Any system administrator who is serious about running servers in a production environment must have plans for backups and restores. Backups are often overlooked by less experienced IT managers, or are relegated to the new guy as a minor task.
I tell people that backups are a lot like insurance. You don't know how much you really need them until you need them. You can often tell experienced administrators from inexperienced ones when they're putting together productions systems. Those who are experienced (or have been burned in the past) will always ask about backups, backup types, media rotation, retention times, and doing test restores. Those who may not be as experienced may try to save money by including only limited backups, thinking RAID addresses backup-related issues, or even trimming this important aspect of the production server environment from the budget completely.
This chapter starts off with a general discussion of backup types and media, then gets into the included and more traditional backup tools. We explain how to use them, and how to test and actually do restores on a system. We discuss how to migrate data between systems (either old system to new system or data from backups to a reinstalled OS/server), and along the way we touch upon some common backup-related troubleshooting issues that system administrators see in the real world.