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Make a Backup First Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, August 21, 2012 10:17 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Make a Backup First






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Post #1348173
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2012 6:02 AM
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Why would taking a backup potentially cause problems? If there's an existing backup plan in place then taking a manual full backup shouldn't be an issue, and if there IS no backup plan, you'll have to take a backup in order to test stuff out before setting one up...I'm struggling to see when it would be a *bad* idea to take a backup as first task on a server.
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Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2012 7:13 AM


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Backups use CPU resources, potentially because of compression, and require space, so I/O. You don't just run a backup without checking. It might not cause an issue, but it might, so you investigate first, and get a plan in place that performs regular backups.






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Post #1348374
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2012 8:50 AM


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"While listening to a Brent Ozar, PLF webinar recently, I heard this interview question: what is the first thing you do on a new server you've never worked with? The answer is ensure it's being backed up."

No kidding? I never thought of that...


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Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2012 10:43 AM
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I guess I have a question about this. The first thing is to insure that it is being backed up. Is part of that insurance proof that the backup that is being cerated using the backup plan is usable, available, and secure? Or is just knowing there is a plan in place enough?

You might think this is totally stupid, but there have been times when a backup plan was in place and the output of the process was unusable. It is nice to be able to prove the backup by a valid restore or recovery process, and should be required as part of a business disaster recovery and resumption plan.

I am probably being too picky. But it caused me to think as I read this.

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Post #1348564
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2012 11:00 AM


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Miles,

Not being picky. If there is a backup, you should restore it elsewhere to make sure it's readable.







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Post #1348579
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2012 11:49 AM
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Miles Neale (8/22/2012)
I guess I have a question about this. The first thing is to insure that it is being backed up. Is part of that insurance proof that the backup that is being cerated using the backup plan is usable, available, and secure? Or is just knowing there is a plan in place enough?

You might think this is totally stupid, but there have been times when a backup plan was in place and the output of the process was unusable. It is nice to be able to prove the backup by a valid restore or recovery process, and should be required as part of a business disaster recovery and resumption plan.

I am probably being too picky. But it caused me to think as I read this.


Perfectly sound advice! Case in point: At my current workplace, we have backups of all files on our servers running every night after hours. When I started working here, the backup process was explained to me, and I reasoned that it was sound enough, so I left it as it was.

A few months ago, the OS drive on one of the servers got corrupted for one reason or another, and so we had to restore the files from backup to get ourselves running again. Ok, no problem, a bit time-consuming, but easy. So, I just need to point the restore process at the backups and... Wait, where are the backups?!

After much searching and asking around, it seems that the company just knew that backups were being taken; where they were being taken at, and how to restore them, were both completely unknown to anyone in the office. Eventually, we just decided to format the OS disk (losing some data in the process, but it was deemed acceptable) and reinstalling.

At that point, I was able to see locations in the drive listing that weren't available before. It turns out that the previous network admin that worked here had created the backup plans, then hidden the folder with them and blocked access from all accounts in the building, even the admin account, for some indeterminate reason. Whatever the case was, I started the restore from the backups and we had everything back in order, though it took quite a few more hours than it should've had I known where to restore from in the first place.


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Post #1348603
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2012 11:52 AM
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The first thing I learned when I got into I.T. (called data processing) was that having backups was the most important concept. Backups were done by copying punched cards to reel-to-reel tapes that were stored offsite.

Once the backup is in place, be sure to restore from it to test it out. There's nothing worse than having a backup plan and schedule to find out there's a problem when you need to restore. Having no backup is better than having one that you assume is working and it is not. Maybe the two are equally bad.
Post #1348608
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2012 1:47 PM


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OCTom (8/22/2012)
Once the backup is in place, be sure to restore from it to test it out. There's nothing worse than having a backup plan and schedule to find out there's a problem when you need to restore. Having no backup is better than having one that you assume is working and it is not. Maybe the two are equally bad.


Exactly, bad disk spots or database corruption can occur at any time and out of nowhere, so just testing your restore process once or twice is not good enough. Test it frequently and automate the restore process if you can. Particularly, if you are responsible for hundreds, if not thousands, of database backups..


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Post #1348695
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2012 2:01 PM
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One of the lessons from this hack is how tough it is to control accross multiple accounts. The Amazon and Apple means of authentication were not all that bad in themselves, but each leaked different information, and this different information could be combined.

With people posting all sorts of things (unfortunately as with Facebook and other accounts tied to Facebook) with their own names, it's not hard to extract a lot of information... where you live, where you shop, names of your pets and children, your car, your hobbies and habits, your extended family members ... enough could be put together from 'innocent' references to create a pretty good social hack.


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