Enterprise Systems Backup and Recovery: A Corporate Insurance Policy, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Enterprise Systems Backup and Recovery

A Corporate Insurance Policy, 1st Edition

By Preston de Guise

Auerbach Publications

308 pages | 48 B/W Illus.

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The success of information backup systems does not rest on IT administrators alone. Rather, a well-designed backup system comes about only when several key factors coalesce—business involvement, IT acceptance, best practice designs, enterprise software, and reliable hardware. Enterprise Systems Backup and Recovery: A Corporate Insurance Policy provides organizations with a comprehensive understanding of the principles and features involved in effective enterprise backups.

Instead of focusing on any individual backup product, this book recommends corporate procedures and policies that need to be established for comprehensive data protection. It provides relevant information to any organization, regardless of which operating systems or applications are deployed, what backup system is in place, or what planning has been done for business continuity. It explains how backup must be included in every phase of system planning, development, operation, and maintenance. It also provides techniques for analyzing and improving current backup system performance.

After reviewing the concepts in this book, organizations will be able to answer these questions with respect to their enterprise:

  • What features and functionality should be expected in a backup environment?
  • What terminology and concepts are unique to backup software, and what can be related to other areas?
  • How can a backup system be monitored successfully?
  • How can the performance of a backup system be improved?
  • What features are just "window dressing" and should be ignored, as opposed to those features that are relevant?

Backup and recovery systems touch on just about every system in an organization. Properly implemented, they can provide an enterprise with greater assurance that its information is safe. By utilizing the information in this book, organizations can take a greater step toward improving the security of their data and preventing the devastating loss of data and business revenue that can occur with poorly constructed or inefficient systems.

Table of Contents


Who Should Use this Book?


What Is a Backup?

Think Insurance

Information Lifecycle Protection (ILP)

Backups VERSUS Fault Tolerance

Risk VERSUS Cost

Dispelling myths

Myth: Tape Is Going to Die Within a Few Years, and We’ll All Be

Backing Up to Cheap Disk

Myth: Commercial Backup Software Is Not as “Trustworthy” as

Operating System Invoked Tools

Myth: Commercial Backup Software Is Not as Efficient as Customized

Backup Scripts Written by a Good System Administrator with Local

Environment Knowledge

Myth: The Use of Commercial Backup Software Would Require Staff


Myth: Commercial Backup Software Offers No Tangible

Improvements over Regular Operating System Backups

Myth: Deploying Commercial Backup Software Requires Budgeting

for Additional Yearly Maintenance Fees

Myth: Backup Is a Waste of Money

Myth: It Is Cheaper and More Appropriate to Develop In-House

Backup Systems Than to Deploy Commercial Backup Systems

Myth: If a Department Can’t Fund Backups for Its Systems, They

Don’t Get Backed Up

The Top Ten Rules

Human and Technical Layers


Human Layers: Roles and Responsibilities


Technical Staff


Help Desk Staff

Backup Administrators

System Administrators

Application Administrators


Local Management and Team Leaders

Upper Management

The Board and the CEO


Key Users

End Users

Domain Disputes

Technical Layers


Technical Service Layers

External and Security

Client Systems

Processing Systems/Servers

Virtualization Systems

Storage Systems

Backup/Protection Systems

Service Component Layers

Backup and Recovery Concepts


Host Nomenclature

Backup Topology

Decentralized Backups

Centralized Backups

Backup levels

Full Level

Incremental Level

Differential Level

Simple Differential Backups

Multi-Layered Differential Levels

Consolidated Level

Manual Backups

Skipping Backups

Full Once, Incrementals Forever

Data Availability



Snapshot Backups

Data Selection Types

Inclusive Backups

Exclusive Backups

Backup Retention Strategies

Dependency-Based Retention

Simple Model

Manual Backups Revisited

Recovery Strategies

Recovery Types

Aggregated Filesystem View

Last Filesystem View

Point-in-Time Recovery

Destructive Recovery

Non-Index Recovery

Incremental Recovery

Recovery Locality

Local Recovery

Server-Initiated Recovery

Directed Recovery

Cross-Platform Directed Recovery

Client Impact

Server-Based Backups

Serverless Backups

Filesystem/Volume Clones and Snapshots

Array Replication

Summarizing Serverless Backups

Virtual Machine Snapshots

Database Backups

Cold Backup

Hot Backup

Export Backup

Snapshot Backup

Backup Initiation Methods

Server Initiated

Client Initiated

Externally Scheduled

Miscellaneous Enterprise Features

Pre- and Post-Processing

Arbitrary Backup Command Execution

Cluster Recognition

Client Collections

Backup Segregation

Granular Backup Control

Backup Schedule Overrides


Duplication and Migration


Command Line Interface

Backup Catalogues

Media Handling Techniques


Rapid Data Access


Media Tracking



What to Back up


Storage Devices



Non-Traditional Infrastructure

Desktops and Laptops

Hand-Held Devices

Removable Storage: Devices and Media

Documentation and Training



System Configuration

System Map

Administrative Operations

Media Handling

Backup and Recovery Operations

Disaster Recovery Operations


Acceptance Test Procedures

Test Register

Vendor-Supplied Documentation

Release Notes


The Case for Training

Backup Administrators

System Administrators

Application and Database Administrators

Operations Staff

Help Desk Staff

End Users


Performance Options, Analysis, and Tuning


Performance techniques

Backup Bandwidth



Backup Efficiency

Client-Side Compression

Bandwidth Limiting

File Consolidation

Block-Level Backup

Data Deduplication

Diagnosing Performance Issues

Network Performance Analysis

Ping Test

Speed and Duplexing

File Transfer Test

Name Resolution Response Times

Client Performance Analysis




Device Performance Analysis

Altering Tape Block Size Can Affect Recovery

Backup Server Performance Analysis

Improving Backup Performance

Multi-Tiered Backup Environments

Incrementals Forever, Revisited

Upgrade Hardware

Tape Robots

Example: The Cost of Not Accepting the Need for


Faster Backup Devices

Backup to Disk

Disk Backup Units

Virtual Tape Libraries

Dynamic Device Allocation

Serverless Backup



Multiplex Larger Filesystems

Filesystem Change Journals

Archive Policies

Archive Is Not HSM

Anti-Virus Software

Slower Backup Devices



Designing Backup for Recovery

Recovery Performance

Facilitation of Recovery

How Frequently Are Recoveries Requested?

Backup Recency versus Recovery Frequency

Who May Want to Perform Recoveries?

Recovery Procedures and Recommendations

Read the Documentation before Starting a Recovery

Choosing the Correct Recovery Location

Provide an Estimate of How Long the Recovery Will Take

Give Updates during Recoveries

Write-Protect Offline Media before Using

Don’t Assume a Recovery Can Be Done if It Hasn’t Been Tested

Recall All Required Media at the Start of the Recovery

Acclimatize Off-Site Recovery Media whenever Possible

Run Recoveries from Sessions That Can Be Disconnected

From/Reconnected To

Know the Post-Recovery Configuration Changes

Check Everything Before It Is Done

Remember Quantum Physics

Be Patient

Document the Current Status of the Recovery

Note Errors, and What Led to Them

Don’t Assume the Recovery Is an Exam

If Media/Tape Errors Occur, Retry Elsewhere

Ensure the Recovery Is Performed by Those Trained to Do It

Read and Follow the Instructions if They’ve Never Been Used Before

Write a Post-Recovery Report

Update Incorrect Instructions

Preserve the Number of Copies of Backups

Send Off-Site Media Back Off Site

Remind Vendors of SLAs

Cars Have Bandwidth, Too

Disaster recovery

Maintenance Backups

Perform a Backup before Maintenance

Perform a Full Backup Following Maintenance

If Time Permits, Backup after Recovery

Avoid Upgrades

Read the Documentation before the Backups Are Performed

Disaster Recoveries Must Be Run by Administrators

Test and Test and Test Again

Use the Same Hardware

Know Dependencies (and How to Work around Them)

Keep Accurate System Documentation

Do You Know Where Your Licenses Are at 1 A.M.?

Disaster Recovery Exercises

Off-Site Storage

Keep the Disaster Recovery Site Current

Hot or Cold Disaster Recovery Site?

Service Level Agreements

Recovery Time Objective SLAs

Recovery Point Objective SLAs

Planning SLAs

Map IT Systems

Establish SLAs on a Per-System Basis

Confirm SLAs Are Realistic

Upgrade IT Environment or Revisit SLAs

Failure Costs

Formally Agree to, and Publish SLAs

Enact Policies to Protect SLAs

Verify SLAs


 Protecting the Backup Environment


Why Protect the Backup Server?

Protecting the Backups

Via Backup Software

Post-Backup Cloning

Inline Cloning

Storage of Duplicates

Hardware-Level Protection

Hot-Pluggable Tape Libraries


RAID for Disk Backup

Physical Protection

Physical Security

Protecting the Backup Server

Backup Server Components

Ensuring Availability

Historical Considerations




Problem Analysis



Basic Configuration

Switch/NIC Settings

Hostname Resolution

Basic Connectivity

Ping Test

Port Test

Backup Software Connectivity

Hardware Validation

Backup Device Validation

Physical Inspection

Operability Validation

Media Validation

Firmware Validation

System Hardware Validation

Server/Storage Node


Software Validation

Log Review

Version Compatibility Validation

Error Review

Tracking Failures

Backup Reporting


Reporting Options

Automated Reports

Automated Report Parsing

Zero-Failure Policy

Choosing a Backup Product



Value Products That Value Protection

Value Frameworks, Not Monoliths

Operating Systems





Functionality Checklist

Administrative Considerations




Technical Support

Best Practices


Backup to Recover


What to Backup

Protect the Backups

Results Checking and Reporting

Core Design Considerations

Track Failures

Clearly Delineate Roles and Responsibilities

Network, Not Netwon’t

Ensure the System Is Supported

Appendix A: Technical Asides

A Introduction

A Transactional Logging

A Snapshots

A Traditional Snapshots

A Fast Resynchronization Snapshots

A Copy-On-Write Snapshots

A Cache Snapshots

A Apply-Deferred Snapshots

Appendix B: Sample Recovery Request Form

Appendix C: Sample Test Form

Appendix D: Glossary of Terms

About the Originator


Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Production & Operations Management
COMPUTERS / Information Technology
COMPUTERS / Networking / General