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Anyone have a sample written, formal (corporate) backup procedure?
March 6, 2008 3:28 PM   Subscribe

Anyone have a sample written, formal (corporate) backup procedure?

Looking for something I can repurpose, addressing tape rotation, etc. in a corporate environment.
posted by VeniceGlass to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't have the last one I wrote to share (it's considered business confidential), but I can share some of the good advice I received when I was writing it.

Backup intervals - how often do you back up what data? For the backup policy I wrote, this took the form of a chart with a list of data categories and nights (for most, it was 5-nights-per-week, although there were a few things that were backed up 7 days a week, and others that were done weekly or monthly)

Data that is explicitly NOT backed up (sometimes there's a "junk box" file server that shouldn't be)

Retention periods (you MUST have input from your company's general counsel here - this is your single biggest landmine)

Offsite backups (keeping your tapes in the same room or building as your servers is a bad idea, and your policy should specify where your tapes will be kept, and who has access to recall tapes from the offsite dump or access to the safe, etc)

Destruction procedures (how are you going to nuke the expired tapes - will you simply overwrite them, or will you degauss them first? Your policy should address this)

Testing intervals (backups are useless unless you can restore them, and testing your ability to do so is absolutely crucial - put a regular testing interval with SLAs and reporting into your policy)
posted by deadmessenger at 3:56 PM on March 6, 2008


Thought I'd mention that in my experience “Disaster Recovery Planning” and “Business Continuity Planning” have superseded backup planning as more comprehensive IT strategies. This Disaster Recovery Journal article (PDF) distinguishing backup from DR and this nonprofit org course on creating and writing a BCP might be of interest.
posted by XMLicious at 4:27 PM on March 6, 2008


Testing intervals (backups are useless unless you can restore them, and testing your ability to do so is absolutely crucial - put a regular testing interval with SLAs and reporting into your policy)

This is very, very important. I am in the middle of nightmarish restore of an executive's email trash can as I type this. (BTW, who puts important email in the trash?)
posted by rabbitsnake at 5:21 PM on March 6, 2008


This is all good (really), but... no actual procedures?
posted by VeniceGlass at 3:50 AM on March 7, 2008


VeniceGlass, are you literally just looking for a list of steps, not a policy document or something? I think all the tape backup software I've used has customarily had a variety of different backup schemes voluminously written out in the documentation or help (since what backup software does is pretty simple, they need to thicken up the manual.) You might even be able to find this kind of thing in Windows Help.
posted by XMLicious at 4:28 AM on March 7, 2008


And if you're worried about “repurposing” something out of a vendor manual, maybe check out the docs of open source backup programs? Here's the rather extensive manual for Bacula, for example.
posted by XMLicious at 4:43 AM on March 7, 2008


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