A couple peeps along with our auditors recently asked about our data backup routines. I created the following document last November as part of our budget process and figured I'd go ahead and share with everyone. We're not backing up as thoroughly as we'd like, but we're doing what we can with our resources. Like it or not, it's all a matter of acceptable risk.
Like many of you we're doing a Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape routine.
Subject: GCC Backup Summary
Here’s an overview of our current IT Backup Routine at GCC … note: there are no nightly backups being done on any mac stuff that I’m aware of.
· Monday nights we run full backups on our critical servers … email, files servers, bookstore server, Great Plains, etc.
· Every night except for Monday we run differential backups on the same servers … this means we capture only the changes to the data since the full backup ran on Monday. Reasoning is because the full backups can take up to 2.5 days (backing up to disk) to finish with our current backup hardware and the amount of data being backed up … the differentials complete in about 8hrs (backing up to disk). In other words, we don’t have enough time to do full backups each night even when backing up to disk (backing up to tape takes considerably longer).
· All the above tapes are kept for 2 weeks in the server room. Thus we can go back to any day in a 2 week window and get a file from that particular date. After non-Monday tapes have aged over 2 weeks they’re put back into rotation and will be overwritten.
· We keep the Monday full backup tapes for a month. So we can go back to any Monday in the current 30 day window.
· The last Monday of each month we tag as our monthly full backup. These tapes are currently being kept for a quarter and I take them (there are many) home with me. After these Monthly tapes age over 1 quarter they are brought back onsite and put back into rotation and will be overwritten.
· The last Monday of each quarter we tag as our quarterly full backup. These tapes are kept for 1 year and I take them home with me. After 1 year they are brought back onsite … yada yada yada
· The last Monday of each year we tag as our yearly full backup. These tapes we plan to keep forever at my home currently.
We can get back to a particular day in the current 2 week window.
We can only get back to a particular Monday after the current 2 week window and inside the current month window.
We can only get back to the last Monday of each month inside a quarter window.
We can only get back to the last Monday of each quarter inside a year window.
If we have a disaster at GCC we can only get back to the latest monthly Monday tapes at my home. So depending on the timing of the disaster that means worst case we’d lose 4 weeks of data if we got hit at the end of the month window.
As an example – had the recent Oct 11th tornado hit GCC … best we could do is get the tapes from Sept 24th at my home.
Certainly, we’d like to have better backups, but this is our current reality based on resources available.
** update as of March 2008. MozyPro is sending nightly SQL zips and trans logs offsite daily.
Some links to other parts of our backup solution:
Our backup server and D2D storage http://www.jasonpowell.net/jason_powell_church_it/2007/11/big-cheap-raid-.html
Our CommVault backup software http://www.jasonpowell.net/jason_powell_church_it/2007/02/goodbye_veritas.html