Backup & Recovery
Inexpensive Backup Solutions for Open Systems
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: January 2007
Pages: 760

Packed with practical, freely available backup and recovery solutions for Unix, Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X systems -- as well as various databases -- this new guide is a complete overhaul of Unix Backup & Recovery by the same author, now revised and expanded with over 75% new material.

Backup & Recovery starts with a complete overview of backup philosophy and design, including the basic backup utilities of tar, dump, cpio, ntbackup, ditto, and rsync. It then explains several open source backup products that automate backups using those utilities, including AMANDA, Bacula, BackupPC, rdiff-backup, and rsnapshot. Backup & Recovery then explains how to perform bare metal recovery of AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Mac OS, Solaris, VMWare, & Windows systems using freely-available utilities. The book also provides overviews of the current state of the commercial backup software and hardware market, including overviews of CDP, Data De-duplication, D2D2T, and VTL technology. Finally, it covers how to automate the backups of DB2, Exchange, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, SQL-Server, and Sybase databases - without purchasing a commercial backup product to do so.

For environments of all sizes and budgets, this unique book shows you how to ensure data protection without resorting to expensive commercial solutions. You will soon learn to:

  • Automate the backup of popular databases without a commercial utility
  • Perform bare metal recovery of any popular open systems platform, including your PC or laptop
  • Utilize valuable but often unknown open source backup products
  • Understand the state of commercial backup software, including explanations of CDP and data de-duplication software
  • Access the current state of backup hardware, including Virtual Tape Libraries (VTLs)
Table of Contents
Product Details
About the Author
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews


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(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)


An excellent reference!

By jason

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Backup & Recovery:

In the realm of important things in the world of computers are good backups and equally important is the ability to properly restore those backups. My initial attraction to this book had to do with it being tapered toward open system solutions. I am an avid user of Linux and open-source software, so I was interesting in learning about the free tools that the author writes about.

The author starts out by discussing "The Philosophy of Backup" which covers why backups are so important and how you to find a solution that both meets your needs and your budget. Chapter two goes over what to backup, how often and at what levels. It also discussed what types of disaster to be prepared for, automation, storage, testing and things to look out for on various OS's.

Chapters 3-7 cover open-source backup utilities. In chapter three the author discusses and provides examples of how to use basic utilities such as dump, cpio, tar and dd for Unix systems, ntbackup and System Restore for the Window's crowd, ditto for Mac, and the GNU versions of tar, cpio, and rsync. Chapter's 4-6 discuss Amanda, BackupPC and Bacula. Chapter seven digs into near-continuous data protection and how the open-source community is achieving this, and what tools to use.

By chapter 8 and 9 the author is discussing commercial backup solutions. This section is different from the last in that it doesn't really discuss specific tools and how to use them, but rather it discusses the features of commercial products. This section also covers the various types of backup hardware on the market in an effort to help the reader decide what media best meets their needs.

Chapters 10-14 covers "Bare-Metal Recovery". The author takes you through the process of a bare-metal recovery with Solaris, Linux, Windows, HP-UX, AIX, and Mac OS X.

By chapters 15-22 the author has moved on to database backups and takes you through the various solutions for Oracle, Sybase, IBM DB2, SQL Server, Exchange, PostegreSQL, and MySQL. Finally the author wraps up the book with VMware server backup solutions and discussing data protection.

My Conclusion


I found this book to be a very interesting read. I especially enjoyed the open-source, bare-metal recovery, and database sections. The author does an excellent job of taking the reader through all of the steps including example syntax needed to perform a backup and restore with the various tools discussed. Another high point is that the author includes current tools and techniques. This book holds lots of real world wisdom and I would recommend it to any system administrator, developer, or user who is interested in protecting their data.

(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)


This book was written for professionals

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Backup & Recovery:

I feel that the review posted here by " Anonymous Reader" was a bit unfair. His or her's major issue with the book is that it doesn't lend itself to mainstream consumers. This is true, but then is the targeted audience of the book the average home or SOHO user. Probably not. Most people won't need the information contained in the text to protect the data stored on one or at most, a small handful of PCs from a crash.

I stand by the review I wrote on Preston's book for the Linux Tutorial site. You can find it here:

James Pyles

The Linux Tutorial

(3 of 10 customers found this review helpful)


Valuable for Professionals

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Backup & Recovery:

Most of us have lost data from time to time due to forgetting to back it up. As a simple solution to this problem, Backup and Recovery by W. Curtis Preston ($49.99, O'Reilly, December, 2006, 729 pp.) comes to the rescue!

This book is designed to help users find easy and inexpensive methods for saving and backing up files. Although this book provides information for Max OS X systems, it also covers Windows, Linux, and Unix as well.

Before dealing with specifics, Preston spends a lot of time at the beginning of the book stressing the philosophy and needs for backing up your computer. "Why should I read this book" is addressed immediately by Preston:

"If you've been doing system administration for some time, you may be asking yourself this question. There are many answers. Perhaps self-preservation is your primary motivator. You'd like to make sure you don't lose your job the next time a disk drive dies. Perhaps you've already got a decent backup system and you'd just like to deal with upcoming backup and recovery needs. "

Organization of the Book

Part I _ Philosophy and Backup Introductions

Part II _ Backup utilities available to you including open source

Part III _ Using backup utilities and hardware

Part IV _ Bare-Metal recovery

Part V _ Recovery challenges for administrators

Part VI _ Miscellaneous techniques


This book is a great help on finding backup techniques. Although the author is done valuable research on this topic, my only reservation is that the book is aimed at IT professionals rather than most mainstream consumers. At $49.99, this book is priced out of the range of most typical users.

Although the price of the book is $49.99, ApplePickers members can get up to a 35% discount by using discount code DSUG when ordering directly from O'Reilly

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