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Database Essentials
Database Administration : Safeguarding your data : Why backups are done

Why backups are done

More and more companies rely on online systems to do very basic portions of their business. If a system is down for any period of time, it affects the ability of these companies to do business. Consequently, it is important to protect your data and applications. Problems can occur for several reasons, including:
*Hardware failure
*Software failure
*Natural disaster
*Human error
*Security breach
The goal of a complete backup strategy is to appear to the outside world as if nothing has happened, or at worst to minimize the amount of time that you are affected by the problem. A secondary, but equally important, goal is to reduce or eliminate data loss in case of a failure.
The best way to increase system resiliency is to prevent failure in the first place, and the best way to do this is to implement redundancy. Including disk mirrors in your system design minimizes the probability of hardware problems that cause system failure. You can also include OpenEdge Replication in your system to maintain an exact copy of your database.
Even with redundancy it is possible to encounter other issues that will cause a system outage. This is the reason to implement a complete backup strategy.
A complete backup strategy considers these factors:
*Who performs the backups
*Which data gets backed up
*Where the backups are stored
*When the backups are scheduled
*How the backups are performed
*How often the current backup strategy is reviewed and tested
A backup strategy must be well-designed, well implemented, and periodically reviewed and, if necessary, changed. Sometimes, the only time a problem is found is when the backup is needed, and by then it is too late. When systems change it is often necessary to modify the backup strategy to account for the change. You should periodically test your backup strategy to ensure that it works prior to a problem that precipitates its need.