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Backup it, lose it, restore it and stay calm – 10 basic rules for the wary

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Life is full of imperfections – we all know it. Sometimes bad things happen to people for no particular reason. As they say: “it happens”. All we can do is to find a way to make some unavoidable situations… avoidable.

Every kind of hardware has its restrictions, week points, resistance etc. Whatever we do, we cannot be sure that our data is absolutely safe. Even James Bond-like data HQ cannot give us such assurance. So, what is a solution? How do we protect our incredibly valuable data? We would like to present a few basic rules connected with good backup practices. Take a look at The Backup Decalogue:

1. Do not rely on luck.
Think forward and do not learn from your own mistakes.

2. Quality!
This involves both hardware and software and is not a place for compromises – nothing more, nothing less. You have to remember that your decisions about your data storage solutions are strictly related to your data safety. One wrong move may cause many problems.

3. Simplicity
The third rule is according to the K.I.S.S. principle ("Keep it simple, Stupid!") and also Albert Einstein’s quotation: "Everything must be made as simple as possible. But not simpler".  It concerns hardware and software in the same way - especially when we talk about back-up process, which is essentially a laborious and time consuming task.

4. “It will never happen to me” – yeah, right!
Do not fall into this old paradigm – this is the fourth important thing. Remember about Murphy’s rule: “If anything can go wrong, it will”.

5. Frequency and automation
The frequency of backups should be based on the rate or frequency of changes in your files. Do it regularly and remember: automation is your friend.

6. Strategy, good planning and scheduling is a must!
Understand threats, create proper procedures in case of a crisis, determine priorities … “Chaos” does not equal “safety”.

7. Backup log
Create a backup log - always. It may help you, undoubtedly.

8. Shutdown the database before you run the backup process.
If it is not possible, think about special database dump software or database agent software which enables consistent backup of the database. This is an important tip – consider it.

9. Save a copy of your files in a place where they cannot be damaged
On different continent – if possible… That way, no matter what happens to your database, you can have security in the fact that all of your files are available. Do you think it is overstatement? If yes, read the last rule:

10. Being overly cautious and paranoid does not mean that there is no danger.

Remember then, simplicity is a clue, quality is the best choice, thinking forward – that is the way… and there is nothing bad in being cautious.
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