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Posted on 2004-10-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-11
How do you decide which backup method to implement?
Question by:jahsexy18

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ID: 12205657
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Expert Comment

ID: 12205894
Why don't you provide some background and information on your environment. Minor little details like OSes involved, data you need to capture, applications, your backup hardware and software.

Expert Comment

ID: 12205976
  Assume you use SQL Server, you may find this article useful:

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shad0_cheng earned 1050 total points
ID: 12208307
Depends on the issues that you are dealing with there's an intro article at Senior Tech Center:

Choosing a Data Backup Method
 This document presents a variety of data backup methods. Comparing their respective features will help you choose the best method for your organization.

Definitions Byte: Unit of computer memory measurement

Kilobyte (KB): Roughly one thousand times the storage memory of a byte; average e-mail messages (without attachments) will be under 10 KB
Megabyte (MB): Roughly one million times the storage memory of a byte; a standard floppy disk holds 1.44 MB
Gigabyte (GB): Roughly one billion times the storage memory of a byte; the newest desktop computers can store up to 20 GB
Compression: Shrinking data so that it can be stored using less memory capacity; data in this state must be decompressed to use again
CD Backup Becoming a very popular means of backup.

There are two different CD formats:

Recordable CD (CD-R): 650 MB, once discs are recorded, they cannot be written over, can be read from any CD-ROM drive
Rewriteable CD (CD-RW): 650 MB, discs can be rewritten indefinitely, can only be read by newer CD-ROM drives
Prices for blank CDs have dropped considerably since they first came out.
CDs don't yet have as much storage capacity as some other popular back up methods.
If you are willing to put out more money up front, CD-RWs are becoming standard and are the better choice over CD-Rs.  

Tape Drives Generally recommended.

Relatively cost-effective for the level of reliability and efficiency provided
High storage capacity
Reliable in long-term storage conditions
Generally simple set-up, lots of technical support available
As with many things in life, the more you pay, the higher quality you are likely to receive. Still, with just a little searching, you should be able to find a good quality tape system at a reasonable price.
Network Backup Can be highly effective.

Backups can be unattended and automated
More capacity and more reliable than saving on floppies
Cheaper than tape or removable drives

There is one major drawback to using networks as a stand-alone backup method. If the network server is housed in the same building as the computers connected to it, then it is just as vulnerable to physical damage.
Network and Tape Backup Combination Even more highly recommended is a combination of network and tape backup.

Network can be programmed to automatically back up all the computers onto tape every night
Tape is large enough to hold data from all the computers in the network
Tape can be removed and stored in an off-site location
Web-Based Backup Relatively new development, but seems promising.

There are now companies that will store your data online. Once configured for your needs, this can be a very convenient option.


Completely automated; no need to purchase or manage hardware
Generally inexpensive
Security: data is stored at an off-site computer

Security: you must be comfortable with someone else storing your data; verify the encryption and storage services of companies
May not be ideal for very large (more than a GB) amounts of data
Removable Storage Drives May be better than nothing, but not highly recommended.

All have storage capacity limitations that make the possibility of unattendedbackups impractical. Prices range from moderate to expensive.

Large floppy-disk drive: at just over 100 MB, they offer the lowest amount of storage (e.g., Iomega Zip, Syquest EZ-135, LS-120)
Removable hard-disk-equivalent drive: at 500 MB to 1 GB, these devises offer decent storage capacity and high reliability (e.g., Iomega Jaz, Syquest SyJet)
Standard Floppy Disks Not recommended for routine backups.


Cannot hold enough memory for unattended backup
Could require using hundreds of disks per backup session
Storage is unreliable; high likelihood of disk errors that can corrupt data
Although floppies have their downsides, they may be the only option for some lower-budget organizations. Floppies are most effective when storing small groups of related files.

Use a compression application to increase floppy disk storage capacity.
Resources Web - Use these other sites to study this topic further.
Backup Methods, Devices, and Media
Put Your Mac Back to Work as a Backup Server
How to Protect Your PC Against Its Worst Enemy -- You
Cnet Reviews of Backup Software - Select link on the left labeled "Backup & Compression"
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Expert Comment

by:Tim Holman
ID: 12208313
More info please...
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Accepted Solution

rid earned 450 total points
ID: 12212736
Choice of method could be based on these parameters:

1) Ease of use (if it isn't easily done, it will not be done)
2) Price

Then, of course, there are a few minor details like data volume, network setup, O/S's used, number of users/nodes, etc etc that aren't known at this point and that might well have impact on the solution.

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