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In my experience, backup software sucks. Normally, I chalk that up to a lack of exposure to non-crap alternatives on my part. Talking to backup admins and doing the maths on the licensing leads me to believe my original assessment is correct; there are precious few backups applications and vendors that don't cause some form of …

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"Restore software"

This is another excellent article from Trevor Pott. As usual, he gives enough background to understand where he's coming from, and presents new material in a way that's both readable for all and technical enough to really learn something.

Ah, Retrospect! I used it for 10 years. Its manual from 1996 is still my gold standard for product documentation. Inside the cover was written something like "Most people don't read the manual until they have a problem. If you need to restore data, turn to Chapter 7, page 82."

After managing backups at a few companies, I've developed 2 informal rules:

2) Nobody cares about backups; they care about restores. Think of it as "restore software" and much that is muddy becomes clear.

3) "You have a backup? Okay, point to it. Can you tell me what's in it?"

P.S. Rule 1 is, as always, "If it's not backed up, it doesn't exist."

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@jtaylor

Actually, I believe rule 0 is "if it's not backed up, it doesn't exist."

Rule 1 is "if it is not backed up in at least two places, it is not backed up." As per numerous examples of late involving natural disasters; "the second and first floors of your building are not two different places."

Vaulting to Unitrends' cloud? Might be a useful item. Otherwise, look to organisations like Iron Mountain, or local services such as those I use (and have discussed before.)

If your data doesn't exist, neither does your company.

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