Hi future me, again.
Did you remember how to mount a file as a block device? Even put a filesystem and OS on it too.
# losetup -f # Will print out the next available loop device # losetup /dev/loop0 /path/to/file.img # Will mount the whole disk image  # kpartx -a /dev/loop0 # Will find the partitions  # mount /dev/mapper/loop0p1 /path/to/mountpoint # Will mount the first partition 
How useful is that?
After the initial losetup to bind the file to a loop block device, you can run tools like
dd if=/dev/sda of=/path/to/network/backup.img
if you want to make usb live images.
I'm sure you'll think of something. Don't forget about cleanup,
# kpartx -d /dev/loop0 # Removes any partition mappings # losetup -d /dev/loop0 # decouples the loop device and closes the file