The creation and preservation of copies of the system in different states of development is an extremely important task. After all the configuration of a system is performed, the last thing you want to do is reload the operating system and application programs from the original media. You might choose to use a disaster recovery package or just decide to be fastidious about your backups. Reconfiguring a system is frustrating at best. It is difficult to reproduce the exact configuration that you had before, and that is exactly what the users expect. You can take some of the pain out of backing up a system by selecting a backup medium that is reasonably easy to handle and by obtaining or creating the software to run the backups unattended. Added features, like a script that e-mails you when the backups have finished, also provide some peace of mind. When the system crashes and there is data that is not contained in a backup, other methods of data recovery are required. Your familiarity with these methods will help you get through troubled times with less frustration. Backups and disaster recovery are covered in Chapter 9, "Backing Up and Restoring."
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