[ The PC Guide | System
Care Guide | Backups and Disaster Recovery | Backup Scheduling and Media Rotation Systems ]
Medium Security Rotation System
This is an average media rotation system, that provides good protection while requiring
only a moderate number of media sets. It is suitable for a PC that gets a reasonable
amount of use, and for which daily backups are a necessity. This would include a heavily
used personal machine, or perhaps a smaller business PC or departmental server.
Here are the particulars of this system:
- Backup Method and Type: Backups are performed on a tape backup unit or other
removable drive with sufficient capacity to hold a full backup on one unit.
- Media Set Groupings: The system uses two different groups of media sets. The
first group is for daily backups, the second for week-end backups. If you are using the
system only on weekdays, you need 4 daily media sets, labeled "Mon",
"Tue", "Wed", and "Thu". If you are using it on weekends as
well you add 2 more daily media sets labeled "Sat" and "Sun". Then you
also use a number of weekly media sets; I recommend three or four, labeled "Fri
1", "Fri 2", etc.
- Weekly Full Backups: On Friday, you perform a full backup to the set labeled
"Fri 1" and then store it off-site. On subsequent Fridays you go to the next
set, "Fri 2", etc. and then return to "Fri 1" when you run out of
weekly "Friday" media sets. The more weekly media sets you use, the longer the
- Rotational Daily Backups: On days other than Friday, you perform a daily backup
to the media set labeled with the correct day of the week. This can be either a full
backup or an incremental backup. Bear in mind that if you use incremental backups you save
time, but if you have a failure on a Thursday you will have to restore from the previous
full Friday backup and then each incremental, one after the other, since that Friday.
- Drive Cleaning: The tape drive head is cleaned weekly using a cleaning tape
specifically designed for it (assuming use of a tape drive).
- Media Storage: All backup media sets are stored in a fire-proof, locked safe, on
the premises. One of the weekly Friday sets is stored off-site.
This system provides a good balance of safety, convenience and cost.
Next: Maximum Security Rotation System
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