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How to Choose The Recurrence of Your Automatic Backups

Published on 13 January 17
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How to Choose The Recurrence of Your Automatic Backups  - Image 1

Scheduling the backup operations should be one of the elements that are imperative in the work of any database analyst. The question How often should I backup my database? is undoubtedly one of the most important to ask and answer for any DBA. The answer, as with so many other questions in life, is It depends.

A well-defined and structured timetable for scheduling these backup operations can prevent the system of becoming offline while users are still working.

Find yourself wondering how often you should backup your website or database? Ask yourself a number of simple questions first:

  • How important or sensitive is your data? (The importance of data can go a long way in helping you determine if you need to back it up—as well as when and how it should be backed up).
  • How quickly do you need to recover your data? (Time is an important factor in creating a backup plan. For critical systems, you may need to get back online swiftly. To do this, you may need to alter your backup plan).
  • How often does the data change? (The frequency of change can affect your decision on how often the data should be backed up. For example, data that changes daily should be backed up daily).
  • What is the best time to schedule backups? (Scheduling backups when system use is as low as possible will speed the backup process. However, you can't always schedule backups for off-peak hours. So you'll need to carefully plan when key system data is backed up).
  • Do you need to store backups off-site? (Storing copies of backup tapes off-site is essential to recovering your systems in case of a natural disaster. In your off-site storage location, you should also include copies of the software you may need to install to re-establish operational systems).

Frankly, every DBA thinks that his/her data is most critical and they try to protect it by unnecessary amount of scheduled backups, which in its turn can cause complications like slow performance.

So, it’s important to be objective and figure out the recurrence of your online backup the way that’s best for your data. Even for a bank, different databases are not equally critical in terms of recovery time and availability. The database handling the transactional accounts is likely to be more critical than the one handling long-term loans and mortgages per se.

For some organizations, the databases and the applications running on top of them are their lifeblood. For example the databases that manage the transactional systems for commercial banks. Other systems’ data is so sensitive that it’s subject to constant government monitoring, for example commercial airports and nuclear power plants. For these, and other types of super-critical databases, very frequent backups several times a day are expected.

But for many other databases, you may not require this level of intensity. For instance if you have an application in which you enter only a few dozen transactions a day and you can do without access to the system for a day or two, a full daily backup may be sufficient.

Let’s have a look at some common data backup schedules and understand when they are of most help.

You can perform:

Weekly full backup and Differential every 24 hours which is an ideal strategy for databases with just a few transactions per week, or one whose importance is not mission-critical. The loss of a few hours of data can be tolerated or easily recreated.

Full back up every 24 hours is useful in situations where transactions are relatively more frequent but are still recreatable from manual records or other sources.

Full back up every 24 hours, Differential every 6 hours is suitable for databases that incorporate several more changes during a normal working day, and are thus much busier than ‘Daily simple’ databases.

Full back up every 24 hours, Differential every 4 hours and Transaction log every hour can be used to backup database whose loss can be considered catastrophic or at the very least serious hindrances to business operations.

Full back up every 24 hours, Differential every 3 hours, Transaction log every 15 minutes can be conducted for very busy mission-critical database systems. These are systems that simply cannot afford to drop any transactions. Due to the load placed by the frequent backup jobs, these are also likely to offload the backup job to a secondary server.

We all know that this simple action will save you lots of time and effort in the future. So, the sooner you find the best backup schedule, the better it is for your business.













How to Choose The Recurrence of Your Automatic Backups - Image 1

Scheduling the backup operations should be one of the elements that are imperative in the work of any database analyst. The question How often should I backup my database? is undoubtedly one of the most important to ask and answer for any DBA. The answer, as with so many other questions in life, is It depends.

A well-defined and structured timetable for scheduling these backup operations can prevent the system of becoming offline while users are still working.

Find yourself wondering how often you should backup your website or database? Ask yourself a number of simple questions first:

  • How important or sensitive is your data? (The importance of data can go a long way in helping you determine if you need to back it up—as well as when and how it should be backed up).
  • How quickly do you need to recover your data? (Time is an important factor in creating a backup plan. For critical systems, you may need to get back online swiftly. To do this, you may need to alter your backup plan).
  • How often does the data change? (The frequency of change can affect your decision on how often the data should be backed up. For example, data that changes daily should be backed up daily).
  • What is the best time to schedule backups? (Scheduling backups when system use is as low as possible will speed the backup process. However, you can't always schedule backups for off-peak hours. So you'll need to carefully plan when key system data is backed up).
  • Do you need to store backups off-site? (Storing copies of backup tapes off-site is essential to recovering your systems in case of a natural disaster. In your off-site storage location, you should also include copies of the software you may need to install to re-establish operational systems).
Frankly, every DBA thinks that his/her data is most critical and they try to protect it by unnecessary amount of scheduled backups, which in its turn can cause complications like slow performance.

So, it’s important to be objective and figure out the recurrence of your online backup the way that’s best for your data. Even for a bank, different databases are not equally critical in terms of recovery time and availability. The database handling the transactional accounts is likely to be more critical than the one handling long-term loans and mortgages per se.

For some organizations, the databases and the applications running on top of them are their lifeblood. For example the databases that manage the transactional systems for commercial banks. Other systems’ data is so sensitive that it’s subject to constant government monitoring, for example commercial airports and nuclear power plants. For these, and other types of super-critical databases, very frequent backups several times a day are expected.

But for many other databases, you may not require this level of intensity. For instance if you have an application in which you enter only a few dozen transactions a day and you can do without access to the system for a day or two, a full daily backup may be sufficient.

Let’s have a look at some common data backup schedules and understand when they are of most help.

You can perform:

Weekly full backup and Differential every 24 hours which is an ideal strategy for databases with just a few transactions per week, or one whose importance is not mission-critical. The loss of a few hours of data can be tolerated or easily recreated.

Full back up every 24 hours is useful in situations where transactions are relatively more frequent but are still recreatable from manual records or other sources.

Full back up every 24 hours, Differential every 6 hours is suitable for databases that incorporate several more changes during a normal working day, and are thus much busier than ‘Daily simple’ databases.

Full back up every 24 hours, Differential every 4 hours and Transaction log every hour can be used to backup database whose loss can be considered catastrophic or at the very least serious hindrances to business operations.

Full back up every 24 hours, Differential every 3 hours, Transaction log every 15 minutes can be conducted for very busy mission-critical database systems. These are systems that simply cannot afford to drop any transactions. Due to the load placed by the frequent backup jobs, these are also likely to offload the backup job to a secondary server.

We all know that this simple action will save you lots of time and effort in the future. So, the sooner you find the best backup schedule, the better it is for your business.







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