How Often Should You Take Backups?

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We all get busy and backups is one of the last things on your mind, however its critical when disaster strikes

Backup recovery is something that every business should invest in. Not just because it’s a smart thing to do on every technical guide, but because disasters happen. Big disasters like floods and fire and ransomware along with little disasters like accidentally deleting a Client’s CRM entry. Even run of the mill software updates can corrupt all the data that your software supports. Backup recovery data makes sure that no matter what happens, you can roll back the clock a day, a week, or a month to the last time your data was complete.

But the functional question isn’t whether you should have backups, you should. The question is how often you should take those backups. What happens if your data is lost, and it’s been over a month of active project work and client data since your last backup? That’s an entire month of detailed work gone. On the other hand, you also don’t want to take backups of static assets so often that you fill your storage with identical archives.

So today, we’ve put together a quick rule-of-thumb guide on how often you should back up each type of your data.

Active Data – Continuous Version Control

The data you update every day should probably be backed up continuously. This is a special kind of backup known as version control, which not only takes ‘saves’ of your work but also tracks exactly when changes were made and who made them. Version control ensures that you can quickly and easily roll back any changes that don’t work, remove only the changes made by a specific person, restore versions that were completed minutes or hours ago if an ongoing project or client file is somehow damaged.

Continuous backups through version control give you the most fine-tuned ability to both edit things based on changes and to restore recent version after changes were made that did not ultimately pan out.

Ongoing Project Data – Twice a Day

Data that is updated as a result of an ongoing project may be more practical to uptdate once or twice a day. A database into which entries are added in chunks, for example, or an archive of paperwork for which only a few pages are added per day might be the type of data that you want backed up constantly, but not necessarily minute by minute.

Backups made once or twice a day ensure that your active files can always be restored to a very recent version, even if they are not the type of file that requires version control levels of detailed editing and constant tiny roll-backs.

Workstations and Hardware – Once a Week

Your workstations and hardware are often the hosts to a great deal of useful data, including the software and configurations that are loaded onto them. When you have a full backup of a device, you can reload it from a factory wipe or clone it onto a whole new device in a much shorter time than it would take to rebuild all the configurations, apps, and stored data files by hand. However, workstations and devices don’t change often or drastically enough to need to be backed up every single day.

Weekly is probably the most practical timeline for backing up devices, particularly if your team tends to store files locally and update their settings to streamline their work. A device backed up weekly can be quickly restored to it’s favored functioning state directly after a malware attack, update crash, or other general malfunctions that might require a restoration process.

Infrastructure and Settings – Once a Month

Finally, there are the big infrastructure backups. Your network and its configurations, for example, were not perfect for your business right out of the box. Your tech infrastructure and static company files were carefully built piece by piece and setting by setting until everything worked exactly the way it needs to for your business. It contains your tech stack, your network configurations, and all your security measures.

Backing your tech infrastructure and settings up monthly can ensure that even if you suffer a system-wide outage, physical disaster, or ransomware attack, you can bring the whole system back online. Even if you need all-new hardware to do it.

For more insights into smart IT management and data security, contact us today!

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