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Backup & Restore

The purpose of backup is to protect data


from loss.
The purpose of restore is to recover data
that is temporarily unavailable due to some
unexpected event.

Backup
To backup or not to back up, that is the question.
Backup is not free.
No backup is risky.

Proper Backup Procedure

Choose your application


Scheduling
Implementation
Inventory (content and media)
Verify
Automate
Secure

Factors
Determine which data is critical.
Determine frequency and types of backups
to be used.
Full
Differential
Incremental

Factors
Determine which data is static and which is
dynamic.
Some OS installations are changed
infrequently; few backups required
E-commerce may require continuous backups.
Understand the changing state of your clients
data to determine an appropriate backup sched.
Organize with partitions

Factors
Determine the appropriate media storage for
your backups:

CD
DVD
Tape
Disk
Solid State?

Factors
Partitioning of disk space is used to manage
backups

Choose your Backup App


Mac OS X :
Time Machine

Linux/Unix :
tar (tape archive), cpio, dump

MS Windows :
MS Windows XP & 7 includes Backup & Restore
capability
Many commercial apps are available

Enterprise Level Backup Apps


Paragon Backup & Recovery includes
customer support
Backup4All Professional
GRBackPro7

Schedule
Determine the categories of data so you can
schedule the backups accordingly

Schedule
Partitions are often used to manage backups
Examples:
The OS has its own partition and may require
infrequent backups if changes are quarterly
User data may require nightly backups
Users must know what partitions have backup
and the frequency (SLA).

Schedule
Full Archival Backup
image backup implies copying the unused
space.

Differential Backup what has changed


since the last backup
Incremental Backup what has changed
since the last backup of anytype

Full Archival Backup


Mirror every last bit on the disk is
duplicated.
Many full backups ignore empty space.

Full Archival Backup (Pros)


Pros
Provides a complete copy of data
Easy to manage:
Done less frequently than other types of
backups due to cost and resource requirements:
Monthly, Quarterly, semi-annually, annually.

Full Archival Backup (Cons)


Cons
Usually requires more media space than
either differential or incremental.
Takes a long time to recover the full backup
to a new disk.

Full Archival Backup


Consider making multiple backup copies
Full backup media should be stored offsite to
protect data from disasters
Fire, Flood, Earthquake, Terrorist attack, Sabotage,
Hacker attacks

Full Archival Backups


The trend is to reduce the cycle of full
backups. This is because of liability. Files
that are not backed up cannot be
subpoenaed.
Statute may require destruction of some
records.

Differential Backup
Copy files changed since the last full
backup.
Differential backups grow with time. They
can eventually grow larger than the last full
backup.
Scheduled less frequently than a full
backups: Weekly, monthly.

Differential Backup (Pros)


Redundancy
Usually takes up less time and space than a
full backup.
If the differential backup grows to the size
of the last full backup, then schedule a new
full backup.

Differential Backup (Cons)


Redundancy potentially many unneeded
copies of the same data.
Subsequent differentials take longer and use
more media space.

Incremental Backups
A backup of what has changed since the last
previous backup of any type.
Frequency of incremental backups depends
on the client needs.
Weekly, daily, hourly, continuously.

Incremental Backups
Pros
Keeps a revision history of actively changing
files
Fastest backup type
Uses the least amount of media to complete a
single backup

Cons
Much more difficult to manage

Schedule Example
Full backup twice per year
Differential each first Saturday morning of
each month that is not scheduled for a full
backup
Incremental each Saturday morning that is
not scheduled for a Full or Differential

Other Schedule Considerations


Consider completing a backup in
conjunction with and before any major
system changes are scheduled.

The Actual Backup


Assignment of responsibilities
Written in the SAs job description

Acceptance of accountability
A signed form indicating that the backup was
complete, verified and secured

The Actual Backup


Hardware
Choose the media type
Centralize the backup to reduce redundancy of
hardware
Not everyone archives the local C-Drive on
general purpose workstations. (SLA and user
awareness)

Backup Inventory
Inventory the backup media
Tapes and other writable media use barcodes or
hand-written labels

Inventory the content of the media


The backup should have a table of contents
included in the backup

Backup Inventory
The media label information:

Date
System identifier
Partition name(s)
Backup category: full, differential, incremental

Verify
The only time you know the quality of your
backup media is when you are doing a
restore.
This is the worse time to discover you have
problems.
Restore a small subset of random files from
the backup. Verify their integrity through
differences or checksums.

Verify: Firedrills
When new equipment arrives, test your
backup procedure on the new equipment to
verify it works correctly

Backup Automation
Automation reduces human errors.
Many pre-packaged apps include automatic
scheduling
Linux/Unix backup scripts can be submitted
using the cron utility. Logs can be kept in
/var/log, and e-mail can be sent to the admin.

Secure The Backup


Offsite storage
Encryption: to encrypt or not to encrypt,
Will the encryption key always be available?
Statute or contract (SLA) may require
encryption

Secure: Off-Site Storage


Off site storage has risks all its own
Data can be lost/destroyed in transit
How important is it to have a backup of the
backup?
Some backups can be kept on site

Secure: Example Strategy


Where the backup is stored will impact
service response to restore requests:
Consider keeping incremental backups on site.
Differential and full backups could be stored
offsite.

Data Compression
Risks if the media is damaged, recovery
may be difficult or impossible.
Lossy
some data tolerates degradation (loss of
information)

No-loss
Some data should not be compressed. Know
your data!

Secure Backups
Contract to store your data in a secret
offsite location. (Secret implies a need to
know basis)

Backup Considerations
Backups slow down service. This should be
included in the SLA
Files should be write-locked during backup.

Avoid doing backups during peak service


hours. Schedule during early AM hours on
the weekend and holidays.

Restore
Common reasons for restores
Accidental file deletion
Disk failure
Disaster recovery
Fire, flood, earthquake, hacker attack, sabotage,
terrorist attack, etc.

Accidental File Deletion


If backups are once per day, lost work is limited to
one day for a given file. (RAID does not help)
As storage technology gets cheaper by the Gbyte,
it becomes easier to implement more sophisticated
storage procedures that are more timely. (HDD
backup).
A user wants the restoration to be immediate. The
quicker the turnaround, the happier your customer.

Disk Failure
A disk failure causes two problems
Loss of data
Loss of service

Critical systems should implement RAID so that


disk failures do not cause a loss of service.
Restoring an entire disk is slow. Service is
hampered until the last bit is recovered.
Consider using hot spares and hot swap

Disk Restore from Tape


Restoring from tape can interrupt service.
Restoring from tape slows the restore
process by a factor of about 5-10 times
compared to a simple disk to disk copy.

Tape Backup
Large amounts of data historically favored
tape media for backup:
Tapes are portable and fairly durable.

Tapes
Tape historically has been the preferred backup
media for very large data storage environments.
Tape has a useful life span.
Tape can be very robust for storage
Easy to transport
Some tape formats are more reliable than
others.

Tape Inventory
Backup tapes must be
Properly labeled
Properly stored

Proper inventory is needed to do restores in


a timely fashion.
Hand written labels are ok
Bar codes and printed labels are better.

Tape Inventory
Inventory is not limited to the physical tape
itself.
The contents of tapes must be inventoried.
The number of accesses must be logged
because tapes ware out.
Tape equipment is not free. You dont want to
purchase any more hardware than is needed.

Tape
Rotate media
Incremental backup stored on site can be
reused.

Tape Standards

8mm
DLT
DAT (4mm)
QIC
http://www.pctechguide.com/15tape.htm
Imation.com

Tape Technology
Tape technology expands in leaps.
Tape hardware purchases are not made on a
constant basis (like disk storage).
Tape technology is purchased in leaps.
Three year intervals are more practical.

Firedrills
An occasional test of a full partition restore
is not unreasonable. This would be done if
A change is made in the backup software
release.
A change of vendor for the backup software
product.
When a new server with new unused disk
arrives.

Centralization
Without centralization, a tape drive is
needed for each server location.
Equipment can be interchanged more easily
when centralized.

High Access DB Backups


Some data changes so rapidly that backups
are not practical.
RAID 1 mirroring may be the only practical
solution.
RAID 1+1, includes a second mirror in a
RAID 1 array.

Technology
Disk space cost drops by 1/2 about every
18-24 months.
Disk space is filled as it expands.
Disk requirements are increasing on a
continuous basis.
Disk budgets increase faster than tape
backup budgets.

Backup Procedure

Choose your application


Scheduling (know your data)
The actual backup
Inventory (content and media)
Verify
Automate
Secure