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Tips on How to Best Manage Backups with Long Retention Periods

In the past, we’ve covered deciding what to backup and how you can customize your retention. With Jungle Disk, the default retention period is 60 days for both the Backup Vault and the Network Drive. For some businesses, however, 60 days or even 365 days is not enough. Some businesses require retention for years.

Setting Up Retention

Increasing your retention can easily be done through the Jungle Disk software. But, what if you are backing up thousands of files a day? Even with the incremental backups that take place after the initial backup, many small incremental changes over many years can result in a large disk, which typically results in a large backup database and longer backups and restores. This will impact you even if it’s just one file that needs to be restored, since the entire backup database needs to be downloaded and verified.

To give an idea of what this might look like in practice, let’s say you have a backup of 75,000 files, and for business purposes your retention must be five years, so 1,825 days. Your backup runs daily and you have files changing every day. Even if these are small changes, each of those changes will be kept for 1,825 days before being purged. Over time, this adds up and the disk will likely become bloated.

How Do You Manage Backups with Long Retention Periods?

There are two ways to manage backups that require a long retention period, and either is fine depending on what is easier for you to configure and manage.

The first option is to break up the backup onto different disks from the outset. Disks can be created at no cost. You can break up the backup by placing one subset of folders on one disk and the rest on another. You’ll just want to stagger the backup start time by a couple of hours to allow each backup to run separately. You’ll also want to enable the option in the software to allow the backup to run as soon as possible if a backup time is missed.

The second option is to backup entirely to one disk as you normally would. After a year or so, you will create a new disk and recreate the backup on the new disk. You can even export and import the same backup job to the new disk. With theses disks, you can include the year in the disk name or some other identifier so it’s easy to determine what the disk contains. Once you are done with a disk, you can disconnect from it and keep it as an archival disk and then you can delete it as needed.

Ultimately, both steps do require more planning to implement, but ultimately this will be worth the time for data management and will also help with the restores when they are needed.

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