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Data Backup Strategies

As part of a data backup plan, you should consider the following:

  1. Which files to backup
  2. How often to backup
  3. What kind of backups to run
  4. What kind of media on which to store the backups
  5. Where to store the backup data for safekeeping

Which files to back up

In general, you should back up any work or data that can't be replaced easily. Some examples are word processing documents, databases for financial data, customer data, and personal files such as pictures, music files, emails, etc.

How often to backup

The frequency to run the backups depends on how often the data changes. Businesses where data changes frequently may run daily or hourly backups. If your data only changes every few days, you might not need to run backups as often. The WinZip® Job Wizard in WinZip Pro allows you to schedule your backups to run at a specified time automatically so that you don't have to remember to run it manually.

What kind of backups to run

You can run the following kinds of backups: Full Data Backup, Incremental, or Differential. In WinZip's Job Wizard, in addition to Full Data, Incremental, and Differential backups, you also have the option to run a Normal backup and an Update backup. For a more complete description of the different job types, please view the topic Choose Job Types in the Job Wizard help.

Things to keep in mind:

  • You should create new backup archives or rotate through multiple archives whenever you run the backup instead of continually overwriting or updating only one file. The reason is that in case the backup process goes wrong or the file becomes corrupt, you have not overwritten or corrupted a good copy of the archives. See the examples at the end of the article for possible backup strategies.
  • A Full Data Backup will require the most storage space of the different types.
  • An Incremental Backup will only back up the files that have changed since the last Full Backup or Incremental Backup; therefore the storage requirements for these archives are usually the smallest.
  • A Differential Backup will back up all of the files that have changed since the last Full or Incremental Backup; however, because it does not reset the archive attribute of the files, storage requirements for differential backup archives may be greater than for incremental backup archives. For example, if a Full Backup is run on Sunday, and then a Differential Archive is run on Monday, the Monday differential archive will contain any files that have changed from Sunday (after the full backup) to Monday. If another Differential Backup is run on Tuesday, then Tuesday's differential archive will include all of the files that have changed between Sunday and Tuesday. You can see that the differential archive files may grow quite large depending on how often that a full or incremental backup is run and how many files change during that time period.

For more information on data backup strategies, please refer to Data Backup and Restore in the WinZip web site's Frequently Asked Questions.

Related Topics

WinZip Jobs and the Job Wizard

Using the WinZip Job Wizard

Restore Data Backups