Implement a Data Backup Procedure
Once you find your solution, you'll need to create a procedure for how you will back up your data and how you will handle restoration in the case of data loss. To make sure you have effective data backup and recovery systems in place, you'll need to plan in detail for disaster recovery, make sure that all your employees are fully aware of the effort to back up files, and test the system.
Decide on a Backup Schedule
Whether you do it yourself or hire a service to do it, you'll need to decide on a schedule for backing up. Your backup schedule will consist of the following:
Full backups. This is a complete set of all of the data you want to back up. You'll want to keep a current backup of your entire system around, but you don't need to do these daily, as most of your files don't change every day and full backups are time-consuming.
Differential backups. This is the set of any files that have changed since the last full backup. These backups take less time and space than a full backup, but more than an incremental backup.
Incremental backups. This is the set of files that have changed since the previous backup (whether it is a differential, incremental, or full backup). These backups take the least time and space, but in the event of data loss you'll need to restore data from several backups (the last full backup, the last differential, and all the incremental backups since the last differential) and restore them in precisely the correct order.
First decide how often to back up by considering how much data you can afford to lose.
Then, if you're using a hardware drive (tape, CD, or DVD), you'll need to decide on a rotation schedule for your backups (how often you overwrite backed-up data).
You'll also want to periodically schedule some permanent backups (media that aren't rotated and replaced with a more recent backup). This will allow you to go back farther in time if you need to. For instance, some viruses don't cause noticeable damage for weeks.
You will want to keep the following backups updated at all times:
- Three daily incremental backups
- A one-week-old full backup
- A one-month-old full backup
If you aren't using a remote backup service, you'll need to have someone take physical media off-site each day or week.
" Prepare for Effective Data Backup and Recovery"
To make sure you have an effective data backup and recovery system, you'll need to plan in detail for disaster recovery, make sure that all your employees are fully aware of the effort to back up files to prevent data loss as much as possible, and test to make sure that your data backup method is meeting your needs.
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