backup strategy

Definition of backup strategy in The Network Encyclopedia.

What is a Backup Strategy (in computer networking)?

A plan for performing backups to ensure against data loss. Backup strategies should take the following into account:

  • The various backup types that can be performed
  • The need to archive tapes for long-term data security
  • The time needed to perform backups and restores
  • The cost of tapes
  • The cost of losing data

There is no one right way to implement a backup strategy for resources on a network of computers. To select the best backup strategy for your network, you must consider each of the items in the preceding list and balance them against each other. Your strategy should be simple, efficient, and reliable. The following table shows some examples of backup strategies.

Possible Backup Strategies
Backup Strategy Advantages Disadvantages
Normal backups Monday through Friday.
Most secure - every tape contains all backed up files
Longest time to back up
Normal backup Monday; differential backups Tuesday through Friday.
Less time to restore
More time to back up
Normal backup Monday; incremental backups Tuesday through Friday.
Less time to back up
More time to restore
Use a separate tape for each weekday, and archive Monday's full backup tape weekly or monthly.
Less chance of data loss
Higher cost, since more tapes are needed
Use the same tape for each weekday, and archive the tape each week or month.
Cheaper-only one tape required per week or month
Greater chance of data loss, since using only one tape