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Storage Area Networks For Dummies® by Alex Nikitin, Christopher Poelker

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Chapter 9. SAN-Based Backup

Face it: Stuff happens. Servers crash, things go bump in the night, and people trip over power cords. An assortment of things can cause you to lose important data. Backing up is one of your most important tasks to do to keep data safe and secure. In this chapter, I cover the things that you need to consider when implementing a backup solution in a storage area network (SAN) environment. I show you how a SAN backup can make your life easier, can make backing up a lot faster, and can help keep your information safe.

Understanding Backup

Backup is the process of saving your data so it can be restored in case of problems such as system failure or data corruption. A backup is a copy of data, and you should store it apart from your production copy. The time it takes to copy your data is known as the backup process, and the time allocated for the backup process to run is known as the backup window.

Backups should be done as often as possible to keep data loss to a minimum. Most companies back up most or all of their critical data assets every night. A SAN comes in real handy in this situation due to the data movement bandwidth it provides. Some companies, due to government regulations, must keep backups of specific customer data or e-mail messages for more than seven years or, in some cases, forever! The process of backing up data and storing it for a long time is known as data archiving.

The most prevalent method for backing up and archiving data is to move the ...

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