Chapter 11. Backup and Recovery

It’s easy to focus on “getting real work done” and neglect backup and recovery. What’s urgent is often not important, and what’s important is often not urgent. Backups are important for high performance as well as for disaster recovery. You need to plan and design for backups from the start so that they don’t cause downtime or reduced performance.

If you don’t plan for backups and build them in early, you’ll usually create a bolt-on solution later. At that point, you might find that you’ve made decisions that rule out the best way to handle high-performance backups. For example, you might set up a server and then realize you really want LVM so that you can take filesystem snapshots—but it’s too late. You also might not notice some important performance impacts of configuring your systems for backups. And if you don’t plan for and practice recovery, it won’t go smoothly when you need to do it.

Backup systems are like monitoring and alerting systems: most system administrators have reinvented them at one time or another. This is a shame, because there is good, well-supported, flexible backup software out there—some of it open source and free. We encourage you to use the parts of these systems that make sense for you.

We aren’t going to cover all parts of a well-designed backup and recovery solution in this chapter. The subject is big enough to fill a book, and in fact there are several books devoted to it. [107] We skim over some topics, and focus on solutions ...

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