Who should do backups? Anyone that has data they cannot afford to lose, whether that is a small business, large enterprise, or a single person with one laptop. If you have data you don’t want to lose, you should be doing backups.
What should be backed up? Simple answer, the data from above that you can’t afford to lose. Longer answer, this is something that should be discussed. Do you only want to back up the data, to save both time and storage? Or do you want to back up the entire computer to make recovery easier in the event of a failure?
Where should it be backed up? A good school of thought is that it isn’t really backed up unless there are at least two copies, and at least one of them is stored at a location some distance from your computer. It does not do much good if you only have one backup, it is stored right next to your computer, and a fire burns down the building. Both the original and backup would be gone. In case of natural disasters, it may make sense to keep backups in separate cities, or even states.
Why should it be backed up? Another simple answer, you have decided to back it up because you cannot afford to lose it, whether that be emotionally (wedding pictures, video of the kids, etc.) or monetarily (work files, etc.).
When should backups be done? Backups should be done when they cause the least amount of inconvenience, or when nobody is changing the data. For most backups, this means doing them at night. For others, special backup procedures and programs need to be in place to make sure data that is being used and changed all the time can be properly backed up. As for how often backups should be done, it comes down to one simple question. How much data are you willing to lose? If you can stand to lose no more than a week, then weekly backups may be for you. If you cringe at the thought of losing minutes of data, perhaps having real-time backups may be in order. It really is up to the individual.
How should backups be done? This question usually gets answered as you answer the rest of the questions. If you need real-time backups, this limits how they need to be done. If you only need to backup one small computer once a month, there are far more options available to you.
Hopefully these questions have helped shed a little light into backups, and hopefully they make you question your current backup strategies. Are they where they should be? Do they work? What really would happen if I had an outage right now? If you need help answering these questions, SCS can help!