Some quick answers to common questions.
What is data rotation?
Most back up strategies involve the scheduled backup, removal to an offsite location, then return of media. The media is ‘rotated’ through the backup process. For example, a weekly backup tape rotation schedule would mean the media set is used for a backup, goes offsite then returns 7 days later.
What is a ‘backup set’?
A backup set is the result of a backup process that is larger than the capacity of one tape. For example, a full backup done at the end of the week may result in a backup set called ‘Friday 1′ that spans 3 tapes.
What is a Grandfather, Father, Son rotation schedule?
The Grandfather, Father, Son rotation schedule is a very common and easy to understand method of backing up and rotating computer media – usually tape. It generally works like this:
1. A full backup is done on the last Friday of the month. This data backup tape is stored off site. This is the Grandfather tape set and is called something like ‘January’.
2. A full backup is performed once per week on all but the last Friday of each week (the last Friday is the monthly or ‘Grandfather’ set) and is stored off site for the corresponding Friday of the next month. This is the Father data backup tape set and is called ‘Friday week 1′, ‘Friday week 2′ etc.
3. Daily incremental or differential backups are performed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; for maximum disaster recoverability, they must stored off-site, which means a daily visit from your data protection partner. This is the Son data backup tape set, and is called ‘Monday’, ‘Tuesday’ etc.
At the end of a full data backup cycle a set up tapes can be returned on-site and used to perform the current backups.
In addition to the Grandfather, Father, Son rotation, it is also good practice to do a full backup on at least a yearly basis (and after any significant event like company reporting periods) and permanently archive the resultant backup set. Duplicating archived data (eg. having at least 2 copies of the backup set) is essential.
Archiving of equipment
Along with the periodic archiving of tape sets is the importance of being able to restore those tape sets in the future. Document Management Solutions can, if required, store legacy tape drive systems in ideal conditions so that archived media can be read and successfully restored.
Does my media need to be barcoded?
Yes. We apply a unique identifying barcode to all media. We can also use your barcode as an additional identifier if required.
Can I get media back in a hurry?
Yes, we offer urgent media retrievals through our two hour express delivery service. More information on exactly how to order urgent retrievals is part of our information for new clients.
Should I encrypt my backup data?
Absolutely. In fact, a better way of putting it is that you must encrypt your backup data. There is a growing list of data breaches by major firms involving the loss of backup media that contain a large amount of personal information like credit card details – information that all companies have a duty of care to keep safe and secure. By using strong encryption, a tape in the wrong hands is virtually useless.
How long do data tapes last?
The general consensus is 30 years in ideal conditions, longer than most retention schedules require.
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