Chapter 17. Performing Network Backups
Backing up your data is an unglamorous operation, but one that's critically important for the long- term reliability of your systems. Some networks consist of one or two large servers and a larger number of comparatively simple systems, such as X terminals, that contain little or nothing in the way of important data. In such networks, you can place backup hardware on the servers, back them up, and safely ignore the clients , except possibly for keeping a default installation backup. If a client fails, you can replace it with a new system bearing the standard configuration with minimal fuss. Other networks, though, have several servers that require backups, or client systems may house user data or other information that you can't afford to lose. Such networks require backup solutions of one sort or another. The options in this realm are quite varied, so this chapter can only scratch the surface. It begins with a broad discussion of the options available, then moves on to three specific solutions: Using tar to back up Linux or UNIX systems, using Samba to back up Windows systems, and using AMANDA to coordinate backups across a network.
Network backups can be very complex, particularly on a large network. For more information on this topic, you should read whatever documentation comes with your backup tools. There are also books on the topic, such as Preston's Unix Backup & Recovery (O'Reilly, 1999).