Happy World Backup Day! Celebrate By Backing Up that Data
By Kelly Meeneghan Peters, 1&1
Today we celebrate World Backup Day! While most Web professionals understand the importance of securely backing up important files and data, it is not often exercised as frequently as it should be. Take part in today’s holiday and re-evaluate the procedures you have in place. Ensure your important data can be easily accessible and restorable, should there be an unexpected interruption or accidental deletion.
So how do you determine what data and files should be backed up? This is very much dependent on individual use cases. However, a good rule of thumb is to backup anything that cannot be recreated from a new installation. For example, these files can include Web content, databases, configurations, photos, or scripts saved to your server.
The frequency of backup will vary depending on the type of data you have. For example, those working on a Web project with limited changes or a static website will only need to backup when the changes are made – this can be daily or weekly. If you have a more dynamic site or data sets that continuously change, a more active approach is necessary. In this case, a database backup is recommended every six hours in addition to a daily backup of the main data.
Even when backed up properly, it is important to note that it can take time to recover from a large data loss. The exact amount of time is dependent on the backup system and software used. For example, if using a locally connected external drive, transferring 1TB of data over USB2 typically takes on average nine hours to complete. For a network with 100Mbit connectivity, the same procedure can last 23 hours or longer.
When taking the steps to backup your data, keep in mind these three tips to ensure you are doing it safely and effectively:
1. Do a regular backup away from your local server to help ensure accessibility.
2. Test and check your backup at least once per month. You will want to make sure it is readable, the right size, from the correct time period, can be unpacked if it is packed, and is complete.
3. RAID and server-grade components are never a replacement for a backup. Look into proper backup solutions provided by your Web hosting provider.
Global Backup Day was started as a way to remind people just how important it is to make copies of their important files. Each passing year, we rely more on technology and the need for regular backups becomes more pressing. Not performing regular backups is a dangerous gamble with your precious files.
BIO: Kelly Meeneghan Peters is a manager for 1&1 Internet, Inc. (www.1and1.com), a global leader among Web hosts. The company provides businesses with the tools necessary to be successful online while staying safe. For more information on how to thrive online, visit blog.1and1.com.