Once you have gathered all the information about what needs to be backed up and the resources you will need for doing so, the following procedure can help in developing the backup plan itself:

  • Specify an ideal backup schedule without considering any of the constraints of your actual situation. List what data you would like backed up, how often it needs to be backed up and what subdivisions of the total amount make sense.
  • Compare that ideal schedule to what is actually possible in your environment. Be sure to consider when the data is available to be backed up, typically after normal working hours. Also consider how many tape drives (or other backup devices) are available to perform backups at those times and their maximum capacities and transfer rates.
  • Make modifications to the plan to take into account the constraints of your environment. For example, add additional backup hardware, decrease the amount of data to be backed up or the backup frequency or increase the amount of time available for backups by doing them on the weekends or in increments during the early evening hours.
  • Test and refine the backup plan. Trying it out frequently reveals factors your on-paper planning has failed to consider.
  • Review the backup plan on a periodic basis to determine if it is still the best solution to your backup needs.

    From "Essential Windows NT System Administration" by Aeleen Frisch

    O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.

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