Im "new" to SQL Server and i want to start doing backups of all my data. Whats a good starting place? are there any good tools out there for this? Also i'd like it if i could have backups that could be potential loading into another instance of SQL Server on a separate Server incase our current one "dies"
In the first instance use what SQL Server provides - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms187658.aspx
Maintenance plans are the quickest and easiest way to backup your databases, and you can use the .bak files to populate another server.
If you're already running another backup system (Like Backup Exec) you could also investigate what addons they have for SQL Server.