Rules to Better Backups

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  1. PC - Do you use the best backup solution?

    ​There are many options for personal and business backup solutions on the market:

    OneDrive

    OneDrive from Microsoft i s a simple and powerful application to do your cloud backup s, for free. It comes default installed in Windows 10.

    Size: 5GB free

    OneDrive for Business (Recommended)

    OneDrive for Business shares its name with OneDrive, but gives a different product. This service is paid but gives you a good return for your investment. OneDrive for Business comes with Office 365, so it is much more suited for business who already have a subscription of the service, or who need to more control over the backups and files. OneDrive for Business uses the SharePoint structure (differently from OneDrive) to give users much more storage space than the normal one.

    Size: 1TB free - If you have an Office 365 business license.
    This option gives the best visibility for SysAdmins.

    Dropbox

    Lots of users use Dropbox because of its easy-to-use interface and amount of storage space. The service is pretty similar to Google Drive and works well in any environment.

    Size: 2GB free

    Google Drive

    Google Drive is Google's solution to cloud backup and storage and works well. You have quite a lot of space for free, and it works even better if you are already using Google's ecosystem of software and services.

    Size: 15GB free

    All services work very well and you can mix and match, and use them all together if you want to.

  2. PC - Do you do organize your hard disk?

    ​Using a standard file structure for storing user data on laptops makes locating the important information fast and performing automated backup operations easy - Use this checklist:

     Domain-joined checklist:

    1. Is your computer domain-joined? ___
    2. The Backup Script
    If your computer is domain-joined, then your backup script should already be working daily at 11 am. 
    Go to \\fileserver.sydney.ssw.com.au\UserBackups\ztBackupScripts\UserLogs.log to see the last time your backup was done. 
    Date last run: __/__/____ 
    Was it last week? ___

    3. The Login Script
    If your computer is domain-joined, the Login Script should have run already when you logged in. Go to your C:\ drive and look for SSWLoginScript.log. Open it and see the last time it was run.
    Date last run: __/__/____ 
    Was it last week? ___
    Did it run automatically when you logged on? ___

    Now go through the non-domain-joined checklist.   

    Non-domain-joined checklist:

    1. Do you use a cloud backup application? ___

    Some good options include OneDrive for Business and Dropbox. You should always keep important files in the cloud for security reasons. Read https://rules.ssw.com.au/pc-do-you-use-the-best-backup-solution
    Which one? _______________________

    2. Do you keep your files in one folder structure? ___

    Ideally, your folder should be named "Data<YourUserName>" and use it to store your files. You can have all subfolders under it.

    Everything in this folder should be safely and securely backed up.

    Create a folder in C: with Data and your username, for example, "C:\DataKaiqueBiancatti":

    sswDataFolderExample.png
    Figure: Location of Data<YourUserName>
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    3. Do you know the size and location of your backup folder? ___

    You should always stick with the C:\DataUsername location for your backups, and always keep it there. Also, do not forget that cloud services have limited storage space, so always check the size of your backup folder is not exceeding the amount of storage space you have. 
    Size: _____
    Location: __________________________________________

    4. Do you do your backups periodically and automatically? ___
    The beauty of using cloud backup solutions is the ability of it synchronizing your files automatically, keeping them safe for you, even if you forget about it. Check if your chosen application is backing up the "C:\DataYourUsername" automatically, by clicking on the icon on the tray:

    ​​OneDrive.jpg
    Figure: Backup is being done automatically


    5. Do you keep your desktop clean? ___
    You should always aim to have a clean desktop, without temporary files or shortcuts. 


    6. Do you keep your Outlook PST/OST separated from your cloud backups? ___

    Outlook mailboxes tend to get huge in size pretty quickly, and your emails are already being backed up by your Exchange Server, so there is no need to back these files up. PST files (Outlook 2013 and earlier) contain all your mailbox messages and OST files (Outlook 2016 and newer) contain all your messages to be used offline.

    Create a folder in C: named "DataExchange"  for storing the MS Outlook file, not in the same place as your "Data" folder.
    Size: _____
    Location: __________________________________________

    ssw22.png
    Figure: Location of DataExchange

    Extra tips for organizing your hard drive:

    • Create a temporary folder for temporary files, like "C:\temp". It makes it easier to see.
    • Keep a clean desktop, delete anything that is not necessary from there and does not save things there by default. Having a messy desktop just makes everything confusing.
  3. Do you know the right notification for backups?

    ​You need to log a record on success so you can check for backups that have failed.
    backup_notification_bad.jpg
    Figure: Bad example - an email is sent on completion
    backup_notification_good.jpg
    Figure: Good example - a record is logged on completion

    ​​​Now you are able to be aware of missing backups. You can make automatically notification based on above table e.g. by SQL Reporting Services data-driven subscription

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