Chapter 9. Backup/Recovery
One of the key jobs of a system administrator is to back up and recover systems and data. It is also one of the more vexing areas. Nothing gets an administrator in trouble faster than lost data. In this chapter, we discuss the key categories of backup and recovery, and we look at some important areas of concern.
The first distinction between backup types is remote versus local backups. Local backups to media are typically faster, but the incremental cost of adding media storage to every system becomes expensive quickly. The second option is to use a remote system as a backup server. This approach slows the backups somewhat and increases network bandwidth usage, but the backups typically happen in the middle of the night when most systems are quiet. This distinction is not a major focus of the chapter, but it is a fact of backup and recovery life and must be mentioned.
The main issues addressed in the chapter include backup media and the types of backup devices available, backup strategies, the benefits and limitations of different utilities, and ways to troubleshoot failing tape backups.