CS615 -- System Administration -- EBS Backup


In this assignment, you are provided with a generic problem statement to which you need to provide a suitable solution. The parameters of the solution are intentionally vaguely defined, as solving this sort of problem in a generic manner suitable for your user base reflects a common responsibility for any System Administrator.

On a technical level, this assignment will test your ability to develop a solution that utilizes the AWS environment and interacts with the command-line interface of the user to perform a backup of user data.

Problem Statement:

Your users would like to be able to back up files from their workstations onto an EBS volume in AWS.

You should provide a practical, easy to use solution to this problem. What form or shape your solution takes exactly is up to you, but your users need to be able to follow the documentation or instructions you provide to accomplish their goal without getting frustrated.

User Environment:

Your users are using a Unix-like environment such as e.g., macOS, NetBSD, or Linux. They have installed the AWS command-line utilities and configured them to access their AWS account and are comfortable using the command-line and capable of following instructions.

It is worth noting that your users have a strong aversion to using any browser-based or solutions otherwise relying on a graphical interface and expect to perform their backups from the command-line. Your users also have a tendency to back up all sorts of files and directory hierarchies, varying in size as well as numbers and types of files.


You shall provide a solution for your users that allows them to accomplish their goal of backing up files and directories from their systems to an EBS volume. You may choose to write a tool to accomplish this task or identify existing solutions that, if licensing permits, lets the user complete their goal.

In either case, you will need to provide detailed documentation that instructs the user on how to install and use your solution.

You will submit a single tar(1) archive. The file to submit will be called "$USER-ebs-backup.tar" (where "$USER" is your username). The archive will extract all files and subdirectories into a directory named $USER. Your archive will contain at the very least a plain text README file that describes your solution; you may include additional files, such as e.g., a script or program you wrote to solve the problem or to install a component etc.

Please attach the tar(1) archive to an email sent from your @stevens.edu email address to jschauma@stevens.edu with a subject of "[CS615] ebs backup".

The due date for this assignment is 2022-04-25 16:00 EDT.

[Course Website]