Backup Strategy for the Modern Office – Part 1

Backup Strategy

No business likes to think about loss of data or technology resources but it needs to be a major focus in your ongoing IT Plan. Data is valuable and you must have a firm plan in place that lets you know where and how often information is backed up, as well as the time needed to restore. Northern Computer works with clients, developing backup strategy and recovery plans that work. From incremental imaging to full off-site backups, we plan, implement, test and monitor to ensure backups are reliable.

This articles lays the groundwork for a backup strategy, and it the first in a series on protecting your data. Part 2 will cover the difference between data, image and replication. Part 3 will deal with different backup options and pros and cons. Part 4 will include information on developing a disaster recovery plan for data.

File Retention

To properly develop a backup strategy it is important to understand and choose the right file retention, depending on data type and need. Here are the key points in understanding how retention works.

  • Provided a file remains on your computer or network server it is backed up.
  • If you delete or change a file on your computer, you have the length of the retention period to recover the deleted file or an earlier revision of the changed file.
  • For example if you have 14 day retention and you delete or change a file on January 1, you will have until January 15th to recover that deleted file or revision.
  • Several backup jobs can be setup, for example a primary backup job may contain all data and be backed up daily with 28 day retention, a second accounting only backup could be set to backup monthly with a full year of retention.
  • Retention takes up space on the backup medium (cloud or local) and the quicker files change, the more space retention will take. Consider the difference between a document that is edited once a week and an email database that changes drastically every day. Typically retention is set low (7days) on email to avoid high costs of storage. Typically retention is set between 20 -45 days for standard data sets.

Backup Strategy

Over the years Northern Computer has designed hundreds of unique backup and recovery plans. It’s not rocket science but does take a certain strategy to ensure that all the information is safe, secure and recoverable. Depending on budget and how critical your information is, there are varying options to backup up that information.

Here is a simple chart explaining the different options. For most applications we recommend having the first three steps in place.

 Backup Strategy Diagram

3-2-1 Backup Rule

The 3-2-1 backup rule is a good place to start in a backup strategy. The basics are;

  • Have at least three copies of your data.
  • Store the copies on two different media.
  • Keep one backup copy offsite.


Northern Computer uses Veeam Backup and Replication as part of their backup strategy. Read more about the 3-2-1 rule.

 Off-Site Backup Strategy

The best way to ensure you have easily recoverable and secure data backups is with an off-site backup solution. This option moves your critical data set off-site every night providing protection in the event of both data and site issues.

  • Retrieve your files from anywhere via the Internet with a web browser!
  • File retention for changed and deleted files. You choose the retention period.
  • Enjoy peace of mind knowing your critical data files are encrypted and protected offsite.

For more information on off-site backup or developing a backup strategy for your business contact Northern Computer today.