Performing data backup is simply an action of copying files to another location. It is essential to a disaster recovery plan. Every organisation, small or large, should have backups – and here’s why they’re important:
- Every device is vulnerable to hardware failure
- User/ human error (i.e. accidental overwrite or deletion)
- Your data or disk could fail or become corrupted
- You may become a victim of malicious hacking
- Act of God / Natural Disasters
Data Backups provide a level of security to your organisation, knowing you are in control to restore lost, deleted, locked, or destroyed files.
How are data backups stored?
- Locally on a Hard Disk Drive (or a Magnetic Tape Drive if you’re in the 90s!)
- On a NAS/SAN drive (a Hard Disk Drive on your network)
- Remotely in a safe location
- Remotely in the Cloud (usually in a secure, compliant Datacenter)
The primary advantage to performing a full back up is that you have an entire complete full backup of all data. However, disadvantages are length of time taken to perform and it requires more storage space.
In addition to a full backup, it essential to schedule Incremental or Differential Backups as operations will result in only copying new or changed data since the last backup. In the event of a failure, your organisation would only lose a minimal amount of data.
Virtual Machine Backup
This operation is used to backup virtual machine’s operating system and files saved as VMDK. The benefits allow for an easy restore of the last snapshot of the server.
The restored backup can be used in as disaster recovery plan, upgrade testing environment or as replacement migrated server to minimise downtime.
Best practices include a Full backup to be actioned at least once a week with the combination of other backup methods. To advance your backup solution, multiple backup copies with different retentions should be kept ensuring data availability. Lastly, backups should regularly be tested to ensure that data can be retrieved.