Basic Backup Concepts
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Welcome back to domain five basic IittIe literacy.
And this module is what's your 5.4? We're going to look at the whole concept off backups on their importance.
So in this module, we'll talk about why backups are important
and how to back up on a regular schedule. And we'll talk about how frequently you need to do backups as well.
You need some kind of hardware onto which you're going to store your backups so we'll talk about storage mediums
and we'll talk about verifying your backup and testing the backup and restore process.
So why do we need to do backups? Well, unfortunately, backups are similar to things like fire prevention or insurance.
We don't realize their importance until disaster strikes.
If you have put in no fire prevention and you get a fire that burns down your home or your office,
then you realize what the importance of fire prevention waas. Same with insurance. If you don't take out insurance and your house burns down,
that's when you realize how important it waas. And this is unfortunately too often true off backups.
don't wait for disaster to strike. Make sure everything is backed up
Now you need to do backups because although they're fairly sturdy, computers and hard drives are physical components and physical components can break even if you're lucky with the hard disk. Eventually it reaches the end of its useful lifetime. This is true both of mechanical drives
and also off solid state drives.
even if before that happens, particularly with a mechanical hard drive,
if it receives a severe jolt while its operating that can damage physically the platters on which your data is being stored.
you know don't take the risk.
The other problem is mobile devices that we use increasingly.
So these days, mobile devices could be storing your pictures and your videos and your music and lots of documents. Because there have enormous amounts of storage available
and those mobile devices can easily break, you can drop them. You could drop them in water. You could drop them on a concrete floor. They could easily be lost, all stolen as well.
And as a result, a year's worth of data could be lost at a stroke. If you have not backed it up.
So what do we need to do backups while you need some kind of software a backup program.
Luckily, most operating systems include built in backup programs,
and in that case, you don't have to purchase any third party backup solution, at least for a home network or a small office in corporate environments. They do have the party backup programs that are much more sophisticated as well as dedicated backup appliances, which aren't, you know, views simply for doing backups.
if you don't like the backup program that comes with the operating system, you always have the option of getting the party backup solutions even for your home devices.
Then you need some kind of hard way to store the backup on.
So this could be a hard drive that is internal to the computer or an external hard drive that you plug in.
But equally you could plug in USB thumb drives their large enough and use those to store your backups, and you can also back up onto optical media.
So if you have recordable CDs or DVDs,
then you could back up to those as well.
You can also back up with two network story attached storage devices or no as devices that we covered earlier in the course. Remember, Anu as device is one that has lots of hard drives in it is plug directly into the network and can be accessed by several computers on the network.
That could be useful if you need to back up multiple computers
so you could have this nods device on your network and back up all the different computers to that one device.
The different types of backups available varies depending on the type of backup program.
So in the Window seven backup program, for example, we had the following options.
You could back up selected files and folders, so you choose which files and folders you want to back up.
Normally, you would just choose the but folders that contained data.
That's where your documents, pictures, videos, music on any other important files you have are stored.
Generally, there's no need to back up applications
as long as you have the original installation media on dhe, the product key and so on that you used to actually install it in the first place.
You should just be able to re install an application. If that gets corrupted, it's the data files that you really need to focus on
the Windows seven backup program also had the option to back up entire volumes. So you could choose to say, Back up your entire See Dr, which in some ways is a lot simpler because you're not having to go choose carefully which files and folders need to be backed up.
But the downside of it is that you're backing up everything on that volume.
So, for example, Windows create some fairly large files that are just used for temporary activity.
That is, your important data is not being stored in those files. Windows is using those files. So one would be your paging file and another would be the hibernation file. And both of those could be huge, several gigabytes and size. So if I back up in entire volume, I'm backing up all those files that may be unnecessary to back up.
You also have a folder called the Temp Folder in Windows, and that contains temporary files that usually don't need to be backed up either.
But if you back up the entire volume, you're gonna end up backing those up,
and then you also had the option in Windows seven to back up the entire computer.
This backs up the operating system, the applications and data.
This is sometimes called a bare metal back up, because what it allows for is bare metal recovery,
meaning you can restore everything onto a brand new computer that has currently got no operating system or any other information on its heart desk.
So in that case,
you know, if your current PC
breaks down completely,
you can get a new PC, and then you can restore everything onto it.
So the Windows seven backup program obviously came with Windows seven.
Um, if you have the latest version of Windows Windows 10
that doesn't provide the same kind of capabilities, but
it does provide backward compatibility.
So if you had created backups using Windows seven and now you're using Windows 10
you can use Windows 10 to recover stuff from your backup. And that's another thing to think about with backups that the format in which you're backing up
will that still be usable and accessible in years to come? Will there be any tools available that can actually restore from that back up?
Um, think about this. You may have had a TTE some point created VHS videos
and some people
created home videos and there
videos of the family as they grew up and so on.
But these days it's very hard to actually find a VCR player
so you could have a stack of these videotapes,
but no way of playing them back.
The same kind of thing can happen with backup programs where the format that was used to back them up or the program that was used to create the backup is no longer available.
So it's good that the Windows 10 back up at least provides backward compatibility with Windows seven backup programs.
Also, if you look at this slide, which seeing another option available in Windows seven and that is
on a system image,
just be aware. If you do a system image back up that is not backing up the entire computer.
What it is doing is backing up those volumes that contain the operating system.
Typically, that just means you're see volume.
But if you have, say, in devolve human, which you've stored other data but not the operating system that doesn't get backed up. If you choose this system image type of backup,
Windows eight and Windows 10 have introduced a new type of backup at program, and this is called file history.
In order to set this up, you need to either plug in an external hard desk, say, through the USB port,
or you can use a shared folder on the network. For example, if you have a NASDA vice on the network,
you could back up to that.
This backup program file history can back up a CE frequently is once an hour
on it aims to keep your backups indefinitely.
Now, obviously, eventually you're going to run out of disk space on the disc to which you're backing up. So at that point, it'll start deleting the older backups.
so just make sure your backup disk is large enough to be able to store backups for a long period of time without running out of space.
If you have apples. Oh, it's ***. It has a very similar feature to file history, and it's called Time Machine.
Just like with file history. The soul do regular backups as frequently as once an hour if you want,
and the way this works is it keeps hourly backups for 24 hours. Then it consolidates them into daily backups and keeps those for a month,
and then it consolidates weekly backups for all previous months.
The oldest backups get deleted if your backup disk is full.
This type of backup provided by Time Machine and Windows File history is sometimes referred to as infinite incremental backups.
Both file history and time machine
do allow us to do something else as well,
and that is not only other serving as a backup,
but they also allow us to roll any file or folder back to a previous point in time.
So imagine, for example, that you have set up file history to do backups every hour.
You've been working on a document throughout the day, so you made changes to it
on you, saved it several times after you made changes to it.
You might want to roll back that document
to an earlier point in time.
You might want to say, Hey, I want to go back to the document as it waas at 11 a.m. today, rather than as it was at 2 p.m. Today.
So these programs, both file history and time machine, allow you to roll things back
if you look at this dialog box,
this is showing the properties of a file,
and I'm in the properties I've got to the previous versions tab and here shows me there are three earlier versions of the file,
so I can, if I won't roll that back to an earlier point in time.
This could happen because, for example, you make multiple edits to a file throughout the day, and then you realize all those edits were wrong, and you need to roll everything back to what it was like several hours ago.
So previous versions allows you to do that, to roll it back to what the backup
when the file was like several hours ago or even days ago, or sometimes weeks ago.
So then there's one question.
If I do set up backups, how frequently do I need to back up?
And the answer to that really is
provided by you asking this question have frequently is by data changing.
For example, imagine aid lightly used home computer
were Occasionally people are creating a document now and again,
but most of the time you're just doing things like I don't know, going on the Internet,
watching movies checking your email and so on.
In that case, it might be sufficient just to back it up once a week because there are not many changes actually taking place.
If you ah,
making changes daily, though, to various documents, then maybe you should be doing a daily backup.
If you work on your computer all day long editing files continuously, you might want to consider doing hourly backups,
and then you have to choose schedules with many backup programs. So in that case, the backup runs at a scheduled time, maybe once a day or once a week or whatever you've set up.
And it typically proceeds in the background so you can continue working on whatever you're doing while the backup is running.
If you do do that, if you scheduled backups for off peak hours so they don't interfere with your work in any way,
just be careful that you haven't scheduled it for a time when your computer's normally turned off.
Because obviously, in that case, the backups may not be happening, and you may not be realizing that they're not happening
now. One problem you do not want to run into is this
that you are very careful. You have set up your backup, you've set up the schedules and everything's getting backed up. We know hourly or daily or whatever,
but actually, it's not working.
it is a good idea. And in most backup programs you have this option,
which is where every time a backup is done, it is verified.
So you turn on verification.
What happens in that case is once a backup is complete.
The backup program compares what it has backed up
to the original files to make sure that the backup actually proceeded correctly and there wasn't any kind of corruption, and so on.
related issue is this.
Okay, so your backup was done. What about the restore process?
So what you should do periodically is go through the restore process firstly, just so that you understand how this door process actually works
and that it does restore in a way that is useful to you.
On dhe. You need to do this fairly regularly.
Backups are pointless if the restore process doesn't work and you don't want to find out. Their store process doesn't work just when you need it.
So it's a good idea and This is where a lot of organizations fall down.
They set up the backup solution
on. Then they just leave it running, and they are confident that everything is fine. And then one day something breaks and they have to try and restore from the backup.
And that's when they start to realize Hate the backups and restore process doesn't actually work, or it works in a very difficult or convoluted way and so on.
So this is very important that
firstly, when backing up, make sure that back ups are being verified
and then test the restore process
One way of testing the restore process is simply to restore the files to a different location. So if I've backed up one folder, I restore files to a different folder,
and then I can compare the restored files to the originals to make sure that the entire cycle off back up in the store is actually working.
And as we said, you know,
do this at regular intervals, so
don't rely on the fact that it would work last year. It's still gonna work this year,
and then once you have the backups, there's the issue of where to store them
well. Firstly, if you're just backing up to another internal hard disk within your computer,
obviously it's getting stored within the computer.
This is not a great option for the very simple reason that whatever damages your main hard disk could also damage that backup disk. So if that computer you know it's in a fire,
the computer's destroyed, the hard disk is destroyed, and the disk that you were storing your backups is destroyed.
Or what if somebody steals the computer?
They now have your computer, the original files on the main desk, and they have the backups as well. And you don't have a copy
up the backups.
An external hard drive is somewhat better because, at least that way something damages the computer. It may not know it assertively damage that external hard drive
It is useful because it does provide a local copy of the backup.
So when you need to do a restore,
you can just plug in the external hard disk in the store from it.
So that's an on site backup.
The problem with on site backups, even if it is an external drive, is this
the catastrophe that strikes may not just hit one computer. What if the entire building burns down?
Well, in that case, even your external hard disk is also gone, along with the computer and the original hard disk where the data was stored.
you should have offsite copies of the backups
now on site Backups are, as I said, useless if they burned down in the same fire that destroyed your computer.
So the offsite backup. So your ultimate insurance policy that if something goes catastrophically wrong, you can still recover from that offsite backup.
Now off site backups used to be a difficult thing to implement for home networks or small office networks. I mean, you could imagine if I wanted to do an offside back up. I might do the following back up everything to an external drive and then take it over to a friend's house and asked them to look after it,
which they may not mind. Except that because you're conscientious, you're doing regular backups maybe once a day or once a week.
So every day or every week, you're going over to your friend's house and asking them to stall that desk and give you the old desk back so you can back up a new back up onto that.
They might get a little annoyed after a while.
And the same problem used to arise for small office networks because they don't have facilities for storing these off site backups.
Well, what has come to our rescue is the cloud.
So today there are many options for cloud based backups. So we have providers like Microsoft with one drive and Google Drive and Amazon drive on drop box.
The only thing that this requires is that you have an Internet connection so you can connect to the online provider.
the other thing it requires is this. Typically, the way these types off cloud based backups work is they create a folder on your local computer,
and it's that folder that is being backed up.
So that does require that you have to be a little careful in that
any files that are important should be stored into that folder
so that they are getting automatically backed up.
Some of these service is like Microsoft. One drive not only back up everything to the cloud,
but if you have several computers, they will replicate that folder between all the computers.
So without much effort,
you can have your several copies of backups going on using one Dr.
In that case, I wouldn't even need to plug in any kind of external drive or other story to media. I will just put anything into a one DR file on one computer,
and it would then replicate that duel the other computers where I have one drive installed and it would replicate it to the cloud
So you end up with multiple backups, including one in the cloud.
So the ideal situation is to combine all the backup types.
Firstly, install an external hard disk
and enabled file history in Windows or Time machine in our ***.
Then sign up with a cloud provider. Now remember,
they often offer a free tear, a certain amount of free storage this convey very with, from about five gigabytes
with Microsoft, one dr
to 15 gigabytes free for Google Drive.
beyond that, you can pay a monthly fee to get additional stories a swell,
and if you take those steps you now have multiple copies of your backups. You have the original that's on the internal hard disk in your computer,
you have an on site copy on the attached external desk to which you're backing up
and you have an offside copy in the cloud,
so you're well protected against many kinds of disasters.
So in this module we looked at the importance of doing backups.
We looked at the fact that you can schedule backups and you can configure the frequency of backups on the frequency should be based on your estimation of how frequently files are actually changing.
If they changing daily, then do daily backups if they changing hourly, do hourly backups and so on.
We talked about storage mediums so we can back up to external drives and disks so we could back up to, for example, recordable CDs and DVDs.
You can back up to the cloud Once you sign up with a cloud provider,
you can back up onto network shared folders and remember programs like file history.
They allow you to back up to an external, directly attached disc or to a shared folder on the network,
and we talked about the importance off
verifying the backup.
Usually, that just involves checking an option within the backup program so that every time it does a backup, it verifies it
and with the importance off regular testing. So you're familiar with the restore process and so that you know that it's actually working.
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