Backup and Archiving

So you’ve installed Zenguardian and would like to know how to set up your backup jobs. The first thing we do is to identify what we want to backup, the priority of the items to backup, and the rate of change of those items.

Our typical order is as follows:

System / Server Wide Data

  • Databases – SQL, Exchange, Sharepoint
  • Critical Data – Contracts, Records, and Accounting Data (Quickbooks, Employment Spreadsheets)
  • General Data – Working documents, spreadsheets
  • Full System Recovery Image

Workstation Data

  • My Documents
  • Locally Saved Data
  • E-Mail Box – PST files, Outlook etc
  • Full System Recovery Image

We next decide how often this data needs to be refreshed, and how long of an archival period we would like maintained.  Normally we do this in several different backup jobs, thus maintaining integrity across jobs, and archival over time periods.  Using the Off-Site functions of ZenGuardian we can retrieve previously deleted files over the archival period.  ZenGuardian also has the capability to backup immediate file changes, this function should be used with caution as it does generate a significant amount of traffic and should be limited to on-site backups.

Our Backup Schedule follows this methodology:

  • Nightly Backup – This should include your critical data, sql databases, email and web services, maintain 7 archives for a full week of retrievable backup
  • Weekly Backup – Once a week a full backup of all data should happen on the system, maintaining 5 archives of data allows you to go back over the whole prior month to retrieve data
  • Archival – This is a system wide backup, typically performed monthly, quarterly, or even annually in case of a complete system failure or file deletion in a prior month, maintain 2-4 archives
  • System Recovery – This backup takes a full image of your device (server, laptop, workstation) allowing you to completely recover from equipment failure, fire, theft or spyware infestation – These should be performed monthly – 2 Archives

Hopefully this will help you in thinking through your initial backup jobs, and how to improve the overall recover-ability of your data.

Ray Poorman, CTO – CSS Communications