Data Management Skillbuilding Hub

Best Practice: Backup your data

BEST PRACTICE

Best Practices by Data Life Cycle




Backup your data

Data Life Cycle stage(s): Preserve

To avoid accidental loss of data you should:

  • Backup your data at regular frequencies
    • When you complete your data collection activity
    • After you make edits to your data
  • Streaming data should be backed up at regularly scheduled points in the collection process
    • High-value data should be backed up daily or more often
    • Automation simplifies frequent backups
  • Backup strategies (e.g., full, incremental, differential, etc…) should be optimized for the data collection process
  • Create, at a minimum, 2 copies of your data
  • Place one copy at an “off-site” and “trusted” location
    • Commercial storage facility
    • Campus file-server
    • Cloud fire-server (e.g., Amazon S3, Carbonite)
  • Use a reliable device when making backups
    • External USB drive (avoid the use of “light-weight” devices e.g., floppy disks, USB stick-drive; avoid network drives that are intermittently accessible)
    • Managed network drive
    • Managed cloud file-server (e.g., Amazon S3, Carbonite)
  • Ensure backup copies are identical to the original copy
    • Perform differential checks
    • Perform “checksum” check
  • Document all procedures to ensure a successful recovery from a backup copy

Description Rationale

To avoid data loss, and to retain information held in earlier versions, it is valuable to back-up your data at frequent intervals and in multiple locations.

Additional Information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backup
http://www.carbonite.com/
http://aws.amazon.com/s3/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incremental_backup

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Cite this best practice:

DataONE Best Practices Working Group, DataONE  (July 01, 2010) "Best Practice: Backup your data". Accessed through the Data Management Skillbuilding Hub at https://dataoneorg.github.io/Education/bestpractices/backup-your-data on Aug 22, 2019


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