Data Recovery Verification - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Data Recovery Verification

I've gotten pretty clsoe to caught up on all the priority list items here so I'm starting to think about preventative maintinance.

I am doing weekly full + daily differential backups to media removed from the building. I know the backup isnt worth the processing time it took to make it if it can't be restored. And I've had success restoring a file or folder here and there as necessary. But I have yet to have a failure or other instance when I needed to restore a large amount of information.

We are a small business here and still have managed to generate enough data that its unreasonable to think eyeballing it would be good enough to say ALL the data was recovered.

I want to do a large scale test run on our file server sometime soon but would like to come up with a good strategy for proving that I was able to recover everything.

If you were doing a test run to prove your backup system how would you verify you recovered ALL your data?

is byte to byte size comparison or # of files reasonable? Can a script be written to traverse and note all the folders & file names on a drive? Run it pre- and post-recovery then compare the files? Am I completely off base here?

Any insight is appreciated.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 06:17 PM
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 06:44 PM
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What type of environment? Depending on what/how you are recovering a single 'rsync' command could put you back right as rain... it all depends on what/how you are backing up to begin with and if it's "live" data...

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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What type of environment? Depending on what/how you are recovering a single 'rsync' command could put you back right as rain... it all depends on what/how you are backing up to begin with and if it's "live" data...
its a win2k3 environment that i'm using symantec backup exec for daily backups.

The restoring of the data and actual data loss is not my concern here. I will have a verified offline copy before i do anything that would compromise the data.

Upon bringing this up to the head of operations they wanted me to write a protocol and verify the process - not just document it. being that we are in a regulated industry when future vendors or the overseeing agency come in to audit that would be great documentation to have that most large companies apparently do not.

I am having trouble coming up an acceptance criteria that verifies after the data has been 'recovered', everything is actually available and where it should be.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 07:27 PM
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You have to verify that Symantec software did its job. Fun...

Do they want something like md5 checksums on each file to verify it matches the checksums taken prior (assuming you took them and assuming no files were altered from the time the checksums were generated and the time it was backed up)? Does it have to sound good on paper and not necessarily have to be practical?

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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You have to verify that Symantec software did its job. Fun...

Do they want something like md5 checksums on each file to verify it matches the checksums taken prior (assuming you took them and assuming no files were altered from the time the checksums were generated and the time it was backed up)? Does it have to sound good on paper and not necessarily have to be practical?

na. it has to be more practical then good sounding. just having done it at all will impress the auditors. I want a solution that is actually practical. Something i could actually employ if I actually had to rebuild machines from scratch would be ideal.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 07:36 PM
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If your files are 'idle' then I would go the md5 checksum route (taken prior to each backup and using a find 'since last modified time' of the last time I took one, and combine the md5 checksum lists; updating the newer ones over the old list) or use a backup software that has an accepted 'verify' feature built in for restores.

The way I would do it would make little to no sense to people who don't understand unix/linix. If you deal with people who just do windows, your best route, honestly, is a backup-software that is industry accepted as verifying a restore.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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regardless off the software package I use for backups its my understanding ineed something that is external and quantifiable

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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the ideais to double check the software

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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theoretically on the data partition the files should be 1:1? I don't know if a file count or byte count is tolerant enough to be considered a protocol acceptance criteria.....

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 08:53 PM
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theoretically on the data partition the files should be 1:1? I don't know if a file count or byte count is tolerant enough to be considered a protocol acceptance criteria.....
For a file called FILE.TXT

Backed up should and did contain 1 line of text:
HI THERE

Upon restore, the same file ends up containing:
OOPSDUH

...It will pass a file name, size/byte count check.. and NOT be the same... this is why you would have to rely upon something more mathematical to check the file and its contents beyond just the location, name and size; like an md5 checksum...

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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right...which is why i initially came up with the question.


do you have any software for win2k3 you can recommend?

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2011, 10:11 PM
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its a win2k3 environment that i'm using symantec backup exec for daily backups.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 01:47 AM
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Backup exec has the check functionality. As part of your disaster recovery strategy you should be doing periodic mock rebuilds in a test environment to test the integrity of the plan.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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I realize backup exec does this and that. the point is i have to independently verify that is correct.i don't see how it being in a lab environment or not changes that. for all intents and purposes this will be done in a lab environment as my first periodic mock rebuild. I just started this job 6 weeks ago.and in the only it person on staff.ive ben a little busy.

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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-10-2011, 10:02 AM
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