What's NSM you say?  We'll go with Network and System Management, but you could throw Security in there as well.  We'll work our way through the alphabet over the next several weeks looking at tools and concepts along the way for all the administrators out there.  By the way, you can thank Joe for the format & Don for the title (I abc_2 couldn't for the life of me come up with one.)

Today's letter B is for backups, and I realize I'm only on letter number two and I'm already cheating.  That's ok, though, it's my blog.  I could have settled for a backup solution in Bacula, but then I'd be leaving out Amanda and BackupPC, and that just wouldn't be right.  All three support windows and *nix and claim to be enterprise ready--YMMV.  Backup solutions are  kind of like tires, no matter what the marketing says...not that exciting, but everybody needs them.  Face it, things fail.  And when they do, it behooves you to have a plan, particularly if you are responsible for that data.  At an ISP I used to work for, an engineer new to the company (and to HP Openview) created herself a copy of the Network Node Manager map, then deleted all the nodes not interesting to her.  Great for her, bad for the rest of us.  The map objects all link to the same database, so delete from one, delete from all...  So I make the call down to the Unix admin and learn that our backups hadn't run for months.  More bad for the rest of us.  So instead of focusing our attention on what was wrong with the network (again, failures!), we worked around the clock for three days to rebuild the map.  Moral of the story...back up your data already, twice, in site disparate locations.



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