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Backing Up CV11

The safest and easiest way to back up CV11 is to simply copy the contents of the CV11 folder to another location when none of the files are in use. First, have all of your users shut down their CV11 on their workstations. Next, if you are running a Web Host or a Scheduler or any other versions of CV11 on the server itself, close them too. Then, close the RDS by clicking the "X" in the top right of the RDS on your server.

warning.gif WARNING: When you shut down the RDS, it has to commit the recent work to the database files. On occasion, this can take a minute or two. If Windows thinks it's taking too long, it may display a dialog as illustrated in the image below. To avoid data loss, it is vital that you allow the RDS to close at its own pace. If you are presented with this option, select " Cancel" and the RDS will close when it can do so cleanly.

Slow RDS Shut Down Dialog

Once the RDS has shutdown cleanly, it is safe to copy the entire contents of the CV11 folder to your backup media. The only files that can be left out safely, to reduce the size of your backup, are the files contained in the CV11\syslog folder.

When deciding what backup media to use (CD, DVD, Tape, External drive, Network Backup, etc.), how often to back up, and how long to keep the backups before overwriting, please consider the following points.

When selecting the media, the best option is the one that you are most familiar with, and the most confident that you will be able to use reliably. Some folks are most familiar with DVD burning, and some with using tape drives. As long as the data fits and you test your backup procedure to ensure it's working, then any media is fine. Also, be sure that whatever media you select, you keep periodic copies of it offsite. This way, physical damage to your office such as a storm, earthquake, or fire, will not leave you stranded without a recent copy of your valuable information. Consider multiple parallel backups. For example, have your tape backups as your primary method, but do periodic local backups to an extra hard drive on another computer in your office.

When scheduling the frequency, ask yourself, "How much work can I afford to lose?" Ideally, a backup should be done every night. Then, if you needed to restore from your last backup, you'd never be losing more than a day's worth of work.

When planning how long to keep your backups, consider the possibility of data loss or corruption, and how long it can take to identify it. In some instances, sites have had an incident which damaged their database and then recognized the fact days, or even weeks later. If you keep a good history of backups, recovering from such an incident can be a smoother process. With this in mind, be sure your backups do not get overwritten each time you do the next, as then you would only ever have yesterday's database available for disaster recovery.

Good Backup Strategy

One working example of a good backup strategy is as follows:

At Comtech, we have 24 backup tapes. There is one tape for each of Monday to Thursday, and then 20 Friday tapes. All are used in rotation and kept in a safe offsite. That way, if we want a copy of the data, as it existed any day in the past week, we have it. If we want it from more than a week ago, we have a copy of it from each of the last 20 Fridays. As a secondary strategy, we copy the files, nightly to a second hard drive. This means that yesterday's data is a click away, and the last four months are easily accessible.

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Backing up your precious data can be a relatively simple process as described above. Whatever strategy you put in place, please be sure to test it periodically.

A good backup can mean the difference between a successful disaster recovery and having to close your business.

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See Also

- Backup Database Topics

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