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Backup Strategies
There are 2 things we know with certainty: hard
drives are more reliable than ever before, and hard
drives continue to fail.
Imagine you walk into your office one morning,
turn on your computer, and get the message
“General failure reading drive C:”. What are you
going to do?
If you have implemented an appropriate backup
strategy, you will have your hardware repaired, and
restore the backup copy of your hard disk that was
made the night before.
But what will you backup? In many cases, an
appropriate backup strategy can be implemented
with a device with capacity much less than your
hard disk size. Consider the options:
· Use an 800 MB tape backup. They are very
inexpensive, but not terribly fast.
· Use a ZIP drive -- an inexpensive removeable
hard drive. While these drives are more
expensive than a tape backup, they are also a
lot faster to backup and restore data, and a lot
easier to use.
· Backup to a recordable CD. This is also a more
expensive alternative than a tape drive, but
anyone can read a CD, whereas not everyone
has access to a ZIP drive or your particular
brand of tape drive. Note that recordable CDs
only hold 650 MB and they can be quite slow to
· Use a DAT tape drive. DAT stands for Digitial
Audio Tape. These drives are typically SCSI
based and are quite fast for a tape backup. And
they will hold 4 GB on one tape.
You should try to observe these tips when defining
your backup strategy:
· Backup your programs (which tend to change
infrequently) every time your software
configuration changes or you add new software.
Keep other directories specifically for your data
so that you backup only those directories daily.
· Always have at least two good copies of any
valuable data.
· Always keep one backup copy off-site in case of
computer theft or fire.
Define a backup strategy and stick to it. It will save
your bacon some day!