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The Rules of Backup

When something causes you to lose data it can be hard to recover from that, regardless of whether you’re in a business situation or a personal one, this is because the information you have lost will have taken you a great deal of time and effort to gather, even if you don’t realise that until you have already lost it.

The rule that many people are already familiar with is the 3, 2, 1 rule. According to this rule you should backup three copies of all your important files on two different storage media with one offsite storage location. Of course this might seem a little extreme to those who aren’t familiar with the pain of data loss but when data can be lost, corrupted or destroyed so easily it always helps to have extra copies available. If you don’t understand the importance of data backups then you might want to look into the latest problems NASA had with Curiosity – the only reason the mars rover isn’t in safe mode right now is because there was a backup.

Of course having the backups stored on two different media ensures that even if your original data and one of the backup devices are damaged you will still have a backup device and storing on away from your main site ensures that it is as safe as possible. For example, a fire in your home burns your computer and your backup disk, fortunately you keep a backup hard drive at your grandmother’s house. Well done right? You haven’t lost anything but a disk and computer, and possibly a good portion of your house, so at least when you move in with grandma you can still show her the family photos you have stored safely on your extra hard drive.

Of course everyone has their own rules based on their individual requirements, for this reason here are some rules specifically for those in a business to follow when it some to backing up your important information;

First of all customer information is essential – having to requires customer information again because you lost it is just embarrassing, besides which you might have to contact or charge them at some point, at which stage their information becomes useful. To this end customer information should be stored securely, hard copies are easier to protect but take up storage space, storing them in a database or spreadsheet (only use a spreadsheet if you don’t have a huge number of customers) is the most effective way as it means all of the information is in one place. Back up this information periodically (every few months should work) and keep all of the backups. Store the most recent backup on an online server or hard drive away from the office, your own home or a storage unit are good options.

Work should be saved both on user’s individual areas and on a remote server, this is easiest done if you regularly perform backups to copy all of the files from user areas to a server. There are ways of getting an automated system that will do this every night – particularly useful if you have a large company where loss of data will be a problem. All of this information should be backed up from the server periodically and stored in two separate offsite locations and well as one on site location.

Keep backups encrypted to protect your company and your clients, this is very important to any business and should not be taken lightly. The privacy of your customers and the protection of your company should be among your greatest priorities.

Backup everything – you never know what you might need until you need it, so why take the risk? Backups that are made less frequently or are expected to be needed later / last longer should use more effective media such as a backup on a server or very sturdy external device. Discs do not last a particularly long time depending on how and where they are stored and are unlikely to be useful as long-term backups, however hard drives can be damaged easily. USBs are not particularly large or cost effective as backup devices but are longer lasting and much more durable which makes them an effective option for important backups.

Monday, March 25th, 2013 by admin Uncategorized

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