Understand and Make Smart Cloud Backup Decisions

Cloud Backup
(Image Credit: Darryl Linington).

Cloud Backup
Mid and small tier firms depend on their technical team to run the SQL Server database backup. (Image Credit: Darryl Linington).

Majority of large organizations follow specifically created plans to backup their databases. They have outlined efficient procedures, which includes periodic multiple copies of backup being stored remotely on a daily basis. Basically, they use SAN to organize backups in an effective manner.

Mid and small tier firms depend on their technical team to run the SQL Server database backup. Best practice is to avoid local hard drives for data backup because they are risky, so have backup performed on shared network or clouds.

Below is a small guide that helps user to take advantage of its backup software efficiently.

What backups to avoid?

Avoid backups of:
– running databases
– caches & session files
– frequently changing files (e.g. logs)
– root

Remember not to compress the data before backup because the idea of de-duplication gets defeated. De-duplication saves only the updated information. Thus, money and storage space during backup process is saved.

Cloud backup software aims to be supportive and skips backup of the kind of files given below automatically. If you desire add them through manual backup option.

– Memory only file systems
– Data directories
– Recycle bin
– Recovery information
– ini & thumbs.db

Session files don’t exist for a long time for backup and logs, databases, and caches change too fast.

– Session files need to be totally avoided
– If the data is valuable log files can track it
– Caches include unnecessary data, so avoid it completely

If you actually need a backup of log files and databases then take a snapshot then have it backed up. Rotate the log files periodically to prevent the disk space from getting full.

Best practices for backup and restore
To make the most from your cloud backup program make sure to configure it in best ways. First step to take is select a contact email carefully, while configuration because in case of issues, you will receive an alert there first.

Backup frequency
To determine the frequency of file backup you need to consider three variables:
1. Criticality – Importance of the file means you will need to have this file backed up more often.
2. Size – If speed for backup and restore is important then remember large file takes long time to complete both process. It is sensible to have large sized backup less frequently.
3. Data churn – files churned often invalidate the blocks, which are stored previously. Depending on criticality, take snapshots of files having high data churn. Backup those snapshots.

Effective restores
Periodically test your restores to ensure that data is saved as expected. Restoring destination needs to be considered because even though overwriting saves storage space, it can put your existing data at risk. Therefore take precautions, while restoring.

Encryption benefits and cost
Encryption keeps your data secure and obviously it is costly. The point to consider is a server set to encrypt data then all backups performed will be encrypted and you will not be able to remove it. Cloud backup applications are designed to handle the most challenging situations.

Staff Writer