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A Brief Review of Backup Strategies

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A Brief Review of Backup Strategies

Do you use digital data in your business? Most modern businesses do. If so, you have to have a backup system. No ifs and buts – it’s absolutely essential. You almost certainly have data in your system that’s either hard to replace or can’t be replaced at all. So you need regular backups to protect your business from the complications that data loss can cause.

You may not have to back up everything. You may have old files that no longer serve any purpose, but there’s bound to be more recent data that will be serious to lose. Today we’ll take a look at how you can choose which data to protect and how.

A Simple Backup Strategy

What’s the bottom line when it comes to backing up files and folders? It’s simple. If you can replace them easily, then backups of those files and folders aren’t crucial. You can get them back, so why bother? That’s the common sense rule. But is it really that simple? Why not go all the way? Your business data is a valuable asset. Technically speaking, with BDR (backup and disaster recovery) it’s easy to just do everything rather than spend time picking and choosing. If your business has relatively small amounts of data then there may be a cost : benefit ratio to consider. But then again – you never know when your data might come in useful, or how valuable it is or might be in the future. Protecting your unique data set should be a priority, and cutting corners isn’t necessarily worth it.

Choosing the Ideal Backup Strategy

For BDR you have several options, depending on how your business works. It comes down to what you need to back up and when. Backups can be scheduled weekly, daily or even every fifteen minutes, depending on the type of backup chosen. These are the different kinds of backup you need to know about.

Full backup

The clue is in the name. A full backup copies all data and related configurations to one platform. That can be your network, or the cloud, or even tape, though that’s not so common today. With a full backup, everything is backed up to one location. This has several advantages, including the fact that restoring specific files and folders is relatively quick. A full restore is considerably more time consuming.

Full backups are the most expensive kind, simply because they need more storage space. But a full backup is also a component of other backup strategies. Even if you choose another backup plan it’s common, even standard, to use a comprehensive backup as the starting point.

Incremental backup

If you have a full backup as a baseline then you don’t have to repeat the task each time. You can opt to just back up changes since the last backup. This is a cost-effective way of securing your data and, although it’s not a complete copy, it’s a good option for businesses that generate lots of fast-changing data.

Differential backup

Full backups may be the gold standard but a business that creates lots of data doesn’t want to do full backups all the time to stay on top of it. Differential backups are used as updates in between full backups. As with incremental backups, only changes to the dataset are backed up – but with the expectation that a complete backup will take place in due course.

Mirror backup

A mirror backup is an intuitive backup that mirrors the computing system it’s working with – not to be confused with a clone backup, which simply copies files and folders to another drive. A mirror backup will back up everything include hidden files, like system files. The downside is that it takes up extra storage space, for obvious reasons. The bonus is that, with so much operational information available, it’s the quickest kind to restore.

The 3-2-1 Rule

To remember the basics of backing up, think 3-2-1. You need three copies of your data, with two copies stored locally in different media (e.g. hard drive and cloud) and one stored offsite. This covers most eventualities if you need to restore your data.

For more information on data backup systems to suit your business, ask the knowledgeable staff at Quikteks. Call us today at (973) 882-4644.

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