Although current storage technologies, such as RAID, hot-swappable hard drives, and network-attached storage are making servers ever more secure in their capability to maintain data, there are still many ways in which data can be lost or corrupted. For those situations, it is necessary to have a backup of your network data so that lost files can be recovered.
OES Linux provides a data backup-and-restore infrastructure known as Storage Management Services (SMS). SMS makes it possible to copy your network data, including files, directories, the eDirectory database, and even data from other servers and clients, to an offline storage system such as tape or optical disk. With a well-developed backup strategy, you can be confident that you will always have a current copy of your network data, so you can restore files should the unthinkable occur.
There are several network backup solutions for Linux on the market today. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, none of them builds upon this SMS foundation to deliver a comprehensive backup solution. This means that with third-party backup tools on Linux, you will be able to back up your filesystem, but extended data, like NSS ACLs, cannot be part of that backup. However, SMS is designed with networking environments in mind. Because of this, SMS-compliant backup programs running on other operating systems can effectively back up OES Linux servers. This means that another operating system, NetWare or Windows, is required for an enterprise-level backup solution, but obtaining complete backups is worth the trouble.
OES Linux does include a fairly basic Linux server-based, SMS-aware backup interface called nbackup. This utility will back up the data correctlyincluding extended databut it lacks many of the conveniences, such as flexible scheduling options, that third-party products have. This situation shouldn't last long, as third-party vendors are expected to release native Linux backup
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