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Backup failures

I have two questions I'd like to ask.

1. How can I determine that a properly and/or statistically designed backup system would fail far less than 1 in 10 times.

2. What would you recommend for a reconfiguration or redesign of the system. How can this be accomplished so that it would not affect critical systems and applications.

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1. That's just an accepted fact. A properly designed system should indeed fail FAR less than 1 in 10 times. That's simply an unacceptable failure rate. The backup systems that I implement, for example, experience some level of failure less than 1 in 100 times, usually less than that. Also, the failure that they encounter is usually automatically worked around by the system. For example, a tape write fails. The backup is automatically retried.

2. I always recommend that this be done by a professional consultant specializing in backup and recovery. This industry is now much more complicated than it used to be, and it is rare that a fully-functional, error-free backup system is implemented without professional help. There are simply too many variables and too much technology to keep up with.

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This was first published in July 2002

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