8. Backups

The network manager should make regular backups of the data held on the system.

The definition of regular will vary for different organisations. For many such as schools, a nightly backup is sufficient. For organisations where data must always be kept up-to-date, for example banks, then backups will need to be taken at regular intervals throughout the day.

Grandfather, father, son method

digital tapeBacking up routines should use a method such as the 'grandfather, father, son' method. The daily or 'son' backups are saved each night for a week until there are seven 'sons'. At the end of the week, the oldest 'son' will be put aside and known as a 'father'.

Each week for a period of a month a new 'father' is created.

At the end of a month when there are four 'fathers' one will graduate to 'grandfather'. 12 grandfather backups will be stored each year.

Storing backups

A copy of the backup should be stored onsite so that if the system fails or the data is corrupted then the system can be reinstalled or updated quickly from the backup.

However, a copy should also be stored off site in a secure, fireproof location. This means that if the ICT system is destroyed because of a fire, flood or robbery, the data can still be retrieved and the system can be back up and running in a reasonable amount of time.

Many companies (and individuals) are now beginning to use online data storage (cloud storage) for their backups. This means that they don't have to get a copy of the backup sent to them, they can simply download it. Also, online data storage companies have their own system of backing up the data. This means that the original company doesn't need to store all those physical copies. They can simply ask the online data storage company to provide them with a copy of the backup for a certain date.


challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Online Backups