Data backup and recovery resources


Data backup and recovery resources editorial team's unique resources help you navigate your way through the process of backing up and recovering your mission critical data.

According to expert Christopher Poelker, the whole idea behind

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Safe Harbor

backup is to:

1) Get your data safe
2) Get your data safe while not impacting production
3) Get it done as fast as possible

Data is generally regarded as a company's first or second most valuable asset -- right on par with people. Equally important with backing up data is the ability to recover that same data and recovery it in a timely fashion to keep a business up and running.

The editors have compiled a series of resources to help you solve your biggest backup problems and speed up those recovery times. Here are the straight FAQ.

   Backup School
   What are my backup options?
   What are the latest trends in backing up?
   Managing backups
   Optimizing recovery
   My backups are failing! What can I do?
   Disaster recovery/business continuity planning
   Advanced backup methodology
   Additional resources

  Backup School Return to Table of Contents

Backup School: One of the most important storage functions you need to know is how to properly backup and recover. Backup School is dedicated to exposing you to all of the aspects of backup and how to optimize your backup environments. The author of "The Backup Book", Dorian Cougias is your Backup School professor. In each of these 15-minute lessons he'll walk you through what a backup is, all the way through reading that last tape for optimal recovery. Backup School is in session -- enjoy!

  What are my backup options? Return to Table of Contents

It's hard to jump feet first into backup if you don't know the basics. We lead off this guide with's backup expert W. Curtis Preston breaking out his "Five golden rules for backup".

View this webcast on Building disaster-tolerant storage infrastructures with Jon William Toigo. Toigo, author, industry columnist and independent consultant lets you know what really needs to be done to achieve a robust, disaster-tolerant infrastructure and get expert insight on mirroring schemes, the need for tape, fault tolerant planning and more.

Quick hit backup advice from experts: Does a "best practice" exist for backup strategies?

Not sure about a backup strategy your company wants to take? contributor Simon Gordon has a comparison of different backup strategies to help you decide.

Storage magazine extras:
"Are full backups dead?" -- W. Curtis Preston, Feb. 2004
"Best storage products of 2003" -- Editors of Storage and, Jan 2004
"Plan on disk-based backup" -- Shane O'Neill, Jan 2004
"SD2003: Designing a backup architecture that actually works" -- Rich Friedman, Sept. 2003
"Planning backup and recovery requires more thought than you would think" -- Richard Scannell, May 2002
"Pick the right ATA array for backup"--W. Curtis Preston, Sep. 2002
Pick the right database backup option" -- James Damoulakis, Nov. 2002

Getting started with backup? Check out these continually updated sections on

  What are the latest trends in backing up?  Return to Table of Contents

Disk-to-disk-to tape, Serial ATA and advances in tape libraries are causing a stir in the backup space. Before you invest in the next latest greatest backup technology, our experts give you a vision of what they see coming down the road in backup. expert general trend analysis:

Case study break:
Cable manufacturer restores data after fire

Serial ATA: Killer serial: is ATA ready for the enterprise?
Serial ATA: Here, now
Expert advice: ATA vs. SCSI
Industry debates the role of SATA drives

New Serial ATA systems slide into secondary storage role

Storage magazine extras:
Backup to disk for better restore -- Alex Barrett, May 2004
Hot Spots -- Jon Olstik, Feb 2003
What trends do you see in open-systems backup and recovery environments? -- W. Curtis Preston, May 2003
"Surprise! Cheap disks cure slow backup" -- W. Curtis Preston, June 2002
"Tape libraries automate backup" -- Sam Green, June 2002
"Backing up (a terabyte) is hard to do" -- Alex Barrett, May 2002
"Tape automation for the masses" -- Alex Barrett, June 2002

What are the trends in the best backup products? Here are the 2003 backup hardware & software products of the year as voted on by the editors and experts of and Storage magazine. See what new technologies wowed the judges...

Hardware winners
Gold: Data Domain DD200 Recovery Appliance
Silver:IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Tape Drive 3592 Model J1A
Bronze: EMC Centera with Compliance Edition

Software winners
Gold: CommVault QiNetix 4.2
Silver: FalconStor IPStor 4.0
Bronze: CA BrightStor Enterprise Backup 10.5

Here are the 2002 backup hardware & software products of the year as voted on by the editors and experts of and Storage magazine. See which technologies wowed the judges...

Hardware winners
Gold: Overland Neo Series 4000
Silver:ADIC Scalar 24
Bronze: Quantum DX30

Software winners
Gold: CommVault Galaxy 4.1
Silver: Bocada BackupReport Suite 2.0
Bronze: Veritas NetBackup 4.5

  Managing backups Return to Table of Contents

Managing backups is a continual challenge for many enterprises. Scheduling backups, managing windows and streamlining the process all take considerable know-how. Our experts offer some advice on how to most effectively manage backups.

These days, much of what you do comes down to saving money. Here is some advice on how to save money on SAN backup.

And this Storage Magazine extra: Off-site copies on the cheap -- W. Curtis Preston, Feb 2003

Read what the Experts have to say about managing backups:

Webcast break:
Title: Chapter 9 SAN Backup, The killer App
Speaker: W. Curtis Preston, Founder of The Storage Group
Topic: The killer app for implementing a SAN has been and will continue to be backup. In lesson nine of's SAN School, Christopher Poelker discusses the merits of backup over the SAN. Chris will discuss the options associated with SAN backup including backups over a dedicated LAN, tiered backups, LAN-free backup, serverless backup and more.
listen here.

Need ideas on how to structure your backup/recovery environment? Check out these case studies from
Hospital seeks second backup opinion
Consolidation helps unify management company's backups
Automated backups are 'on the money' for financial services firm

Storage magazine extras:

The great divide: mainframe and open-systems storage -- Jeff Moad, Feb. 2004
Sane strategies for SAN growth -- James Damoulakis and Phil Poresky, Nov. 2003
Best Practices -- Darryl Brooks, May 2003
Are your backup processes up to snuff? -- Richard Scannell, Jul 2002
Get creative with scheduling backups -- Darryl Brooks, Jul 2002
Seven steps to backup and restore -- Ed Palmer, Sep 2002
Special Report: The case for outsourcing backup -- Elizabeth Ferrarini, Apr 2002
Tape libraries automate backup -- Sam Green, Jun 2002
Keeping laptop backups in sync -- W. Curtis Preston, Jan 2003
Back up notebooks on the go -- Alex Barrett, March 2002
Easing the pain of NAS backup headaches -- Alex Barrett, Oct 2002
The well-oiled backup machine -- Richard Scannell, July 2002

  Optimizing recovery Return to Table of Contents

No executive will ever bother you if your backups are unsuccessful. But, if you can't recover -- they you may be in for a world of hurt. Here are some resources to make sure you are on the right recovery track.

Webcast break
Title: Simplify data center recovery
Speaker: Damian Walch - CISA, CBCP and CISSP and VP of Consulting, T-Systems
Topic: There are a number of factors in the data center that may hamper data recovery. View this webcast to learn how you can build a distinct restoration strategy in the event of an outage. Listen now

More recovery resources from

Discussion: Do you need disk for speedy recovery? According to user "Subsystem" tape is still a very viable solution for recovery, however, with mission critical data, disk is more appropriate. Do you agree with this statement? Post your response in our backup & recovery forum .

  My backups are failing! What can I do? Return to Table of Contents

It's not good when backups fail. Data is lost, and worse, irretrievable. The first step to getting help is learning how successful your backups actually are. Then, you need to find the issue and resolve the problem. The advice here should give you the tools necessary for healing those broken backups.

Storage magazine extras:
Windows backup: Avoid the landmines -- W. Curtis Preston, Aug 2002
Special Report: Shortening the backup window -- Dennis Martin, Apr 2002
The whys and wherefores of failed backups -- Alex Barrett, Nov 2002

  Disaster recovery/business continuity planning Return to Table of Contents

BCP and DR could be some of the most important components of the alphabet soup that is storage. Can you keep your business going in the event of a disaster? What plans need to be made for continued uptime? Here are some tools to get you thinking about establishing a road map to recovery.

Webcast break
Title: Establishing and adjusting a successful business continuance plan
Speaker: Dianne McAdam, analyst, Illuminata
Topic: Listen to this webcast to learn more about the latest trends in establishing a business continuance plans (BCP) and how companies have adjusted them in the last year. Listen now

Jon William Toigo writes a monthly "Toigo's Take on storage" expert column on backup and DR. He is also a frequent site contributor on the subjects of storage management, disaster recovery and enterprise storage. Toigo has authored a number of storage books, including "Disaster recovery planning: Preparing for the unthinkable,3/e". Here are a few articles from Jon on DR.

Additional DR/Business Continuity resources:

The experts weigh in on DR:
The best option for getting data between two DR data centers
DR consideration when building a SAN
Basic factors for a DR plan

Webcast break
Title: Cost-effective disaster recovery
Speaker: Mark Teter, CTO Advanced Systems Group
Topic: This webcast will give you some new ways of thinking about DR and offer tips on how you can save money deploying the technologies that best suit your company. Listen now

Storage magazine extras:
Special report: Get serious about archiving -- Michael Nadeau, Apr 2002
Cost-effective business continuity -- Marc Farley, June 2003
Distance: Meeting the new mandate for disaster recovery -- Joanna Ambrosio, May 2003
Remote DR: faster, farther and cheaper -- Marc Staimer, Feb 2004

  Advanced backup methodology Return to Table of Contents

You have worked your way through our fast guide and now you are ready to take your backups to the next level. Here are tips and advice on more advanced backup architectures.
Virtual tape offers first step toward disk-based backup
Why optical media (MO/DVD) might not be a viable DR solution?
DVDs may be best bet for long-term data backup
What to consider when looking for a remote replication solution
Mixing Fibre SANS with fiber IP networks

Additional resources:
Make the most of conferences and trade shows
Upcoming Webcasts on BU/DR
White Paper library on Backup, disaster recovery and business continuity
Use virtual tape servers for disaster recovery
LAN-free backup vs. server-free backup in a SAN

Webcast break:
Title: Disaster Recovery with Virtualization
Speaker: Joel Lovell, Consolidation expert
Topic: Joel Lovell talks about how virtualization can enable enterprises to heed and surpass the government recommendations to maintain near-real-time backups off-site, disaster recovery plans & more.
Listen now

Storage magazine extras:
Optimizing LAN-free backup -- Marc Farley, Sep 2002
NDMP restores sanity to NAS backup -- David Braue, Jul 2002
Remote backup services: The road not taken -- Alex Barrett, May 2002

  Additional resources Return to Table of Contents

Now that you have read all of the FAQs about backup, test your knowledge of the subject: SearchStorage backup & recovery test

Check out these continually updated backup sections on

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