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Backup Methods for a Hot Site

Enterprise Servers and Open Systems

By Dieter W. Storr

Last update: 6 February 2005

It is still very common to backup operating systems and databases as well as other sequential data sets to tape or cartridge. Every day, these backups must be shipped to an offsite storage facility in order to be available for recovery at a hot site.

There is no doubt about the inexpensive costs for tapes. They are hard to beat. Nevertheless, are tapes really so safe? Are they really so inexpensive if you see the entire picture? What will happen if one tape out of hundreds from a backup can't be read or gets lost on the way to the hot site? Does this influence your entire recovery process? Can you go back one generation, which is one day? Can you afford to lose new customers, for example, who signed up that day? How would these backups be moved during an emergency from the storage facility to the hot site if streets and tunnels are blocked and airports are closed? In most of the cases, the hot site is an unknown rented place from a third-party provider, for example SunGard.

This presentation will show different ways to backup, for example from disk to tape, disk to VTS, VTS to VTS, and disk to disk. It also includes network connections and describes grid computing. The solutions are based on an enterprise server; however, they also can be used in an open system.

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