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Backup: Media Sets

To be able to go back and recover data deleted some time ago (maybe days, maybe weeks),
you need to organize the backup-media (like tapes) in backup sets:

The principle is similar: one set of media for the daily backup, a second set for a larger
time span and maybe a third set for a very large time span :


Example 1: Monthly rotation on 2 sets ("Father - Son" method)

2 sets of backup media:

Set #1 (Blue): 31 media , labeled "Day 1" to Day 31", used every day on Monday to Friday
except on the first workday of a month, when a
media of the set#2 is used.
reused after 1 month (if a day is on a weekend or holiday, then that media is
skipped)
Set #2 (Red): typically 12 media, labeled "Jan", "Feb",...."Dec".
Used on the first workday of a month ( instead of the
media of the set#1 )



Example 2: Weekly rotation on 3 sets ("Grandfather - Father - Son" method)

3 sets of backup media:

Set #1 (Blue) 4 media, labeled "Monday", Tuesday","Wednesday", Thursday"
reused after 1 week
Set #2 (Red) 4 media, labeled "week 2","week 3","week 3","week 4", used on each Friday
(except on first Friday of a month, when
media of set#3 is used )
reused after 1 month
Set #3 (Green) typically 12 media, labeled "Jan", "Feb",...."Dec".
Used on the first Friday of a month ( instead of the
media of the set#2 )


Both above examples allow you to go back for 12 months to retrieve data from Backup-tapes.
(and I know some companies, where the media of the Monthly-Set are NEVER reused,
a new media is used each months, allowing them to go back for YEARS ! )


Before you ask the question: "My media has a very high capacity, I could append multiple days
on one media to save some money
"
Don't ! My experience: keep the backup procedure as simple as possible, appending data to
other backups will only cause confusion.
And when using tapes: DON'T ! because appending will require to wind forward the tapes
each time, shortening their life-time much quicker than using one tape per day.

However, you can save some time using different
backup methods.

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