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Top Tips for Better Backup

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title: Top Tips for Better Backup created_at: 2014.09.02 updated_at: 2015.07.16 category: White Papers platforms: Windows, Mac ---

  1. Always back up to multiple backup sets for maximum safety.
    This way you can have a backup stored on-site for quick access, and off-site to protect against fire, theft or other site-based disasters.

  2. Schedule your backups to run at night whenever possible.
    This will reduce the chance of open files causing errors in your backup.

  3. Save time on your nightly backups by scheduling your media verifications for a time outside of your typical backup Window.
    Retrospect runs a basic check as it backs up your files, so you can safely schedule the more thorough media verification to run during the day.

  4. You do not need a different script for each backup set — a single script will allow you to back up to an unlimited number of destinations.
    To simplify your media rotation, you can set up a script to schedule each destination for use on specific days; for example, you can have a Monday backup set that is only used on Mondays, Tuesday only being used on Tuesday, etc.

  5. The Snapshot Transfer feature is a quick and easy way to transfer backup files to media to be moved offsite.
    Performing a Snapshot Transfer copies your most recent backup to a media of your choice for removal off-site. What’s more, just like backups, Snapshot Transfers can be automated to run on a schedule convenient to you. For example, you may choose to run scheduled backups every day, and once a week you can perform a Snapshot Transfer to an external drive that will be then moved to offsite storage.

  6. Use Retrospect’s data Encryption feature for the added security of your backup files.
    It is best to encrypt any backup media that you plan to take offsite for storage; that way, if that media is lost or stolen, you do not need to worry about someone gaining access to your data.

  7. Retrospect includes powerful options to filter out specific file types from your backup.
    This filter allows you to opt out of backing up needless cache files, or any other files that you feel are unnecessary to include in a backup.

  8. You can manage Retrospect remotely using the iPhone/iPad app.
    Retrospect for iOS allows you to manage multiple Mac and Windows backup servers. Connect over Wi-Fi or cellular to keep tabs on all aspects of your Retrospect installation.

  9. Retrospect for Windows includes an option to check your selectors to make sure they back up what you expect to back up — use it to make sure nothing is accidentally excluded from your backup.
    The option is found under Configure>Selectors. Click the checkmark icon after you edit the selector.

  10. Retrospect includes a software compression option that can be used to save space on backup media.
    Edit your backup script and click “options” to turn on this setting. The operations log will show you how much space you saved during each backup.

  11. When it is time to upgrade to a new version of Retrospect, you will need your current license codes — this information can be accessed from within the software.
    On Windows, go to Configure>Licenses; on Mac, go to Preferences > Licenses.

  12. You can view what was backed up in your most recent session by going to Reports>Session Contents on Windows or Past Backups on Mac.
    This will allow you to see what changed recently and needed to be copied in that most recent backup session.

  13. Proactive Backup is a great way to back up computers that come and go from your network.
    Proactive backup searches out new computers or computers that recently entered the network, and will typically find a client within 5 minutes of connecting to the network and initiate a backup.

  14. The Open File Backup add-on for Windows allows Retrospect to back up your open data files including the Outlook .pst file.
    The Open File Backup add-on gives you the greatest level of protection for critical files that are often left open for extended periods of time.

  15. For the best backup performance, we recommend that all of your catalog files be saved to a local hard disk, instead of saving the catalogs on a network share or on your actual backup media.
    The default location for your catalog files is a catalogs folder inside My Documents on Windows or /library/application support/Retrospect/catalogs on the Macintosh.

  16. Use the email notification feature in Retrospect to track when your backup is completed successfully or if an error needs your attention.
    It is located in Preferences.

  17. If backing up to tape, don't forget to clean your tape heads on a regular basis.
    If you use the tape drive every day, perform a head cleaning once a week.

  18. Keep your offsite backup in a temperature and humidity controlled environment.
    Many people keep their offsite backups in the trunk of their cars; while convenient, this is one of the worst places to store backup media. Wide temperature shifts and humidity can damage the media, potentially making your valuable data files un-restorable.

  19. Test your restores.
    Even if you back up every day without a single error, it is important to test the restore of a handful of random files on a regular bases. This way you will be familiar with the restore process and a restore during an emergency will not be as stressful. Knowing that the data is back up is only part of your job. Knowing the backup can be restored is just as important.

  20. The Retrospect Client software should be installed on each Mac or Windows computer that you need to back up.
    While Retrospect supports the backup of data over filesharing, the Retrospect client is designed to connect to your computer without file sharing being involved, making your backups faster and more reliable.

  21. Always have 2 copies of your backup.
    If you Recycle Media Set A, you should have a copy of the data on Media Set B. This way you are protected until you complete the next backup onto the recently recycled media set.

  22. You can view a list of your pending backup schedules all in one window by going to “Activity Monitor > Scheduled” on Windows or “Activities > Scheduled” on a Mac.
    Retrospect will show you the type of backup operation for each scheduled event and the name of the backup set that will be used.

Last Update: July 16, 2015