Planning your backups

It is advisable to communicate your backup plans to site users so that they can plan their backup schedules.

If you plan to schedule monthly backups for a site, intimating the schedule to site users can help them plan for daily or weekly backups if necessary.

A well-planned backup strategy should adequately address the following.

  1. Classify or prioritize data in terms of criticality of operations

Set an operational value on your data assets to help you establish an informed backup strategy for your data.

  1. Ensure data consistency

Open or changing files can affect the consistency of data being backed up. It is advisable to refrain from high activity on the site being backed up to ensure data consistency. It is recommended that the User Administrator be aware of your backup schedules to ensure data integrity.

  1. Choose an appropriate backup destination

An off-site or remote backup is recommended for data that is critical to your operations.

  1. Choose an appropriate mode of transfer

You can choose the FTP or Download option to back up your files. FTP is recommended as a more reliable and faster option. Large backups to a remote server must be transferred using FTP, while small files may be downloaded to a backup location.

  1. Determine an appropriate time to perform back ups

Take backups during a period of low activity. Changes or revisions to data when a backup is in progress may  corrupt a backup. Also, changes done when a backup is in progress may not be backed up. As a result, you can lose revisions that occur after the last back up.

These situations can be preempted if site users are aware of your backup schedules and refrain from high activity during backup.

  1. Schedule backups

Schedule backups to run regularly at an appointed time, typically, when activity on the system is low. Scheduling backups frees up your staff to attend to other tasks and also eliminates the need to remember to back up the site manually. Frequency of changes is a good indicator of how often a backup must be taken.

  1. Determine the frequency of backups

Ideally, critical files must be backed up daily; files that can be replaced with minimal effort and loss of time can be backed up weekly or monthly.

  1. Try dummy restores from the backup

After taking a backup, check the file size and perform a dummy restore to ensure that the backup will restore successfully when needed.

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