Backups

Backing up data and files is important. It is also, the first step in any disaster recovery plan. There are many reasons why one might want to backup data, including accidental deletion/modification, virus corruption, hardware failure, and natural disaster. There many different types of backups, but the two most commonly implemented are full backups and incremental backups. A full backup is downloading every file and folder that needs to be backed up every time the task is scheduled or run. An incremental backup is only downloading any file that has been created or modified since the last full backup or last incremental backup.

There are many different ways a backup agent distinguishes if a file has been changed; it could change the archive bit on the file, or check with file sizes and timestamps. When using an incremental backup plan, it is good practice to do full backups frequently because when doing a restore you must restore all incremental backups since the last full backup.

A program that we use called Novosoft Handy Backup is a very good program for system administrators to use if they want to back up their web site and file directories from a remote client without installing any additional software on a server other than an ftp server, which most often is already included on a web server. Handy Backup is one of few programs that allow the target files to be an ftp location and the destination to be a local drive or media. Handy Backup has the ability to schedule multiple backup tasks at different times and different intervals it also has wide range of other features too, but we only use it to back up our files on our FTP servers.