We were going to call this section “Oh, and by the way,” but that seemed like a really weird heading.
One of the reasons that backups are unpopular is that people are worried that they might get fired if they do them wrong. People do get in trouble when restores don’t go right, but following the suggestions in this section will help you to protect yourself from “recovery failure fallout.”
Have you ever tried to go on vacation? If you’re the only one who understands the restore process or the organization of your media, you can bet that you will be called if a big restore is required. Backups are one area of system administration in which inadequate documentation can really get you in trouble. It’s hard to go on vacation, get promoted, or do anything that would pull you away from the magical area that only you know. Your backups and restores should be documented to the point that any system administrator can follow them step-by-step in your absence. That is actually a good way to test your documentation—have someone else try to use it.
The opposite of good documentation is, of course, bad, or nonexistent, documentation. Bad documentation is the surest way to help you find a new job. If you do ever manage to take a real vacation in which you don’t carry a beeper, check you voice mail, or check your email, watch out. Murphy’s law governs vacations as well. You can guarantee yourself that you, or more ...