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Old 12th December 2005, 07:07 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 604

It's clearly not an A vs. B question, but rather that both local and remote backups are to be performed for any reasonably important data.

Tape drives are nice, fast and hold a lot of stuff (up to many many gigabytes). DVD-RWs are also fast and hold a lot of stuff (up to 4.7GB, normally ... but expanding), and can be used by the WinZip/DOS procedure elsewhere in this forum if they are formatted properly. (Tape drives cannot normally be used for the WinZip/DOS procedure, as they have special recording needs.)

Definitely make local backups for data-based problems, i.e. user errors, disk corruption, viruses, etc. Never back up to the same disk as your data resides on.

Definitely keep a backup somewhere off-site, too, as recommended in the article. Make it accessible to whomever will need to restore the data in case of extreme emergency.

Also, keep "disk images" of any critical systems, i.e. servers and a standard employee workstation. These will help you to get back up and running quickly in the event that you can no longer use the systems at the office and need to start from scratch with a new machine in a new location.

This is an issue with tape-based backups ... will you be able to find a machine with the proper equipment in an emergency? Most systems do not come with any tape backup drive, but most (these days) do come with a CD burner and/or DVD-burning capability. It does you no good to have a terabyte of data on a tape drive if you have to order a new drive from the manufacturer and wait a week for it to arrive.

For most companies it comes down to; (a) can I afford a robust backup procedure and the software and hardware it will require and (b) do I have someone who can set it up and maintain it and who knows how to get the data back quickly?

Regardless ... a backup procedure cannot be defined and implemented quickly enough. It's a must-do.

James Butler - "Do no weevils"
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