Everyone who works on a computer – job related or private – knows the inestimable value of backups. Often it happens that files are deleted accidentally and many hours of work are lost. You learn from experience, however, you can avoid data loss beforehand by using an efficient backup system.
Two factors impede the efficient backup: firstly, the need of backups is underestimated and secondly the backup is not performed correctly. If you are thinking about backing up your data efficiently, consider the following:
Think about the risks that your electronic data might run:
The most frequent risks, which can be avoided by using backups are:
Generally, the risks from hardware failures can be excluded by using the corresponding RAID disk configurations. The accidental deletion of files, however, should not be underestimated. Accidental deletion is the highest risk when using electronical data. If you are thinking about your individual backup, the first step is to consider the most frequent causes of risk in your environment. Only that way you can create a reasonable backup strategy.
In the next step you need to evaluate what the costs would be if the considered risks actually happen. The costs depend on the importance of the data. If you, for example, accidentally delete a memo file which was written six years ago it is not as dramatic as if you accidentally delete an agreement with an important client.
It can also happen that additional costs arise due to the backup duration. For example, if a server crashed and it takes nine hours to restore the server from backup instead of two hours, this will also have a bad effect on the costs. The costs may rise e.g. due to the server breakdown.
That is why you should have the price-performance ratio in mind when buying a backup program. The less expensive solution is not always the best, especially when it comes to backing up your data. If important data gets lost, additional and even higher costs will arise, and it will be more expensive in the end.
The final consideration is what strategy to use for your backups.This strategy should depend on the risks you have defined. You should think about backing up your whole system every day or every month. Depending on the server and importance, it is advisable to back up every hour or every few minutes.
Your personal backup strategy also depends on the applied hardware and software. Most important for your strategy, however, is to determine where the risk lies and to estimate the costs of lost data.