Tag Archives: types of data backup

What Types of Data Should Be Backed Up?


Learn how to keep the lock on your most important data.

Data back up is incredibly important. If you’re in business, no matter what you do, you probably already understand the importance of backing up your data. We could list all of the reasons to create backups, and everything that could go wrong if you don’t, but that’s been done before. Instead, let’s talk about which types of data really need to be backed up.

Before we dive in, it’s important to note that it’s really best to just back up everything. Data storage is incredibly easy, and it’s also very inexpensive. In many cases, the main expense comes in actually creating and maintaining the backup in the first place, while storing extra data costs little to nothing extra. Because of this, there really isn’t a reason not to back up everything, but there are still types of data that are more important. This is the data that should be stored in several places. It deserves extra focus, and is worth the extra money, if it does end up costing more to store. It’s also the data you should keep in mind as you design your disaster recovery plan. Here are a few types of data that it is the most important to back up.

Customer information

One of the most important things a company possesses is information about its customers. If you lose this information, especially contact information and other detailed information specific to them, you could have to rebuild the entire company from the ground up. Make absolutely sure that this data is safely backed up in multiple places, and with a reputable data backup company.

Employee records

Losing employee records would be almost as bad as losing your customers’ information. You’d have to renegotiate any salaries or benefits packages that aren’t currently stored in paper form. You’d also have to guess how long each employee had worked there. You’d have to complete stacks of paperwork, which would take a huge amount of resources, and you’d risk missing things. It would be a huge hassle to have to repopulate all of your employees’ information. Make sure you have it backed up.

Product plans and records

This is more important for some companies than others. If you provide a standard product or service, like napkins or cleaning, you probably don’t have much documentation that is necessary for your business to operate. On the other hand, most products are specific to the company that makes them. Whether it’s a slightly different design that you don’t want to change, or something ingenuous that no one else even knows how to make, you’ll definitely want to back up any paperwork you have about the design or recipe of your product.

Financial history

Although this may not be as important as the others, it’s definitely good to have records of your financial history. In addition to the fact that you’ll need this to appease the IRS and other governmental organizations, these records will help you analyze where you’ve been, and predict where you’re going.

Inventory records

This one is pretty simple to understand. If you lose your inventory records, you’ll have no choice but to recount your inventory. Although this is possible, and may not create any long-term problems, it will cost a lot of money and time, which will be in short supply after a disaster.

Current orders

Finally, consider how embarrassing it would be to have to ask your customers to replace their orders, especially if they’ve already paid for them. Make sure that all current orders, even if they’ve just come in, are backed up, just in case.

Looking for more information about backing up your company’s most important data? Contact us.

Small Business Data Protection and Backup Best Practices

Remember the 3-2-1 rule for data backup: all data should have 3 copies, on 2 drives, with 1 of those drives stored offsite.

Remember the 3-2-1 rule for data backup: all data should have 3 copies, on 2 drives, with 1 of those drives stored offsite.

Businesses that have yet to suffer from data loss are very lucky. Did you know that 32% of companies that use a cloud based backup solution still have suffered from data loss? Even businesses that currently use a cloud-based backup solution should be performing some backup tasks on their own, so that data can be readily available should the system go down or a user accidentally delete the data.

The most common reason for data loss is an end-user accidentally deleting the information. But, data loss can come in many different forms. People make mistakes, and the only way to keep yourself safe is to have backup safeguards in place and provide your employees with proper training. There are several best practices that all businesses should keep in mind as they look for data backup solutions.

Use Simple USB or Network-Based Hardware Backups

Although most small businesses don’t have the budget or training to install their own server farm for backups, there are some small steps that you can take. Many small businesses opt to use a small external USB hard drive, or a hard drive that is connected to the network. This simple solution means that your business has the tools on hand to safeguard against data loss. However, it is important to remember that most data loss happens because of human error, so the best method for protecting your business is data loss prevention training for your employees.

Delegate Backup Duties

Expecting your employees to handle their own backups is risky business to say the least. The fact of the matter is that employees without technical training often don’t understand what backing up your data means, let alone why it matters so much. Instead, you should have an IT employee or delegated employee with technical know-how handle the backups. That way you can be certain that they are completed, and can further provide training to the employee that is performing the backups. By delegating duties to a single person or a small team, you greatly reduce the chances of errors and incidental data loss.

Schedule Backups

In theory, you should be backing up your data on a day-to-day basis. Any loss of data is extremely bad for a small business. But, that may not always be possible for teams with limited resources. Schedule a day to back up your data at least once a week. Additionally, connect your important files to simple cloud based solutions that keep everything backed up on the fly.

Many businesses employ the 3-2-1 rule. This rule states that all data should have at least 3 copies, stored on 2 different drives, with at least one of those drives being stored off-site.

The frequency in which you back up your data depends entirely on your business. How much risk does the last week of data going miss truly pose to your business? The only way to evaluate how often your small business should be backing up your data is to assess risk.

Backup Storage

Where you choose to store your data will depend heavily on your business, policies and company size. There are many online backup solutions, most targeted toward small businesses. Some online storage solutions may cater to companies that use a specific type of software or system. Physical backups should be stored out of the way, in organized fashion, at room temperature.

If you would like help implementing data backup best practices in your own business, please do not hesitate to contact us today. We’ll schedule your initial consultation and go over how we can help your business keep your data safe through simple and effective backup policies.

Data Backup: Why It’s Important, and How to Do it Properly

Schofield's Law of Computing states that your data doesn't actually exist unless you have at least two copies of it -- so make sure you have a good backup system in place.

Schofield’s Law of Computing states that your data doesn’t actually exist unless you have at least two copies of it — so make sure you have a good backup system in place.

Data Backup is a fairly important thing.  Whether you’re backing up your company’s entire server, or just some of the machines scattered around, having a backup of them is always a good idea.

“Why should I,” I can hear you asking through the internet “I’m sure nothing will go wrong with my computer that will make me lose my data.”  Well, funny thing is, it might.  Computers are rather fickle things, and are subject to tons of problems at some point or another.  A lot of people, especially people who tinker with their computers, have had some form of terrible thing happen that resulted in their data going away forever.

Schofield’s Second Law of Computing states that your data doesn’t really exist unless you have at least two copies of it.

Truer words have never been spoken.  Data backup is a fairly important thing to do for many reasons.  I’ll list some of those below

The main reason you’ll want to do it is for disaster recovery.  If your company’s main server room goes up in flames, your data is gone.  If you didn’t have a backup of it somewhere, it’s really gone.  Off-site backup is always useful to have in situations like this, because the server room will probably go up in flames at the same time the rest of the building does.  You don’t want to be stuck having to gather all of your business’ data, as well as reconstructing your whole building.

Another reason is just in case something weird happens.  Computers can mess up data on occasion, or sometimes just delete it.  You would usually have some form of on-site backup if this happens, since you don’t want to have to get an employee to drive across town to pick up your tape backups from the storage facility just because your computer bugged out or because you had to re-install an operating system.

You’ll always want to have at least a few backups.  There was a time where tape backups were commonplace, and they still are to an extent, but off-site BDR is become more common by the day, and it’s every bit as cheap as tapes are.  It’s more convenient, as well, since you don’t have to send an employee across town to grab a tape because some jack-leg stepped on yours and your system decided some file was irrelevant.

And, for the final part of this explanation, there are 3 types of backups: full, incremental, and differential.  A full backup will backup the entire system.  An incremental backs up the system and marks every file that it’s backed up, ignoring those in future backups.  If a file has been changed, the mark gets removed, and the next incremental backs it up and marks it again.  A differential backs up all files that have changed since the last full backup.

Full backups are the easiest to use, since you only need one of them to restore.  The problem with this is that it uses more disk space than the other two backups.  You should do these once per week just in case something went wrong with the last one, since you’ll probably be combining these with a differential.

Incremental backups are probably the hardest to use, since you need every single incremental backup since the last full backup performed.  So, if you crash on Sunday and your full backups are Monday, you have to restore your full backup, and then 5 incremental in order from oldest to newest.  If you mix up two of the incremental (say Tuesday and Wednesday), then the one from Tuesday will overwrite the one from Wednesday, or just not work and you’ve just wasted your time.

With differential backups, you only need two backups to restore.  You need the last differential and the last full.  Most programs overwrite the oldest differential available since you don’t need it, so you’ll save space on your backup media.

We provide online backups here at SystemsNet, and you can contact us in order to set up your subscription with us.