This weekend and the past I spent organizing my backups and making sure to have a sound disaster recovery plan in place. Giving the importance of those things, I decided to write a post on the topic, to remind everyone else as well.
Truth be told the urge to get my backups in order came after reading a post from my friend Michael Gray. The post was titled How I Handle Backups and Disaster Recovery, and I recommend that you read that if you want some ideas about how to protect your data (especially if you want to use cloud computing for that).
Now here is my disaster recovery plan. The only two things that I care for are my websites and my work computer. I also have a laptop, but given that it does not contain any sensitive data and it is usually not connected to the web, I don’t worry about it.
For my websites I just finished implementing a 3-layer backup routine. The first layer is my hosting company, which backs up all my sites (including site files and databases) hourly. The second layer is a separate server (on a second physical location) that stores weekly backups from all the sites as well. The third layer is my own computer, where I keep monthly backups of all the sites. The first two layers are automated, while the third one is manual.
It is important to make sure that at least one copy of your backups is stored in a separate location from your server. Preferably in a different geographic region. Otherwise you could be vulnerable to natural disasters like an earth quake. The odds are quite small, but better safe than sorry.
For my work computer I am not as strict. Currently I am just performing one monthly backup. In the coming weeks I will try to buy an external hard disk and synchronize it to perform automated weekly backups.
What about you, do you have a disaster recovery plan? How do you manage your backups and sensitive data?