REVIEW: "Backup and Recovery", W. Curtis Preston
- BKBAKREC.RVW 20070302
"Backup and Recovery", W. Curtis Preston, 2007, 0-596-10246-1,
%A W. Curtis Preston www.backupcentral.com curtis@...
%C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
%G 0-596-10246-1 978-0-596-10246-3
%I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
%O U$49.99/C$64.99 800-998-9938 fax: 707-829-0104 info@...
%O Audience a Tech 2 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
%P 729 p.
%T "Backup and Recovery"
We tell people to make backups. Occasionally we might mention the
difference between full, differential, and incremental backups. If we
are turning out hotshot forensics specialists we might even go into
the difference between file image backups and disk image backups. But
how often do we tell people that operational databases (which is most
of them) have open files, and generally prevent you from backing up
with the usual utilities?
Part one is an introduction. Chapter one is an overview of some quick
aspects about backups, but primarily is a suggestion to do it, and do
it properly. Basic types of backups, and the factors affecting backup
procedures, are outlined in chapter two. (The material will probably
feel very familiar to those who have worked in the business continuity
field: not just because of the importance of backups in recovery
operations, but also because of the analysis of the complex and
interdependent linkages that can cause disasters.)
Part two examines open source backup utilities. (Most of them are
open source: a few are just "free.") Chapter three reviews some of
the utilities for UNIX, Linux, Windows, and the Mac that can provide
fundamental backup capabilities, and which can also be used by other
applications for more sophisticated backup systems. Amanda (the
Advanced Maryland Automated Network Disk Archiver), an open source,
cross-platform, client/server architecture (Windows servers do not
appear to be available, but clients are) backup system that uses some
of these underlying tools is described in chapter four. Amanda has
some very interesting security and scheduling provisions. BackupPC, a
network-based backup system for UNIX (client or server) and Windows
(client) is briefly described in chapter five. Chapter six explains
another distributed system, Bacula, in a rather haphazard manner.
Rsnapshot, which does near-continuous backup, is delineated in chapter
Part three supposedly turns to commercial backup products. In fact,
the contents are simply a list of factors to be used when evaluating
software products (chapter eight) and various types of hardware
Bare-metal recovery (what you do to restore the system when you've
lost the whole thing, rather than just a few files) is described in
part four. The Solaris flash archive is intended for cloning of
systems, but chapter ten tells how to use it for recovery. Chapter
eleven explains tools and procedures for Linux, and a little tiny bit
for Windows as well. Procedures for HP-UX are in twelve, AIX in
thirteen, and Mac OS X (which basically has a version of BSD under the
graphical user interface) is in fourteen.
Database systems have a) lots and lots of data, b) special backup
requirements, and c) a special importance to most companies, so this
application gets special attention in part five. General concepts are
discussed in chapter fifteen, with the particulars of backup and
recovery for Oracle, Sybase, DB2, SQL Server, Microsoft's Exchange
(well, an email server certainly *uses* a database ...), PostgreSQL,
and MySQL in chapters sixteen to twenty-two.
Part six covers miscellaneous topics. Actually, it is chapter twenty-
three that contains miscellaneous topics (starting out with how to
back up VMWare servers). Chapter twenty-four is a justification for
the book (or, for having a backup process, anyhow).
Preston's work is directed at inexpensive backup solutions for open
systems, so it is not surprising that UNIX utilities get the most
space and the greatest attention to detail. Windows is certainly not
ignored, and the author even bends his own rules to accommodate some
helpful utilities in the Windows realm, but there simply isn't a lot
of material to work with.
Backups are important for everyone. This book is not for everyone.
The text will be very valuable for those who have large systems, or
large numbers of systems, with backup needs complicated by special
Now go make a backup.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2007 BKBAKREC.RVW 20070302
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I once sent a dozen of my friends a telegram saying FLEE AT ONCE
- ALL IS DISCOVERED. They all left town immediately. - Mark Twain