ComTech: IT Support Stirling

Is there such a thing as backing up your files incorrectly?

ComTech: IT Support Stirling

I went out to see a new client last week.  They had a network of 5 Windows 7 laptops networked up to a central Windows 7 file server so nothing fancy.  The owner was very IT literate and knew his way around a PC but asked me in for a second opinion on what was the best way to backup all their files.  No problem.

Their current backup strategy is as follows.  Every user has their own copy of their files on their laptops which don’t change that often.  The laptops are scheduled to back up the users files and emails to the server everyday but not all of the employees work from the office everyday.  If the laptops miss a scheduled backup they will catch up next time.  As the user files don’t change that often this didn’t seam a big problem.  The server backs up to an external hard drive once a week and is then taken off site by the owner.

After carefully looking at the clients requirements I made the following recommendations.

Instead of bringing in the external hard drive once a week and plugging it in to the server to do a backup switch to a cloud based solution.  The cloud based solution would remove the human element from the strategy so no server backups could be missed.

On the laptop side I recommended that the strategy they already had in place was sufficient due to the fact that the user files don’t change that much.

The client was totally surprised by my recommendations.  It turns out that I was the third IT guy they had spoken to.  The first had told them they needed to put everything on the server and then use a VPN to access the files.  The second said they needed to get rid of the server completely and go down the cloud route as “everyone else is doing it” which I thought was a load of trash.

The client didn’t understand how three IT guys could all have such different views on backing up data.  I tried to explain that different people have different views on the best way to  perform backups. Some will go down the cloud route while others such as myself tend to use a combination of both onsite and offsite backups (ie onsite server and cloud based backups).  I did however point out to him that whichever backup strategy he decides to go with he also needs a strategy to check that his backups actually work!!

He is still considering his options as we speak but do you think there is such a thing as backing up your files incorrectly?

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter


2 thoughts on “Is there such a thing as backing up your files incorrectly?

  1. I don’t think there is an incorrect way to backup, as long as:
    – users know which folders are backed up, and how often they are backed up.
    – the backup is monitored
    – the restoration process is tested regularly – as you mentioned
    – you are able to retrieve quickly the “business critical” data (without having to wait for a full restoration)

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