Saturday, November 28, 2009

Have you checked your backup lately?

Five tips for data backup:

1. Check the backup logs daily. You should be able to see that the backup was successful and see the size of the backup increase every day.

2. Have you tried to restore the data from your backup? Even if the logs show the backup is working, have you performed a test restore to see if you can actually use the backup for recovery. If files are missing or are skipped, the backup may be useless. Please do not perform this test restore on your server or if you do not have the knowledge or experiece to do it properly. You could overwrite your data by mistake.

3. Is your backup also off-site? If you do not take the backup off-site on a regular basis then you really should consider adding an online backup service. Please do your research before you use Mozy or Carbonite for your online backup solution. If your office had a fire or someone stole your server and all the tapes/CD's/USB drives, how would you get back up and running quickly?

4. If you can not perform a full backup every night, then you should consider changing your backup solution. Yes, incremental backups work, but see Tip 2 and see how much time it takes and how much fun it is to restore from incrementals.

5. Automate your backup. If you have to manually run the backup every day, then your including the human error factor into the mix. Are backups skipped because you are late leaving the office? Why not schedule the jobs and let it run at night while you use that free time to build your practice?

I am interested to hear other tips. Hope that helps you avoid major headaches!

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