PC, Mac and laptop backup

vault storageBacking up your systems and files is crucial. Well over half of all home PC users have experienced data loss. What would you do if you lost important documents and had no way of getting them back? You can avoid this problem with a backup.

There are two main purposes of a backup:

  • Primary: to recover data after a loss
  • Secondary: to recover data from a previous point in time

Backups require a lot of space because at least one copy of all information/data worth saving will be included.

When you back up your data, it needs to be stored and organized to some extent. There are a variety of options for this:

  • Unstructured: This might be a stack of CD-Rs with little information about what was backed up and when.
  • System imaging: This method includes complete system images taken at one or more specific points in time
  • Incremental: Data will be organized into incremements of change between backups
  • Differential: The only data saved is the data changed since the last backup

When choosing a backup plan, you should take the limits of the situation into consideration. These considerations can include:

  • Backup window: When should the data be backed up? The best time is typically when the least amount of activity is on the system.
  • Performance impact: Full bandwidth will not be available during the backup. Again, the time of the backup is an important consideration
  • Costs: Hardware and software are not free and have finite capacity. A balance needs to be struck.

Once these logistical considerations are decided, the plan needs be implemented. Many programs for backing up data include an automatic scheduler. If you will be backing up data with physical storage devices, remember to make sure the data is only accessible by trusted individuals.

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