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Let me start with a couple of basic terms so we can all “speak” the same language. Well, actually, I want you to understand my language.
Types of Backup A FULL (1) backup is basically a copy of the entire hard drive. We call this cloning the hard drive so, in the event of a catastrophic event, a new hard drive can be inserted. The system is booted to a CD or USB device and the cloned copy of the hard drive is placed on the new drive.
A FULL (2) backup of all the data (MY DOCUMENTS) and Program Data is made, so if we need to restore the data, it is available. In the case of a new hard drive, the operating system is reloaded and then all other software is reinstalled. Lastly, the data which was backed up is restored.
A DIFFERENTIAL backup is made after a full backup (2) has been completed and only data which has changed from that point of time is saved. This is a much smaller and faster backup.
Locale or where is the backup There are many advantages of having a local backup working for you. One is the drive is right here and if you need to restore a file, you can easily retrieve it from the device. However, if there is a fire, then not only is the system toast, so to speak, but so is the backup. Normally, when fleeing a burning office, one does not think to grab the local stand-alone backup device.
Remote or cloud based backups have become very popular with many vendors offering monthly and annual plans. The data is stored in professional data centers and periodically backed up to other servers, possibly in different locations in the country. If you have internet access, you can get your data back. After a catastrophe, you may not have internet access.
Hybrid backups are coming into play more and more and are usually run by smaller startup companies who offer the best of both worlds, Local and Remote backups. These entrepreneurs are breaking ground with not only data recovery solutions, but hardware recovery solutions as well. (More on this at a later time.)
Plan and take action Step 1: Plan for data backup
Think about where you keep your backup.
Step 2: Begin a backup routine
Make backing up a part of your normal scheduled daily tasks.
Don't count on anyone else to back your data up for you.
Do backups of your own critical data.
Step 3: Tailor your backup strategy to your needs
To determine the best schedule for your data backup, it is important to know how often your data changes. If your data changes weekly, a daily backup might be overkill. If you have critical data that updates every hour, you may need to back up several times a day.
Step 4: Be sure to test your backup periodically
Don't simply rely on backup software to get it right 100% of the time, no matter how good you think your backup software is.
Step 5: A backup of a backup of a backup
Many people think a backup is simply moving their photos, videos, music, financial documents, or other important files off to an external hard drive or removable disk. However, simply moving data from one location to another isn't giving you any extra protection in case disaster strikes. If there aren't at least two separate copies of your data, it isn't a backup at all.
Even though a single backup may be a good start (two copies of your irreplaceable files), there is still some risk for data loss, especially if both copies are kept in the same location. (Think about things such as fires, theft, floods – if any one of these happened, they could easily damage or destroy both copies of your data.)
For the best protection against data loss, especially from catastrophic events, having at least three copies of your data (the original files, an easily-accessible backup, and a protected copy of your backup) is recommended. While some large companies may use dedicated off-site data storage services for this, you don't have to be a big company to have three copies of your data. Even something as simple as using an inexpensive online backup service to keep a third copy of your data will be sufficient.
Call for Action! Are you ready to call 360-681-8796 to have your data backup situation evaluated?
Backup today, because tomorrow is to late.
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