One of the most important tasks for a systems admin is that of backing up data to protect against loss. A well thought out backup plan can help ensure that all eventualities are covered and that your company can continue operating no matter what kind of disaster may occur. There are several aspects you should incorporate into your backup plan. This article should help guide you on how it’s done, regardless of what software or hardware solution you use.
Identify what to back up
If you want to back up everything then you are going to need plenty of tapes, or perhaps a disk backup system, and much more time than you’re likely to afford. Focus instead on the critical data that cannot be recreated and that the business cannot do without. Rank it by priority so that if you need to restore, you would know what to restore first. Create a spreadsheet or a table and review it with the business stakeholders and data owners to ensure that everyone agrees with what is being backed up and in what order it should be restored.
Identify when to back it up
Backups take time, consume bandwidth and may have problems with open files. Businesses with large databases, or whose operations run around the clock, may not be able to complete a full backup given an entire weekend. Set up multiple schedules based on the business schedule. Plan database backups around other activities like indexing, and ensure that maintenance windows work around the backup schedule.