Usually companies decide to create a backup only after a data loss. Only then do entrepreneurs see the extent of the problem and make desperate attempts to solve it, which usually end in failure. On a daily basis, we talk to business owners who unanimously admit that what has already been lost is usually impossible to recover. That’s why it’s a good idea to opt for backups before breakdowns and data loss occur, which in almost every case harm the company.
Typically, we offer our clients services in a narrative of “you may or may not need to do it, judge for yourself.” In this case, however, implementing a backup is considered a necessity, so if you don’t want to outsource it, you can do it yourself, but you need to be aware of the risks you are taking.
Types of backups
There are 4 types of backups:
The most popular method of data storage. Here we create a full backup of all company data. The advantage of a full backup is undoubtedly that in the event of a disaster we have a copy of all data that we can restore. Disadvantages, on the other hand, include the time it takes to create such a copy and the considerable amount of disk space taken up.
This approach creates copies of only the data that has been modified in any way since the last backup. This saves disk space, but it takes longer to restore all the data. This is due to the need for differential backup.
A method of backing up only the data that was added to the last backup. Although it requires a full backup beforehand, it is the fastest way to make a copy. Incremental backup, however, has its downside, which is the increased restoration time for all data compared to other types of backups.
The last backup is a backup of all data, but created not on the basis of the current state of the system, but on the basis of all other most recent types of backup.
The 3-2-1 rule, or how to properly make a backup copy
When it comes to making backups, the 3-2-1 rule is often talked about. Why is it so important and what is it based on?
Each digit in the name of the rule has its own meaning:
- 3 – always have at least three separate backups,
- 2 – store backups on at least two different media,
- 1 – keep one data backup off-site.
An example of the use of 3 data replicas is a technology known from Windows Server, namely Windows Fabric. It works on the principle of having at least 2 active copies and one passive copy in case of failure. This approach reduces the risk of losing one of the disks, since the backup is still present in two additional locations.
PS. RAID is not a backup 😛
A common problem of data loss is damage to disk arrays. Therefore, the conclusion is drawn that data cannot be stored within a single technology. So it is worth ensuring that data is also backed up to another medium, which will effectively reduce the risk of costly failure.
In case of risk of, for example, a hacking attack, it is crucial to keep data also outside the company’s network, which, in case of, for example, encryption of files on the company’s network, manages to repair efficiently by restoring a copy from an external location.
Entrust your company’s security to a team of specialists
At WeAstronauts, we support your company’s backup process. We implement end-to-end automation that implements backups in your business and the good practices associated with them. Contact us via the contact form and see what we can do for you and your business.
How often to perform a backup?
Regular backup is a guarantee of data security. In the case of cloud solutions, backups can take place on an ongoing basis in the background. On the other hand, the frequency of offline backups should depend on the dynamics of an organization’s work. If it processes a lot of information – more often, if less – less often. A reasonable compromise is to perform a backup once a day, during the night hours. The schedule for data backup is worth establishing with a specialist familiar with the subject and responsible for it.
For complete data security, we recommend making at least several backups. This way, even if the disk on which we store one of the backups fails, we will be able to recover the lost data from another source. However, in order to give ourselves this chance, we should apply the second rule of the 3-2-1 Rule, i.e. a backup copy, which we will save on different media.
It is also a good idea to store at least one cloud backup on a third-party provider’s server. Why? Because keeping all backups in one location in case of physical media damage (flooding, fire) will result in irretrievable loss of all backups. Popular solutions are Google Drive or Dropbox. Both have desktop applications that automatically synchronize changes to your local files.