Backup Blunders to Avoid Like the Plague

Backup Blunders to Avoid Like the Plague

Backup Blunders to Avoid Like the Plague

It’s a tale as old as time – you’ve dutifully set up your company’s backup system, patted yourself on the back, and gone about your merry way, confident that your data is safe and sound. But then, one fateful day, disaster strikes. A corrupted file, a failed hard drive, or (heaven forbid) a ransomware attack, and suddenly you’re in a world of trouble, scrambling to restore your precious information.

As a seasoned computer repair technician in the UK, I’ve seen it all when it comes to backup blunders. From Novabackup nightmares to Netbackup nightmares, I’ve encountered enough horror stories to make your hair stand on end. That’s why I’m here to share my insights and help you avoid these backup pitfalls like the plague. So, grab a cup of tea, settle in, and get ready to learn from my hard-earned experience.

The Novabackup Nightmare

Let’s start with a cautionary tale about Novabackup. I once had a client come in, panic in their eyes, begging me to restore their entire server’s worth of data. Turns out, they had been using Novabackup for years, and it had been quietly failing them the entire time [1].

The culprit? Improper configuration. You see, this client had never bothered to test their backups, assuming that as long as the software was running, everything must be hunky-dory. Boy, were they in for a rude awakening. When the time came to actually restore their data, they discovered that the backups were corrupted beyond repair. It was a nightmare of epic proportions, and it took us weeks to painstakingly reconstruct their entire system.

The Netbackup Nightmare

But Novabackup isn’t the only villain in the backup world. Netbackup, the industry titan, has its own set of pitfalls that can trip you up [2]. Take the case of one of my clients, a medium-sized business with a sprawling virtual infrastructure. They had meticulously set up their Netbackup system, or so they thought.

The problem? Slow, glacial performance when it came to querying their virtual machines. It was like pulling teeth to get the software to even acknowledge the existence of their VMs, let alone back them up. And when the backups did occur, the “resolver discovery” process would take hours on end, leaving the team tearing their hair out in frustration [4].

Turns out, the issue was a combination of factors – from IP resolution problems to scheduler conflicts. It took us weeks of painstaking troubleshooting to get the system running smoothly again. Needless to say, my clients learned the hard way that Netbackup, like any backup solution, requires vigilant monitoring and maintenance.

The Backup Corruption Conundrum

But the backup woes don’t stop there. Even if you manage to get your software of choice up and running without a hitch, you could still be facing the specter of data corruption [5]. I remember one particularly harrowing incident where a client’s backups had become corrupted, and they had no idea until they desperately needed to restore some critical files.

It was a classic case of “out of sight, out of mind.” This client had dutifully scheduled their backups, but they never bothered to verify the integrity of the files. And when the time came to restore, they were met with a heart-sinking realization – the backups were completely useless.

The Microsoft Backup Blunder

And let’s not forget the ever-present danger of Microsoft’s own backup solutions. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had clients come in, frazzled and confused, because their Microsoft backup had triggered a flood of help desk calls [6].

The issue? Poorly configured backup schedules, outdated file exclusions, and a general lack of understanding about how these tools work. It’s a recipe for disaster, with users constantly being bombarded with backup-related alerts and notifications, completely unsure of what to do about them.

The Corruption Catastrophe

But perhaps the most insidious backup blunder of all is the one that can strike no matter which software you use – data corruption. I’ve seen it happen time and time again, from unRAID disasters [5] to ZFS corruption nightmares [7].

The culprit? High-capacity drives, faulty hardware, and a general lack of vigilance. You see, as storage capacity continues to grow, the chances of silent data corruption increases exponentially. And if you’re not diligently checking your backups, you might not even realize there’s a problem until it’s too late [8].

The Backup Backup Backup Backup Backup

So, what’s the takeaway here? Backup, backup, backup – and then backup some more. But it’s not just about having a backup; it’s about having a robust, resilient backup system that you’ve tested and verified.

Gone are the days of simply setting up a backup schedule and forgetting about it. In today’s data-driven world, you need to be proactive, vigilant, and ever-watchful for the myriad of backup pitfalls that can trip you up.

From configuring your backup software properly to regularly testing your restore process, it’s a never-ending battle to keep your data safe. But trust me, it’s a battle worth fighting. Because the alternative – the nightmare of lost data, corrupted files, and frantic restoration efforts – is a fate I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

So, take heed, dear reader, and learn from the trials and tribulations of those who’ve come before you. Backup blunders are the plague of the digital age, but with the right knowledge and a healthy dose of paranoia, you can emerge victorious, your data safe and sound.

[1] Spiceworks Community. “Anyone with Novastor Novabackup Experience?” https://community.spiceworks.com/t/anyone-with-novastor-novabackup-experience/287741

[2] Veritas Vox. “Various issues using VM Query.” https://vox.veritas.com/t5/NetBackup/Various-issues-using-VM-Query/td-p/673399

[4] Fred Miranda Forum. “Netbackup 7.5.0.4 Windows 2008r2 Master and Media servers.” https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1838164/0

[5] Reddit. “Corrupt Files.” https://www.reddit.com/r/unRAID/comments/18fyujk/corrupt_files/

[6] AskWoody. “Microsoft Backup Triggers Help Desk Calls and Confusion.” https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/microsoft-backup-triggers-help-desk-calls-and-confusion/

[7] Linux Containers. “Critical Corruption Issues with LXD and ZFS.” https://discuss.linuxcontainers.org/t/critical-corruption-issues-with-lxd-and-zfs/4694

[8] Reddit. “Are high capacity disk drives more prone to corruption?” https://www.reddit.com/r/DataHoarder/comments/168q7j9/are_high_capacity_disk_drives_more_prone_to/

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