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  Data backup strategies. Systems
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Data Backup StrategiesKnow How Your Backup Software Works


Although it might seem self-evident, spend some time learning how your tape backup software actually works. Too often, we start an automated backup routine only to find that a month later when we need to restore the data, an option wasn’t selected correctly and we are out of luck for a restore.


Tape backup software has become increasingly reliable but as with any software products, there are now several levels of options with increased complexity that the operator should be aware of.


The correct selection of backup options in the software will to a large extent help determine how “solid” or how robust the backup is.

  • Is verification after backup turned on?

  • Are email and other notifications to operators set up?

  • Is the backup schedule set correctly?

  • Are the options for full or incremental backup set correctly?

  • Is there an understanding of how media pools and media retention schedules work?

  • Do you know how to have the tape backup software run batch files for pre and post tape backup operations?

  • Is the tape backup software properly configured to write to the server system logs?

  • If you’re backing up a DBMS system, is the software configured properly to shut down the instance when required?

  • Does your tape backup software require the use of a special server user and password, and do you have the password and login information stored in a safe location?

  • Is your tape backup software configured properly to work with your anti virus protection software?

  • Do you have the backup disks for the tape backup software in an accessible location if you need to restore the tape backup software onto a server? Are the software keys for the disks readily available.

  • Do you have a plan in place for regularly upgrading the tape backup software and receiving and applying patches from the vendor?

  • Do you understand how the scheduling options work in the tape backup software.?

  • Do you understand how to select the files and directories you want to back up?

  • Have you configured your backups so that a password is required to restore from tape, and are these login and passwords information stored in a safe location?

  • Do you have a link to the vendors web site and a support login in case you need to get help quickly?

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