Data Backup Basics

Credits Daniel O'Clunaigh, Ali Ravi, Samir Nassar, Carol Waters Last Updated 2016-03

This fundamental level module addresses basic practices for users, at both individual and organizational levels, for successful and safe backup of important information. Similarly, to help participants better visualize their personal "information map", this module also emphasizes the importance for users of understanding the what (type or format) and the where (storage location) of such valuable or sensitive data.

Learning Goals for Participants

  • Become more aware of the possibility of data loss, and how it can potentially happen.
  • Understand the importance of data backup and how it is best accomplished.
  • Learn how to create data backup policies, either individually or at organizational levels.
  • Learn how to establish a schedule of regular data backups.

Important Notes

If there is not enough time in a training to conduct all steps of this module, trainers might consider excluding explanation of backup policies for all participants. Be aware, however, that the trade-off is a reduction in addressing participants’ processes for considering and planning such policies as a practice to commit to and adjust post-training.

In discussions of data backup, creation of organizational policies and troubleshooting current problems with backup solutions may naturally arise. Be realistic with how much time you have to help users troubleshoot their issues and establish robust backup solutions. Likewise, be realistic in timing and planning for the creation of organizational-level policies if training participants come from different organizations, and/or if the event was not originally framed in an organizational context.

Discussion of various cloud services and “which one is best” is another topic of conversation that is likely to arise, which can potentially be difficult to navigate. Be aware of what the current service offerings are for cloud-based backup at the time of an event, and be prepared to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of any that you may suggest.