Freebsd – Backup & restore for disaster recovery

Data are all around servers. To name a few, file server, email server, LDAP server, web server, DNS server and these are just a few essential servers that make up part of IT section of your company. ERP, CRM, financial projection system, database server, accounting & payroll system are the example of business application. Imagine, what if “some” of these data are loss. It is also worth mentioning that data is so valuable to the company, that partial loss of it might lead to breaking your business continuity !!!

Most of the company operation are depending on these data in the server to make decisions. Data in the servers have never been so important.

Server data disaster recovery planing is a vital process in system administration. It directly shows how much the system administrators understand the importance their role in the business. Reason for data loss can be classified into 2 main categories, natural disaster and man made disaster. Natural disaster that causes data loss includes flood, earthquake, fire hazard and etc. Man made disaster (aka PBKC which denodes Problem Between Keyboard and Chair) examples, hacking activities, accidental data deletion or over written and server maintenance e.g. patching, upgrades, developments, moving to a bigger size of hard disk & etc.

Disaster recovery involves planning, backup & restore. Planning will need identify which are the crucial data to backup and how frequent should it be backup. The next consideration will be what media should the data be save to. Generally, external hard disk (e.g USB) or network based storage (e.g. file server, ssh server, NAS, SAN) are the cheapest & fastest way to store the data. But if the data is to archive, it should go into media e.g. tape, CD, DVD and other optical media. Lastly, all planning and backup of the data should always test against restoration, or else why even plan to save it.

This post will concentrate on how to prepare for Server disaster recovery on a FreeBSD server.

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