Every computer relies on the hard disk drive inside to store programs and data. When a failure occurs and the drive cannot be used, restoring files from a backup is necessary. However, there are many approaches to backup and not all are equal.
For a backup to be useful, it should be done fully and frequently with multiple copies. This can be achieved using a large USB hard drive attached to a desktop or server. We recommend using Novastor backup software since it includes valuable features that other programs do not include. Below is a list of recommended features a backup program should have; Novastor includes all of these features, making it our first choice for backup software:
- Data compression to reduce backup file size.
- E-mail notification to send a report after a backup finishes.
- Scheduler to run backup jobs at night and on weekends without user involvement.
- Log history to check backup operation.
- Bare metal disaster recovery to allow restoring everything to an empty hard drive without first installing the operating system.
- Open file backup support to backup files in use.
With backup software installed on a station, nightly full backups should be run. All server computers that store data should have an attached USB drive that is large enough to store at least 5 days or more of full compressed backups.
For off-site backup requirements, we recommend using a second and third portable 2.5″ USB drive that can be quickly removed and exchanged. The backup software can be configured to copy all of the backup files from the permanent local USB backup drive to the portable removable backup drive. Copying backup files is faster than creating a new backup job. Using two portable drives allows the drives to be exchanged with any frequency, ensuring there is always a second copy on a server and a third copy off-site.