Backup & Recovery

Author: W. Curtis Preston
Pages: 760
Publisher: O’Reilly
ISBN: 0596102461


The undeniable importance of backup is the reason why system administrators invest time and effort into creating and maintaining a backup system fit for their infrastructure. While for a home user it may be enough to burn their files to a DVD from time to time, professionals and organizations must tackle the problem of possible data loss with a strong understanding of their needs.

“Backup & Recovery” is a title that wants to help individuals and companies discover inexpensive and free backup solutions and teach them how to deploy them.

About the author

W. Curtis Preston has specialized in designing data protection systems since 1993, and has designed such systems for many environments, both large and small. His lively prose and wry, real-world approach has made him a popular author and speaker.

Inside the book

First off, it’s worth noting that this book is basically for everyone as it covers Linux, UNIX, Windows and Mac OS X. The author starts off how you’d expect – by illustrating the importance of backup, and he doesn’t just talk theory, he offers a dark backup-related story from his past, one that will definitely make you shiver and think about that server you haven’t backed up for a while.

Throughout the title, Preston discusses a variety of utilities like Amanda, BackupPC and Bacula. Get ready for a variety of screenshots, lots of commands, references and practical advice. You learn to identify what features you need, how to perform practical tasks and what to expect in certain situations.

A significant part of the book is dedicated to database backup that covers MySQL, Oracle, Sybase, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, Exchange and IBM DB2. Database administrators will certainly get their fare share of good information.

The only thing I missed in this book is a chapter dedicated to online backup services such as the Amazon Simple Storage Service, an inexpensive data storage infrastructure that’s being increasingly used by everyone from home users to large organizations.

Final thoughts

If you need a backup solution and you’re running on a tight budget, this book is exactly what you need. It contains a solid overview of available solutions that will be appropriate for most deployments.

“Backup & Recovery” clearly shows the author’s experience as he manages to provide a tightly organized volume which contains a ton of useful information that is easy to browse and use as a reference. If you haven’t been a backup fanatic before, reading this book just might turn you into one.

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