Backup and recovery

Paul Randal had the following to say about database backup and recovery in his interview with .NET Rocks.

Don’t ever, ever plan a backup strategy. Plan a restore strategy.

The point of a backup is to be able to restore data when necessary. That sounds obvious, but it’s easy to lose site of. Too many companies backup their data, or think that they back up their data, but don’t have much of a recovery plan. Or they have a recovery plan but they haven’t rehearsed it. Until you rehearse your recovery plan, you don’t know whether it’s going to work, you don’t know how long it’s going to take, and you don’t know whether you need to invest in hardware to speed it up.

4 thoughts on “Backup and recovery

  1. This is one of my big pet peeves. I used to force my networking group to rebuild the exchange (email) server from a backup one a quarter to prove that they could. Why once a quarter? Go try it. :-) Thank heaven for hosted exchange servers (well, sort of).

    To further your point a bit, I believe there is also opportunity for corrective allocation — using existing hardware resources where they are needed most. This is especially important for growing companies that may inadvertently trip over size limitations or complexities they did not realize were there.

  2. Hi John,

    Is there any way for one person on a laptop to rehearse? I’m working on a book, so I’m finally taking backing up more seriously. I have two external hard drives, and I’m trying to get myself to backup (using SuperDuper) weekly. But I have no idea how to restore my ibook from them. And I sure wouldn’t want to try it if it might mess up my computer.

  3. Sue, You could run a virtual machine on your laptop, so that you effectively have two computers. You could restore the backup of your real computer to your virtual computer.

  4. >But I have no idea how to restore my ibook from them.

    I would try restoring just one small folder. It will get you used to the process. Ideally, in addition to your disk backup you would have a backup on one or more DVDs, stored outside your house.

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