How Often Should You Back-Up Your Servers

Data loss can be a serious problem. Sloppy or inadequate backup practices increase the risk that a minor technical issue may lead to lasting consequences. Having a server go down can bottleneck operations, impact customer and client relationships or force businesses to restart key projects or even redesign a workflow process from the ground up. With a wide range of data protection, storage and backup resources available including services that can automate the process, the only real question that businesses should be pondering is how often and how comprehensive their backup process needs to be.

Implementing a Tiered Backup System

Generally speaking, the more frequent backups are made and the larger their scope the more resilient a business will be when dealing with a data-loss event. Either due to time constraints or financial concerns, making a copy of every file and backing-up every terminal and storage device attached to the network is rarely a viable option. A tiered system that prioritizes data in order to ensure that more effective backups are able to be made can provide businesses with a more versatile and effective way to protect their data.

Low-priority Data and Long-term Storage

Creating multiple copies of files that are accessed very rarely and records that are unlikely to be changed or altered in the coming months or even years can be nothing more than a waste of energy and resources. Another mistake that businesses commonly make when it comes to protecting data in long-term storage is to assume that a single backup is all that is needed in order to ensure a speedy recovery. Creating two or more copies and utilizing a distributed storage format provides redundancy while serving to eliminate the need to make additional backups.

Moderate-priority Data and Records

The vast bulk of data that needs to be stored in a digital format will typically fall into this category. While long-term storage is for warehousing files and records until they are required and short-term backups should be made for any files, documents or applications that are currently in process, everything else falls into the moderate-priority category. Creating a new backup each month is usually sufficient, although there are plenty of situations where a weekly or quarterly backup may be more beneficial. Businesses should weight their options when considering their backup schedule and should not be afraid to create multiple sub-categories depending on their needs.

High-priority Backups

From customer account records to sales figures, any information that is created or altered during the past day should be made a high-priority for backup. A minor data-loss event that is of limited scope may entail greater cost than businesses might expect. Lost work hours spent duplicating efforts as well as concerns that may be harder to quantify like decreased customer satisfaction can take quite a toll. Applications and even third-party service providers that can automate the process of creating, updating and storing a day-to-day backup as well as testing the integrity of the process can often be well worth investing in, especially for businesses who are struggling with their backup efforts due to the limitations of their current resources.

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About the author: Wifred Murray

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