Configuring Backups - How do you know what to Backup?

Most people know that having backups for your data is critical for any organization, and even for individuals, but how do you know what to backup? Believe it or not, the Jungle Disk support team gets that question every now and then, and the answer is not as simple as you may think.

Some files are obvious to backup. For example, most users will know if they need to backup files on their desktop, in their documents folder or in their pictures folder. However, sometimes we get requests from customers to backup the entire computer or they say they need a bare-metal backup of the computer. Often times, this isn’t needed. What we recommend backing up are user-created files, things that won’t come pre-loaded on a new machine or with a program reinstall. This will make it easier to decide what you need to backup, since you typically won’t need to go deep into Program Files or system files to review what to backup.

Other times, users will use proprietary programs that automatically save files in locations that the user is not aware of so when it comes time to backup the files, they aren’t able to confirm where those files are stored. One way to determine where these files are saved is to open it in the program itself as your normally would. Once open, click the File menu click “Save As.” This will usually show the original location of the file including the full file path. From there, you can add that path to “What to Backup.”

Occasionally, a user will connect to a network share or server remotely to access files and sometimes that doesn’t appear under “What to Backup” depending on how it is connected. First, if you have an IT person in charge of setting up or maintaining those files, you’ll want to verify that they are not already being backed up, otherwise, you may end up storing duplicate data. That is not necessarily a bad thing since having more than one backup is ideal, but you want to be aware of what backups are already in place. If you do need to back it up, but can’t seem to find it under the “What to Backup” screen, you may need to take the steps outlined here to add those files.

Those are just a few scenarios that the customer support team comes across, however, your situation may be different. Feel free to reach out if we can help assist you in setting up your backups.

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