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Old 02-09-2009, 11:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Best Practices Backup Strategy

Hey, at my work we have a tape library with 22 available tapes, and I'm just looking for suggestions on best policies.

It has an autoscheduler for the cleaning tape (built in) and as far as I know, our entire backup will fit on one tape. Currently, we are running a full back up daily on a standalone tape drive. We have 1 week's worth of active tapes (Monday, Tuesday, etcetera) and we just cycle through them, and then keep one for each Month End (January Backup, Feb... so on)

So obviously, for our needs, a 22 tape library (nifty device) is a bit overkill, and I'm just wondering how I can make the best use of that. I'm the "new guy" and as a warmup, I've been tasked with coming up with a backup strategy.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:39 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Practices Backup Strategy

Rotation, rotation, rotation! If you back up each night (5/week), you can go a month before you reuse a tape. That sounds simple and all, but many never think about it.

If your backup needs are that small, you may want to look into offsite or online backup storage as well. Since your tapes are onsite, a catastrophe will wipe them out, too. Offsite/online backups could be done on a weekly basis to save costs, but it would still give you something to fall back on in the event of the unthinkable (fire, fllod, tornado, hurricane, whatever).
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Practices Backup Strategy

I think the daily backup is a great idea and the monthly backup is also helpful. What I would add is some type of offsite storage pattern. Like taking that monthly backup tape and storing it in a safe deposit box or something, then you can keep a years worth offsite, then start recycling after that point.

So you have 7 tapes for mon - sun. YOu keep recycling those. On the first of every month do your monthly backup and take that tape to a safe deposit box or safe offsite. Then once you've accumulated 12 months of offsite backups start recycling them (but only one at a time so you'll always have backups up to 1 year back).
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Practices Backup Strategy

I would also recommend bringing one tape a week home and rotating that one. Worst case you would loose 1 week of data. As Trotter said online works as well but I prefer to keep my own backups offsite.

Also periodically do practice restores from different tapes (I have a word file I change every once in a while and restore old versions from older tapes) and check their contents to ensure that they are still working.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Practices Backup Strategy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trotter View Post
Rotation, rotation, rotation! If you back up each night (5/week), you can go a month before you reuse a tape. That sounds simple and all, but many never think about it.

If your backup needs are that small, you may want to look into offsite or online backup storage as well. Since your tapes are onsite, a catastrophe will wipe them out, too. Offsite/online backups could be done on a weekly basis to save costs, but it would still give you something to fall back on in the event of the unthinkable (fire, fllod, tornado, hurricane, whatever).
I know where I work we take the tapes bi-weekly to a bank for storage in a safe-drawer that way we always have an off-site copy (along with putting our tapes in a hardened metal(yes metal, NO i dont know why)/fireproof cabinet.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Practices Backup Strategy

We had tapes in a fireproof cabinet as well but I figured the tapes would just melt with the heat of a fire.
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Best Practices Backup Strategy

Thanks guys, yeah, some sort of offsite secure storage was discussed in the last meeting, so I'll pass this along.

Next topic... starting a BB forum! (new thread)
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