Tips and Hints

Backups

 

Backup Facilities

Backup facilities should be large enough to backup the full system on one tape.  If a backup run’s to multiple disks, or alternatively is only a partial backup, the following issues arrive.

Often these problems are rarely identified or become obvious until a disaster occurs where a restore is required from the backup.

For this reason, the use of backup media large enough to backup the system on one tape is advised.  Also enough tapes to backup 6 weeks is advised to make sure all files are recoverable in a standard accounting or operation period.

The core reason for a backup is for disaster recovery, but the day to day use of a backup is for recovery of accidentally deleted files or records, recovery of corrupted files (especially Excel worksheets or recovery of files which have been accidentally saved over or incorrectly modified).  Therefore it is prudent (if the backup media is relatively in expensive) to use thirty tapes (six weeks of five backups a week) providing the ability recover any files up to six weeks old. 

An example where this is especially important is Microsoft® Excel Worksheets used for financial reports critical to decision making, which are only used on a monthly basis.  These spreadsheets are often two or three years old, with small corrections and additions made over time.  If this file is lost through corruption, deletion or accidental replacement with another file, it is difficult and very time consuming to recreate.  It often takes months to debug and return to the status before its loss.  If only a five-day backup is done, and the file has been lost of corrupted since last use, the original file will have been overwritten four times in the month before it is used again and the discovery of its loss made.

Note: The standard backup solution supplied under Microsoft® Windows Server environments and Microsoft® Windows Professional desktop environments only applies to data recovery.  Full Windows System recovery including configuration, security, user email account and user profile information requires full backup software from third party software providers, together with the applicable software agents as required, for example disaster recovery agents, Exchange® Server agents and open file managers.  Third party solutions include Acronis®, Veritas®, Tapeware®, Arcserve®, Retrospect® and many others.

Backup Procedures

Establish a backup Regime

Minimum