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November 18, 1999

"Preparing for the Worst Averts Backup Disaster" says author of Unix Backup & Recovery

SEBASTOPOL, CA--The newest release from O'Reilly & Associates, Unix Backup & Recovery, provides a complete overview of all facets of Unix backup and recovery, and offers practical, affordable backup and recovery solutions for environments of all sizes and budgets. "One of the simplest rules of systems administration is that disks and systems fail" says author W. Curtis Preston. "I lost four laptop disk drives while trying to write this book! (Yes, I had them backed up.) If you haven't already lost a system, or at least a disk drive, you might consider the statistical possibility that your time is coming really soon. It's a fact of life."

Unix Backup & Recovery (O'Reilly $36.95) is an invaluable book for administrators that begins with detailed explanations of the native backup utilities available to the Unix administrator, and ends with practical advice on choosing a commercial backup utility.

"Companies used to think they could create backup and recovery plans themselves with a couple of shell scripts. Now it's clear to most everyone that they can't do it without professional software and a professional implementation," says Preston. That's where Unix Backup & Recovery comes in.

For small shops on tight budgets, it explains:

  1. How to use the basic backup and recovery commands
  2. How to obtain and install free backup software that will help automate your backups (including database backups)
Large shops will benefit from these explanations:
  1. How to find and evaluate a commercial backup product once the free software is not enough
  2. How to backup clearcase
  3. How to find and evaluate backup hardware
Unix Backup & Recovery also:
  • Describes the features, limitations, and syntax of Unix backup and restore utilities,(including dump, tar, cpio, dd, GNUtar, and GNUcpio) for many popular versions of Unix, including AIX, Compaq Unix, HP-UX, IRIX, SCO, Solaris, and Linux
  • Provides instructions for installing and configuring freely available backup systems such as AMANDA
  • Includes ready-to-run shell scripts that automate live backups of Informix, Oracle, and Sybase databases
  • Presents step-by-step recovery procedures for Oracle, Informix, and Sybase
  • Presents step-by-step "bare-metal" disaster recovery procedures for AIX, Compaq Unix, HP-UX, IRIX, Solaris, and Linux
  • Describes the design of "disaster recovery" and "highly available" systems
  • Provides guidance on choosing a commercial backup and recovery system
  • Describes the features and limitations of backup hardware
About the book:

"Curtis Preston is a System Administrator with a breadth and depth of knowledge that is rare and all of that knowledge is employed in this volume. He has taken an immense subject and attacked it with the passion that can only come from having been bitten too often by the improbable. He teaches us here how to avoid getting similarly nipped. The coverage is thorough.... SysAdmins would do well to be sure that their newly hired team members find a copy on their desk on day one." --Art S. Kagel, Informix/Oracle DBA

"To avoid losing valuable data, SysAdmins need reliable, easily accessible backups. Unix Backup & Recovery provides a comprehensive guide to performing backups for crucial systems and includes detailed information on topics such as hot and cold backups, database backup and recovery. And commercial options. Curtis' informed approach to developing effective backup procedures is refreshingly clear and practical. The expertise offered in this book can help SysAdmins prevent backup crises, which is valuable information indeed." --Amber Ankerholz, Editor in Chief, SysAdmin magazine

Online Resources

Unix Backup & Recovery
by W. Curtis Preston
1st Edition, November 1999 (US)
1-56592-642-0, 734 pages, $36.95 (US$), Includes CD-ROM

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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