFE and their FLA process, and I was pleased to have their help. As the project has grown and become more global and solid, I feel that I can more efficiently manage this responsibility myself, and I thank the FSFE for their help over the years.

The Bacula.org software that has been released will always remain Free Software, and it is not possible for anyone to change that fact. I have been writing and releasing free software and open source software since 1972, and as I have stated many times, I am and will remain a very strong supporter and creator of open source software, and future Bacula.org community software will always be open source.

My goal is to have the Bacula.org code covered by FLAs (or their equivalent) that are clear and consistent. In fact, due to significant FLA updating work I did last year and early this year with lots of help and understanding from the Bacula contributors (thank you), I believe that all known issues are already resolved and I continue to work FSFE.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to either post them to the bacula-users list if they are general or directly to me at kern (at) sibbald (dot) com if they are specific to you or you prefer to keep them private.

Best regards,
Kern

Bacula Mini-Status

On Monday 9 February, Bacula Systems SA and Bareos GmbH & Co KG have reached a settlement concerning the proceedings pending in Lausanne, Switzerland, pursuant to which parties have withdrawn their respective claims. The terms of their settlement agreement are confidential.

 

 

Bacula Status Report 30 August 2014

I would like to bring you up to date on the following items:

1. Bacula Release Status
2. Windows Binaries
3. Bacula Enterprise
4. Vacation

1. Bacula Release Status

As you probably are aware, the current version of Bacula is 7.0.5, which appears to be quite stable.  I have seen a few reports of seg faults in the SD, but as of the current time, I have no tracebacks or bug reports so there isn’t anything I can do until users submit something.

There are a few bug reports (relatively minor) that I will work on this month as well as two or three patches that were submitted too late for version 7.0.5.  In addition, I have spent a significant amount of time refactoring the Director backup and restore routines to make them easier to read and maintain, and I hope to release them mid-September.

Before the end of the year, I will make a pass through the Bacula Enterprise version and ensure that all bug fixes are back ported (I believe this is already the case, but better to double check) and that all enhancements possible will be back ported.

As you probably know, I have for some time been trying/planning to resume community binary builds of as many platforms as possible.  This has not been possible for a number of years due to reduced community participation (probably because Bacula is in most distros and they upgrade much more frequently than previously).  If I can pull it off, hopefully before the end of the year, it will be with the help of Bacula Systems.  Since they will be community binaries they will obviously be without charge.

2. Windows Binaries

The latest version of the Enterprise Windows binaries adapted for compatibility with the community version are now posted on the Bacula Systems web page:

http://www.baculasystems.com/windows-binaries-for-bacula-community-users

This version is numbered 7.0.5, but it actually contains code from a prerelease of Bacula Enterprise 8.0.0.  The new Windows binaries contain all bug fixes and enterprise enhancements that we have made to the Windows binaries until present, where I have recently spent a considerable amount of time. A few of the new features/enhancements are:

– All bug fixes such as: silent install, better .conf file security, correct verify file count, …

– Working IPv6

– Support for Windows mount points

– Experimental Windows Storage daemon (disk only)

As you know, these binaries are available from Bacula Systems at a very modest cost which is designed to simply cover the costs incurred by Bacula Systems in producing and distributing them.  If you have purchased these binaries in the past three months, any upgrade will be free of charge.

In addition, Bacula Systems has authorized me to distribute binaries to “my friends”.  Since “my friends” is a bit objective, I have decided to use this permission to give free Windows binaries to all Bacula community contributors that are listed in the AUTHORS file.  So if you name is in that file, simply send me (kern at sibbald dot com) an email with your name and the email address you will use for getting your binaries, and I will notify you how to do it (please allow for a bit of a delay).  If you feel that you have made some significant contribution to the Bacula project, and your name is not in the AUTHORS file, please contact me to correct this.  If you want free binaries and you have not contributed to the project, it is not too late.

3. Bacula Enterprise

The newest release of the Bacula Enterprise Edition was released on 31 August to specific customers.  It will have lots of new features, some of which are already in the community version, but others are entirely new and very significant.   Bacula Systems customers should already be aware of the new features.   Also, shortly the details will be announced on the Bacula Systems web site, until then, you can get information at:

http://www.baculasystems.com/contactus

A few years ago, I informed you that for several years I would be spending more time working with Bacula Systems, which meant less of my personal time for the community, but that in the end, the community would benefit.  I believe that what I said has come true, I spent less time with the community, but there were significantly more total contributions to the community from myself and Bacula Systems.  If you look at the new community feature list, hopefully you will see that this is true.

Now that those few years have passed, and Bacula Systems is well on its way, I have turned my daily management responsibilities over the Bacula Systems R&D manager, Eric Bollengier.  This means, as you may have noticed, that I am able to devote significantly more time to what I love doing — developing the Bacula community version.  This will continue with the help of Bacula Systems.

At the moment, I am spending most of my time improving the Windows version of Bacula, and with the recent work I did to produce the Windows Enterprise binaries for the community, all this work will be available to the community shortly after it is implemented.  Bottom line, you can look forward to additional Windows improvements over the next six months.

Community users can look forward to more advanced Enterprise features being backported into the community version as it always has done.  I expect that by the end of the year or shortly thereafter you will see some significant new community features.

Since Bacula Systems has more and more customers from Eastern Europe, if you are interested in working as a customer support engineer and you live and work in Eastern Europe, please see if this job description fits you.

http://www.baculasystems.com/company/careers

If you are an experienced C or C++ programmer, you might also consider applying.

4. Vacation

I have been invited to give a presentation of Bacula to the Latinoware conference in Iguazu, Brazil (15-17 October) http://2014.latinoware.org/?lang=en so I would be very pleased to see/meet as many of you there as possible.  If you live in South America, please see if it is possible for you to attend as I would enjoy meeting you there.

Since the trip from Switzerland, where I live to Iguazu takes something like 20 hours, I will prolong my trip to include a full vacation, and I will be able to visit a few other countries in South America. In total I will be gone from 30 September until 7 November.  During this time Eric Bollengier will ensure maintenance of the Bacula project.

 

So my message here is that the Bacula community version is destined to evolve significantly in the future.

Thank you for using Bacula.

Kern

Bacula Status Report 26 March 2014

I would like to briefly talk about the following things:

1. Status of Bacula version 7.0.0

2. The Bacula Conference

Status of Bacula version 7.0.0:

What is completed is the following:

  • Bacula 7.0.0 source release
  • Bacula 7.0.0 new features documentation
  • New Bacula documentation look + fixed links
  • A new open source License for the documentation (Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License)
  • The new open source Bacula license, which  is the same AGPLv3 license,  but with attributions and other clarifications kindly edited by the Free Software Foundation.

What is not finished is the following:

  • Testing Bacula 7.0.0 for compatibility with older File daemons.  I think I can finish this by tomorrow (28 March 2014) or by the latest Monday.
  • Building Bacula binaries.  As you probably know, since Scott Barninger left the project after many years (many thanks Scott) we have not found a new packager.  On the other hand, the Bacula Systems packager works for me, and I have arranged for him to build the Bacula 7.0.0.  The first ones will probably be produced in early April, and as time goes we will add more and more, then in subsequent released they should quickly be available.
  • The new Bacula website.  I think this will be well enough along by Friday that we can switch from the current website to the new one.
  • The new Windows binaries, which should be ready by the first few weeks of April (or maybe even sooner).

It will be a lot of work coordinating it, because there are a lot of changes.

The Bacula Conference:

For me the Bacula conference was a great success.  In total there were over 50 people who attended, and everyone stayed until the very end.  The highlights were a Bacula Systems sponsored buffet dinner the evening of the 20th, Bacula Systems sponsored buffet lunch on the 21st, a good number of excellent presentations, a prize (a Samsung Galaxy 10″ tablet), which was won by a young woman answered the question: “Why is 21 March 2014 so special to Kern”.  Quite a few guessed it was my birthday, but she also gave my age!

If you are interested in the presentations (mine includes a mention of the main new features in 7.0.0) please go to the following link:

Bacula Conference Presentations

 

Status Report

The new Bacula version 7.0.0 is coming along quite well.  We still need to do compatibility testing to ensure that old FDs are compatible.

The new manual is looking nice. Unfortunately it will need to wait another couple months to get the cleanup, but at least the links are now fixed.

The only missing piece for the release is the documentation of the new features that we will finish shortly after the conference (see below).

The new website is almost finished too and will probably replace the old website before the end of next week.

Tomorrow, we are off to the first international Bacula Conference in Berlin where we have a really nice event planned — thanks to our sponsors.  I will officially announce the new Bacula 7.0.0 release, which should be released before the end of the month.

There will be more than 50 people at the conference with people from all over Europe and indeed the world.  Thanks to every who is coming. I look forward to meeting as many as I can, as does the rest of the team.  I also look forward to giving away the 10″ Android tablet to the lucky (or smart) winner!

Status Report 2 March 2014

Hello,

There are three main topics for this status report:

1. The Next Bacula Release
2. The Bacula Conference
3. Proposed Source Code License Modification

1. The Next Bacula Release
The next Bacula release will be officially announced at the Bacula Conference on the 21st of March, but I want to let you know that I have finished the work of backporting the Enterprise changes made over the last year to this new release.  Normally, as was the case in 2012, those changes would have been integrated into a number of smaller releases.  In 2012, we had 5 released, and would would have had a similar number in 2013, but as you know I froze the releases until I understood the consequences of the fork.  Actually, 5 releases is probably too many, and waiting a year as is the current case is probably too few, so in the future, hopefully we can come closer to a release every six months which I consider appropriate for stable backup software such as Bacula.  This release is rather large with a number of new features.  The git diff is close to 60,000 lines of code, which probably represents in reality some 20-30 thousand lines of changes, so you can see that the Bacula project is far from being dead as some “highly exaggerated rumors” would have it.

2. The Bacula Conference
I am surprised but very please to see how many of you have signed up for the Bacula Conference — thanks, I look forward to seeing you or meeting you as the case may be there.  There are still places available, and if you can come, please do so.  It is being held in Berlin with a dinner offered by Bacula Systems in the evening of 20 March and the conference will take place on the 21st of March.  For more information, please see:

  http://www.baculaconference.org

3. Proposed Source Code License Modification
I am considering to modify the Bacula Source License to have one additional “restriction” that would require forks to maintain the attributions. The code will remain AGPLv3 as it currently is, but the new restriction, which is permitted under section 7(b) would be added. At the same time, I propose modifying the header files to include a mention of this restriction.  The main new wording in the LICENSE file would be the following:

===
Redistribution’s/Modifications:
1. Redistribution’s and/or modifications of the source code must retain the information including the copyright notices and the attributions that are between the BEGIN_LICENSE and END_LICENSE markers.

2. Redistribution’s and/or modifications of the source code and/or binaries must reproduce the files LICENSE and AUTHORS in the the redistribution and/or in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.

Forking:
The two points listed above are not meant to restrict your ability to use, modify, and redistribute or fork Bacula, but are considered by the main author of Bacula to be an essential part of the moral author’s rights (droits d’auteur; Urheberrecht) that permit certain non-alienable author’s rights such as the right to be identified as the author or authors of the work as defined in article 6bis, Berne Convention.

If you have previously forked Bacula and have not followed the above two fundamental points, you must make your fork confirm to them in its entirety prior to using any file or part thereof from this or later releases.
===

If you have comments or questions about this proposed change, please feel free to contact me via the Bacula email lists or directly:  kern at sibbald dot com.

Best regards,
Kern

Documentation License Change

Hello,

As part of the website redesign (still in progress), we have also reworked the Bacula manuals to fix the broken links between the 5 documents as well as to include a new more modern cover page.  Hopefully before the end of March when the next Bacula release is scheduled (it may be deferred into April if the testing doesn’t go well), I will also have found the time to do a bit of cleanup of the manual and backport the cleanups/clarifications that we have made to the Enterprise manual.

I am considering (90% decided) to switch the license of the Bacula community documentation from the current GNU Free Documentation License to the Community Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License.

For you as users, as far as I can see (I am not a lawyer) there is little difference as the new CC-BY-SA gives you the same rights and is a Free Software license.  The difference is that people who want to copy or fork it will be required to keep the attributions.  To ensure that the attributions are correct I will start a new documentation attributions file probably named DOC-AUTHORS which will contain all the names of the contributors. The purpose of this email is three fold:

1. To solicit your feedback on this possible license change.  For more details see:

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

and

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

2. If you have contributed to the manuals but are not the list and want to be on the list, please send me your name, email address, and a rough idea of  what you contributed.

3. If you do not want your name on this list, please let me know, and I will remove it.

Best regards,
Kern

Status Report 07 Feb 2014

Bacula Status report 7 February 2014

First, I would like to thank all of you who have both on and off the Bacula lists sent me very kind emails thanking me and encouraging me.

The main purposes of this email are:

1.  Bacula

2 The Bacula Conference

1. Bacula:

I know that some of you are worried about the Bacula project and where it is going. I want to assure that everything is OK, and that we have quite a number of exciting new features and many other benefits for the community coming up. They have been long planned  and are just now coming to fruition.

 

As has historically been the case, in addition to a few recent community contributions, there will be some significant contributions from Bacula Systems to the next Bacula version.  Please see the following link for the list of contributions to the Bacula project which is easy for anyone to validate:

http://blog.bacula.org/review-of-major-contributions-to-bacula-since-2008/

The list of flowback contributions to the community from Bacula Systems for the next version (March-April) now has twenty three new features, plus a new product, and that number is growing almost daily so will be even bigger by the time the release is made.  I plan to make the official announcement of these features at the Bacula Conference in Berlin on 21 March 2014.

We also already have a list of four additional major Bacula Enterprise features that will flow back in to a subsequent Bacula community version to be released toward the end of the year.

3. The Bacula Conference

As I mentioned above, the first International Bacula Users and Partners Conference (http://www.baculaconference.org/) will be held in Berlin on the 21st of March 2014.  If you have not registered for this Conference, please do so as seats are filling quickly.  Entrance is free.  You can register at the following link:

http://www.baculaconference.org/register/

During the Conference, I will present Bacula roadmap and make some important announcements for our community. If you want to meet me, other developers and contributors to Bacula as well as hear about Bacula Systems, this is the place to go.

I am excited about the meeting and will be delighted to meet you in Berlin, Germany on the 21st of March and have the opportunity to have a chat with each and everyone.  Also, there will be a dinner on the 20th the eve of the conference, offered by Bacula Systems, so don’t forget to reserve your seat when you register for the Conference day.

Looking forward to seeing you in Berlin,

Kern Sibbald

Bacula Status Report

Hello,

I would like to speak to you about the following points:

1. The rumors of the death of Bacula (the Community version)
2. Bacula Systems and the FSFE (Free Software Foundation Europe)
3. The future of Bacula (the Community version)

1. The rumors of the death of Bacula (the Community version):

I borrow words from a quote of Mark Twain : The rumors of the death of Bacula are highly exaggerated!

I began working on Bacula 14 years ago (in January 2000), and it has been Open Source from the time it was publicly released in April 2002, and it will remain Open Source. I have been and am fully devoted to Open Source, and in particular to Bacula, which is like my “baby”.

I did inform the Bacula Community several years ago that my personal participation in Bacula would decrease a bit for several years to allow me to focus more on getting Bacula Systems started. In my opinion, that has not been a serious disadvantage for the Bacula project since Bacula Systems over that period has contributed far more code to Bacula than I could have alone over the same period, and as you will see a bit later in this status report, Bacula Systems contributions are absolutely guaranteed to continue in the long run, and even increase.

2. Bacula Systems and the FSFE:

If you have been a long time Bacula user you may recall that I discussed the possibility in 2006-2007 of creating a company, now called Bacula Systems, to ensure the continuation of Bacula when I will no longer be able to personally contribute – say in 10 or 20 years, as well as to provide the financial means to add high-end features to Bacula (a fibre channel network costs about $50K to set up). Much to my surprise 95% or more of the responses I got were very positive. Bacula Systems was created in July 2008, and for the first two years, the Enterprise code base and the Community code base were identical. Unfortunately, that didn’t work financially for Bacula Systems. Companies willing to pay, were willing to pay for features and support but not support alone, so Bacula Systems embarked on development to continue maintenance and improvement of Bacula while at the same time creating mostly plugins to add differentiation to the Enterprise version.

Now this may not sound very Open Source to you, and I understand, because I feel the same way. Were it at all possible, I would give you all of Bacula Systems code, unfortunately, that is not economically feasible at the current time, and yet without Bacula Systems, I fear the Bacula project will die or worse yet fall into the hands of someone incapable of maintaining the high quality we have created.

In mid-2013, Bacula Systems and I began discussions with the FSFE on how to guarantee the long-term survival of Bacula. These discussions, extremely positive on both sides and all points, recently lead to a formal written agreement between myself, Bacula Systems, and the FSFE. There are a number of points in the agreement, but probably the most important of all is that Bacula Systems has now put in writing that it is an Open Source company (at its heart), as it has always proclaimed, and will contribute all the Enterprise code it creates to the Bacula Community code base within at most a 5 year period. One exception is that Bacula Systems is legally unable to contribute certain code encumbered by third-party proprietary license. The 5 year delay gives Bacula Systems the chance to develop Enterprise features that differentiate it, but ensures the continual growth of the Bacula Community code. This model can possibly be used across the industry to ensure the future of open source software in an environment where development costs, particularly for hardware to do testing, are prohibitive to the standard models of today.

5. The future of Bacula (the Community version):

If you have read section 4 above, hopefully if you were not already convinced that Bacula is alive that you can now see that it will have a long and successful future ahead of it. If you have any doubts, please do not hesitate to either send me an email on the bacula-users list or directly to me (if you want it private). Hopefully, by mid-December I will have a blog setup (need a major upgrade of bacula.org to do so), and I will then fill you in on what next to expect in Bacula.

Thank you for contributing to and/or using Bacula …

Best regards,
Kern