Backup Best Practices

Large organizations have the benefit of following plans created specifically for them when backing up their databases. For small to mid size organizations, they often have to rely on the expertise of their technical team.

When it comes to running backups on your data, there are several guidelines you  may want to consider to get the most from your cloud backup program. Keep these best practices in mind when running your backup so you can use the backup software as efficiently as possible.

There’s no need to waste time. Generally, avoid running backups of currently running databases, frequently changing files (such as logs or daily spreadsheets), caches and session files.

Save money and storage space by NOT compressing data before backup. When you compress the data, you re-save everything, whereas if you don’t, you’re only backing up the updated information. It’s also best practice to avoid risky local hard drives for backup and use shared networks or clouds instead.

If you actually need a backup of log files and databases then take a snapshot and have it backed up. Rotate the log files periodically so your disk space doesn’t get too full.

When you’re running your cloud backup program, one question you may be asking is how frequently to run your backup?

Backup frequency

To determine the frequency of file backup you need to consider three variables:
Criticality – How critical or important is this file for you? The level of importance this file holds for you largely determines how often you run a backup.
Data churn – Do your files have a high data churn rate? When your files are churned often, they invalidate the blocks, which are stored previously. Sometimes it’s more efficient to take snapshots of the files and then backup the snapshots – but first consider how critical the file is.

Size – How large is the file and how does the size impact your backup? Remember though that if speed for backup and restore is important, larger files take longer to complete the backup. So if possible, have large sized files backed up less often.

Effective restores

Periodically test your restores to ensure that data is saved as expected. Restoring destination needs to be considered because even though overwriting saves storage space, it can put your existing data at risk. Therefore take precautions, while restoring.

Encryption benefits and cost

Encryption keeps your data secure and obviously it is costly. The point to consider is a server set to encrypt data then all backups performed will be encrypted and you will not be able to remove it. Cloud backup applications are designed to handle the most challenging situations.