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What's in Your Backup?

I’ve been speaking with a fellow M2M Admin and helping him get up to speed. I was shocked when he admitted to me that he had no backups. He explained that they were using Raid 5, and therefore didn’t need any. If you’re in this situation, don’t feel bad. Most of us work for small companies and as a general rule they tend to be lax about backups.

Since it’s Friday, I thought we could have a poll with a few questions about backups. Please answer honestly, as this is anonymous.

What back up method do you use?

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Do you have off-site backup?

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Which SQL backup model do you use?

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If you absolutely had to restore, what of these most closely describes the oldest back up you have available?

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When did you last perform a test restore of a database from media? (Be honest)

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10 comments to What’s in Your Backup?

  • Darren

    I voted above, but wanted to note that on top of my nightly backups, I do twice daily backups (7 AM and 12:30 PM) of my database to an external drive. I was doing them hourly but it filled my External drive too quickly!

  • We Backup to Lacie hard drive appliance with imbedded XP with plans to mirror backups off-site in short term future.

  • Our daily backup stored in the office in a water/fire cabinet.

  • Oops, I apologize guys but I neglected to add the last poll. If you get this message, please answer the last question. That’ll teach me to bang out a blog article during my lunch hour.

  • Great topic.

    What back up method do you use?
    We backup our SQL Databases to disk and then use Tape Backup to perform backups (INC daily and FULL on Saturday). Month End Tape backup goes off site.

    Do you have off-site backup?
    We have Iron Mountain come monthly to pickup up Month End backups (also Quarter End and Year End).

  • We use incrementals every week day and kick off a full on Friday night. The full back ups require the entire weekend to put to tape. We rotate the tapes 5 days a week, which are brought off site via courier, and we have over a full year back up (daily) available.

    In addition, we are mirroring all of our data,except for SQL Server (unfortunately) over the internet to two separate co-locations. I support two different installations at my primary job.

    That way, if any of those locations were to go off the grid, the other facility could work on as normal, minus SQL Server. It’s a long story, but I’m pushing for SQL Server replication and fail over as well, but it’s a cost issue.

  • Fred Crawford

    Our daily backup is stored in a fire proof safe. Every Friday our nightly backup tape is taken to our safe deposit box at the bank and switched with the one that it there.

  • As a safe manufacturer, we store the tapes in our own firesafes instead of offsite. 🙂

  • A word (or several) about fireproof safes… Tape backups generally won’t survive in most of them. Most fireproof safes are designed to keep the contents from burning. This really isn’t enough for tapes.

    Fireproof safes control their internal temperature through releasing moisture from the insulating material. As the moisture is released, it helps to make the safe airtight by causing door to seal through expansion. This is great for stuff like documents, but not so much magnetic tape.

    Secondly, most UL rated fire safes still don’t keep the internal temperature low enough to avoid melting tapes.

    So keep your backups in a DATA safe, not just a fire safe!

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