Best practices for file backup agents

The advice provided here is for basic/entry level environments. For larger/more complex data sets, we recommend you contact us to discuss a tailored backup solution built from the ground-up to handle your storage and retention requirements.

Item Recommendation
OS volume The file backup agents are file data backup tools and are not designed to backup the operating system. Only capture data files. For operating system backup, contact CyberSecure for a solution designed to backup the entire OS.
Don’t backup the root of volume or drive letter, eg selecting the top-level C:\ or D:\ This will include hidden and system files that are stored in the root of a volume. Any files saved to this location in future will be added to the backup. Best to backup the specific folders you need
Structured databases SQL or Exchange databases are structured data and require their own backup set. Use a separate specific backup set type to capture these. Exclude them from the file backup set to avoid duplicating data.
Number of files in backup set For performance and reliability keep the number of files in each backup set ideally below 500,000 (and definitely below 1 million).

If the restore process is interrupted it cannot resume, so having a larger backup set means a slower restore time if the transfer needs to resume.

Restores cannot happen in parallel within the same backup set, so again it’s critical that each backup set is kept as small and agile as possible, with a restoration in mind.

Large files
  1. Put very large files into their own backup set (eg. PST files)
  2. Schedule sets with large files to run weekly
  3. Enable delta merging and set the “upload full file after number of previous deltas” to “Unlimited”
  4. Do not enable an advanced retention policy, this will turn off delta merging and cause major issues with quota sizes
Backup set organisation Design the backup sets with restoration in mind: split data logically up into priorities, eg: for smaller sets: “Data (current)”, “Data (archive)”
For larger sets, split by department, eg: “Accounts (current)”, “Accounts (archive)”.If data is really disorganized then local changes may be required first.

We cannot stress enough how important it is to keep the backup sets as small as possible and organised with restoration in mind.

Delta merging In general, leave delta merging switched off