Today is World Backup Day; don't be an April Fool!

March 31st is World Backup Day and it occurred to me that now would be the ideal time to discuss backups and hopefully raise some awareness.

"There are two kinds of people in the world - those who have had a hard drive failure, and those who will." - Peter Krogh

Friends don't let friends go without a backup!

We’ve created more information in the last two years than in the entirety of recorded history. That’s a lot of photos, memories, and important projects to lose. Protect your legacy and backup your data.

What would you do if you lost everything?

If anything happened to your servers, SAN, NAS, phone, computer or tablet, your important documents and memories could be lost forever. Backup your files to make sure you never lose anything that’s important to you.

Why would I lose everything?

Just because it has never happened to you doesn't mean it never will. Some causes:

  • Ransomware; extremely common
  • Device failure
  • Malicious damage
  • Transfer corruption
  • Lightning strike/Voltage surge
  • Theft
  • Fire or water damage
  • Human Error

The 3-2-1 Rule

The 3-2-1 backup rule can help you overcome nearly any failure scenario if you follow it. It implies that you should:

  • Have at least 3 copies of your data; have an additional 2 copies of your original data
  • Keep these backups on 2 different media; don't keep the 2 copies of your backup on the same medium. If the medium fails, you've still lost all of your data!
  • Store 1 backup offsite; this means, geographically, as far away as possible, in another city, country or even continent. Your data is safe then, even if there is a fire, earthquake, terrorist attack or a national disaster.

Verify the integrity of your backups

There is no such thing as a successful backup, only a successful restore

Every once in a while (ideally you should have it in your maintenance plan), you should check the integrity of the backups you are taking. Try doing a sample restore; you might never notice if your backup process is faulty and you are not able to restore from it when disaster strikes.

Tips

  • RAID is not backup!
    • RAID doesn't protect you against a file being deleted.
    • RAID doesn't protect you against a file being overwritten.
    • RAID doesn't protect you from your system being compromised and all of your data being overwritten, deleted, or corrupted.
    • RAID doesn't protect you from your ops team accidentally paving a machine with important data on it.
    • RAID doesn't protect you from a foolish DBA running a drop command on the production server (mistaking it for a test environment).
    • RAID doesn't protect you if the building burns down.
  • Decide what you need to back up
  • Understand your data environment; not everything must be backed up with the same frequency or same sensitivity
  • Ensure that backup copies are safe
  • Maintain backup logs
  • Regularly revisit your backup/restore risks, procedures, and technologies
  • Dispose of backup media carefully
  • Have a Disaster Recovery Plan and a Business Continuity Strategy
  • Maintain said plan

Favorite Backup tools

  • Veeam Backup & Replication is by far the best backup software for Hyper-V and VMware hypervisors that I have ever used
  • Backblaze pricing is just ridiculously cheap; for $5/month you have unlimited personal backup storage.
  • Azure Backup is a simple yet powerful service that empowers customers to back up Microsoft workloads to the Cloud
  • Azure Site Recovery helps you by orchestrating replication, failover, and recovery of workloads and apps so that they'll be available from a secondary location if your primary location goes down

In conclusion, I will leave you with this infographic courtesy of cloudwards.net
Cloudwards World Backup Day