Common Data Backup Mistakes and how to avoid them?

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I am a data hoarder and have servers with several Terabytes worth of data, I also manage several servers hosting websites. If I am honest, my backup strategy could be better, but I do take regular backups of important data and often keep multiple compies.

Recently, for less important data, when upgrading my server, something went wrong with the power supplied and burned out 3 hard disks. Most of this was replaceable data including TV and movies which I used with Plex. Some of it was old work achieves which is not replaceable at all. Thankfully none of it was particularly important, it was all data I had no used for years, but it did drive home the importance of backups.

If the data is of an enterprise then the consequences can be catastrophic. In these kinds of situations, you will need the assistance of a data recovery company which can cost you a lot of money. So, to avoid this, you need to avoid some common data backup mistakes. These mistakes are as follows:

Does not Have Backup on Another Physical Site

You need to back up the company’s data regularly. So, in case of any disaster, you can restore it. But what if you have backup only in one place and unable to recover it from there. It is a very common mistake to not have an off-site backup of your data. Having backup on another site will make your data more secure. Some of the companies only have an on-site backup and in disasters like theft or negligence of the employee. They will not be able to recover it because it is missing.

Auditing the Backups

Most of the companies just try to install and configure the backup but there is a problem. The IT team continuously make changes in the data. They add a new folder and new applications to improve the security of the data. In such cases, the old backups do not work well and maybe useless for the company. That is why; it is important to audit the backup periodically to ensure that everything is fine. These kinds of backup mistakes can result in the loss of useful data. To resolve this issue, you need to check the backup at least after three to four months. Moreover, you need to make sure that the software with their license key is also safe. You do not need experts to audit the data backup.


To be clear, RAID is not a backup strategy, but a redundancy solution that provides business continuity when a drive fails. It will minimise the chances of data loss, but it is NOT a backup.

Most of the companies use RAID disks in their system. The reason is that the data can be easily distributed on these disks to ensure the files are safe. The data on RAID disks is saved when one disk is failed. But what you can do when more than one drive fails. RAID 5 can only save the data on a single disk. In a disaster where more than one disk fails, then you will not be able to recover data. This system is not fault-proof, so it is important to avoid this mistake.

Single Backup Approach

Many companies just rely on storing their backup on a single location. It is not safe because, in case of any disaster, there are high chances of data loss. So, we will recommend you to make a backup of your data on multiple locations. You can make one backup on-site and another off-site. Regularly backup your data on both locations. So, in case of any disaster, you can easily restore from an off-site backup. Depending on a single backup approach is not recommended for an organization.

Cloud Backups

Typically, one of the best options to minimize data loss is to combine the physical disk backup with cloud backups, this then allows you to have an easy off site backup. If you are backup up many terabytes of data this may not always be practical but if only small amounts of the data is changed frequently you can use incremental backups allowing you to do one full backup then backup the changes in the future.

Cloud Sync

Another solution that is not a backup, but for small businesses and home users it is a good solution to compliment your backup strategy. Google Drive and Dropbox are popular options. They are not a backup because Google may delete your data at any time, and because it syncs you can sometimes accidentally delete data across devices.

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