A must-read for all NT administrators

Windows NT Backup & Recovery is one of those books all systems administrators need on their bookshelves. The book is aimed at beginning and intermediate-level Windows NT administrators, although the chapters containing real-world examples can also benefit the advanced NT administrator. Other useful topics for all levels of systems administrators include the discussion on new bus technologies and the discussion on computer viruses.

The first chapter introduces the reader to the components and procedures for creating a disaster recovery plan. Many things can go wrong with your system, so you must determine which part of the system is most crucial. For example, if it is important that the system remain operational during a power outage, then obviously, how to provide power to the system is a major concern.

Chapter 2 discusses NT from a fault-tolerance perspective. NT is a complex system with many subsystems that provide built-in error-handling features. Although many NT administrators understand NT's internal components, this chapter will serve as a good review.

The next few chapters cover storage devices, including what technologies are available and how to back up information on these devices. Chapter 5 discusses several NT cluster and data mirroring technologies from multiple third-party companies. More products appear on the market every day, so unfortunately, these technologies will be outdated in 8 months or so. If you are new to clustering and data mirroring, this is an excellent chapter to help you understand the current state of these technologies.

The discussion of viruses in Chapter 6 examines DOS, 16- and 32-bit Windows, macro, and email viruses. Even though many virus protection software packages are available, and many of us use these packages, this discussion of viruses is a real eye opener. This chapter will help you understand the vast number of viruses and the damage they can cause to your system. Even advanced NT administrators will find this chapter interesting and informative.

Chapters 7 and 8 cover NT security and network topology, respectively. These topics are well-documented in other NT books, so these chapters will be a refresher course to many advanced NT users. At first, I wondered why these chapters were included, but the authors cover these topics from a disaster point of view (i.e., identifying the possible single points of failure in these areas). One of the most common points of failure is the system's power, which Chapter 9 covers in detail. In fact, this chapter contains one of the most complete explanations of power considerations I've seen.

The book finishes with a chapter on data recovery that describes how you can get your system up and running quickly after a disaster. For many users, this chapter is where you'll turn first when you have a problem. The chapter covers real-world examples of company disaster-recovery experiences and discusses the diverse types of problems that both large and small companies face.

This book covers everything you want to know about NT backup and recovery. For the beginning NT administrator, this book is a must-read—from cover to cover. For the more advanced NT administrator or user, you might want to skip some of the chapters that cover basic NT architecture, but the material provides a good review. The book promises to help you understand how to protect your crucial data and how to protect your NT system. In my opinion, this book delivers.

Windows NT Backup & Recovery
Authors:
John McMains and Bob Chronister
Publisher: Osborne/McGraw Hill, 1998
ISBN 0-07-882363-3
Price: $39.99, 460 pages