Data backup and recovery is an absolutely essential part of any business, large or small, public or private, and in any sector of the economy. Whether you are a student, an independent consultant, or a small business owner, you need to be able to recover quickly from any unexpected data loss.
Backup and recovery is a never-ending processes. You must implement new backups and restore old data when you make changes to your computer system or when you install new software or hardware.
This article is the ultimate guide on data backup and recovery. It explains everything from Why You Need to Backup Your Data to the Best Tools for Backup and Recovery.
Business users vs. personal users
One of the first decisions you need to make when it comes to data backup and recovery is whether you are going to be using a commercially available solution or if you will be setting up your own system.
If you’re a business user with a large number of computers, or in an industry where data protection is an absolute necessity, then purchasing a commercial solution may be your best bet. You have the peace of mind that your data will be backed up securely and professionally, and in some cases, the vendor will handle all of the IT responsibilities for you.
If you are looking for something that is more cost-effective and manageable on your own terms, then consider installing a self-hosted software package like Backupify. We host a cloud service that backs up your files automatically and securely – without any setup required on your part.
Why Back Up Your Data?
The importance of data backup and recovery lies in the ability to retrieve your data when you need it. If you have all the time in the world, then you could just wait until all of your hard drives fail before you back up your data. But this is not practical for most people as it takes too long and by that time, there’s a good chance that your business would be suffering greatly without their important data. For this reason, backing up your data regularly is essential if you want to maintain a successful business.
Different Types of Data
There are two types of data: active and inactive data. Active data is the data that is currently being used by a running program. Inactive data is all the other information on your hard drive, including files you’ve saved, pictures, videos and music.
Active data stays in use until it is no longer needed. This means that if you delete a file while working in it, or save a new file over top of an old one without saving a copy first, then you have just lost the information in those files. Active data can be backed up using standard methods, like copying the files to another computer or storing them on an external hard drive.
Inactive data does not need to be backed up because it will never change again. Examples of this type of data include digital images and videos stored on a CD-ROM, automatically downloaded software updates and archived email messages. These records remain unchanged on your hard drive until they are deleted or the media they reside on is lost or damaged beyond repair. You should back up inactive data by copying it to CDs and DVDs or backing up to an external hard disk (HDD).
Data recovery is a process that allows you to extract data from damaged, inaccessible, or defective storage media. Data recovery may be performed on storage media, like hard drives and CDs, or from other digital media sources like a computer’s memory or a network.
The first step in any data recovery is to identify the type of storage medium with the lost data and its likely cause for failure. This can be done through observing the symptoms of failure: unreadable files, slow performance, unusual noises or smells from the device, etc.
Next you need to remove the storage medium from the system and take it to an expert who can examine it more closely in controlled conditions. There are many different types of storage media that store information for your business. In order to recover the right data, you need to know what kind of storage medium was used and what kind of data it contains.
If your data is stored on magnetic tape or floppy disks then you must remove these devices from their current system and connect them to a compatible reader in order to access the data they contain.
If your data is stored on optical discs like DVDs and CDs then you should remove these devices as well but simply put them into a compatible reader instead of connecting them directly as with magnetic tapes or floppy disks.
Choosing the Right Backup Medium
One of the most common mistakes people make is not choosing the right backup medium. If you’re backing up your data to an external drive and it’s stolen, you have no way of restoring that data. It’s the same with a cloud service provider. The best method is to choose a backup medium that can be easily replaced, such as DVDs or USBs.
If you’re using a program like Windows 10’s OneDrive or Google Drive, these services are excellent for storing your files but they are not good for backing up all of your data just in case something happens to them. You should store older files on physical media that can’t be corrupted by a virus or other malicious code.
Backing Up Your Data
Data backup is a never-ending process that ensures your data remains safe and accessible in the event of an unforeseen data loss. You must constantly create new backups and recover old data when making changes to your computer system or installing new software or hardware.
You should not rely on a single method for backup – you need to back up everything. This includes your operating system, applications, files, databases, email messages, and more. When selecting a method for backup, be sure to choose one that fits your needs. There is no one size fits all solution; what works best for one person could be disastrous for another.