We'll start by reviewing the essentials of data backups, and then creating and implementing a data disaster recovery plan for your business. Accidents and disasters will happen periodically, and you're responsible for ensuring your systems and network are ready when they occur. The main purpose of backing up data is to have the ability to recover it later. Your goal should be to make data restoration as easy, quick and repeatable as possible, which requires careful planning.
Full : Backs up every file and folder in the configured backup scope to storage media, such as tape or disk. Full backups usually take the longest amount of time to complete but result in shorter recovery times. Incremental : Backs up files that have changed since the last backup of any type. Incremental backup jobs tend to complete quicker because they're smaller than full backups. However, restoring incremental backups can take a significantly longer amount of time depending on how many days it's been since the last full backup. Differential : Backs up files that have changed since the last full backup. Differential backups take longer than incremental backups as the number days since the last full backup increases. However, data restoration takes less time because you only need the last full backup and differential backup. Copy : Similar to a full backup, but the archive bit isn't changed when a copy backup is performed. This enables you to run a special copy backup at any time without disturbing your normal backup tape rotation. Continuous Backup : Files are constantly backed up as changes are made, usually to a storage system over the network or the internet. Historically, only mission-critical data, such as a customer ordering system, was deemed necessary for continuous backup. However, with the price of continuous backup solutions becoming very affordable, some businesses are switching to continuous backups for all business data.
Five-tape system : Daily Incremental, differential or full backup Monday through Thursday and Full backups on Friday / (Saturday) in case of 6 Day Week. Grandfather-father-son : The grandfather-father-son (GFS) backup system is also known as the monthly-weekly-daily system and uses three different sets of backup tapes. Use daily tapes, Monday through Thursday, to perform differential or incremental backups, although full backups can be performed on smaller systems. Use a weekly tape each Friday to perform a full backup of the system. Use 12 monthly tapes, on the last Friday of each month, to perform a full backup of the system.
Dirty or damaged tapes and tape drive heads This can result in errors being introduced to your backed up data, impairing your ability to perform a complete and accurate restore. Worse, it could result in garbage being written to your storage media instead of data, resulting in the loss of everything. Not only do tapes get dirty, but also they can become creased or otherwise damaged, resulting in lost data. Tape wear Pay attention to the manufacturer's recommendations. If the tape is rated for 1,000 recordings, don't stretch it. The risk of losing your data is too great. Buy new tapes and retire older media securely, making sure they're stored in a locked safe or destroyed. Don't just throw old media into the nearest dumpster where anyone can access them. Long-term storage If you intend to keep backed up data over the long term, make two copies in case one becomes lost or damaged. If you have data stored long-term on outmoded or obsolete media, transfer the data to a more modern storage method. Now that you've optimized your backup plan for your needs, you still need to know if it actually works. Waiting until a disaster strikes to test the plan is inviting more problems than you ever want to have.