Protecting data.

Author:Scicluna, Tony

Best backup practices

  1. Have a written backup policy. It should tell you what is being backed up, how often backups are occurring and who is in charge of performing and monitoring backups.

  2. If you do a lot of data entry, consider backing up your database daily or in some cases several times throughout the day.

  3. Decide how much work you are willing to risk losing and set the frequency of backups accordingly.

  4. Store a recent copy of your data off-site to insure against site-specific disaster such as fire, break-in or flood.

  5. Test your backups before you need them. Make sure your backup has read-back verification. Try restoring a few files.

    Choosing your backup hardware

  6. Determine how much data you need to back up. Look at each machine on your network. How big is each user's documents folder? How much data do you keep in your primary shared folder? Add up the totals for all your machines or multiply the average by number of machines.

  7. Choose a backup device that is at least twice the total amount of data you need to back up. This will give you room for growth.

  8. Consider the speed of the drive and its interface to your computer or file server. If you have a large amount of data to back up, having a big storage device isn't much good if you can't write data to it quickly.

    Backup solutions

    Zip drives--As an alternative to floppy disks, zip drives could holdmore than 1.44 MB floppy. They typically back up between 100MB to 2GB.

    CD-write--When burning a CD-ROM, the user selects the files to be backed up through a simple interface, inserts a blank or rewritable CD (CD-Rs) into the drive and clicks a button to burn a CD.

    Tape drives--A tape backup drive coupled with tape cartridges is still the most popular method for backup. It is capable of storing large amounts of data (10GB and up) and is a good storage medium for archival purposes.

    Disk-to-disk backup--Backup appliances that use relatively inexpensive ATA-based disk arrays as the storage medium. They offer faster backup and restores at a cost per gigabyte that is competitive with high-end multiple tape subsystems.

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