The Ultimate Backup Guide

Best practices, from the desktop to the data center

It's probably quite easy for you to imagine a scene where a piece of your backup scheme malfunctions, zapped by a systems failure, human error or natural disaster, and some of your company's data is lost. You've likely run that possibility through your head a few times, maybe a few dozen times. And maybe it's happened a few times, too. It's that possibility, and fear, that motivates you to be diligent about your backup and restore procedures, keep management aware of the costs of protecting data and warn users of the dangers of inattention. It's a daily challenge.

Happily, most IT executives we polled are comfortable with their data backup strategies; 91% said they are flawless or experience only occasional hiccups. Yet there are gaps, and, according to experts, plenty of mistakes are made.

Nearly one-third of respondents to our survey said their company's backup procedures aren't documented, and a majority said less than half their IT staffs are well versed in the department's backup procedures. And a few readers reminded us that even with careful planning, plenty of things can go wrong. Mother Nature and inept technicians can demolish data in a split second.

It's your most critical information. It's your business. So we've put together a guide to backing up data in six key areas of your IT infrastructure. We've included the tried-and-true techniques and the latest technologies for backup. We hope you'll read this guide, save it and refer to it in the future. And like your stored data, this guide will be there again and again, whenever you need it.


Ellen Fanning is special projects editor at Computerworld. She can be contacted at

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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