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How to organize backup projects

Having decided which of your files you will protect, you should think how to group the files to backup projects.

The simplest way is to have only one project for all the files. However, this manner has a number of defects. The key is that you'll want to have different protection scheme for different groups of files.

Let's consider the factors that affect grouping the files to be backed up to projects:

  • Importance of the file. The more valuable the file is the more frequently you'll want to back it up and the more backup versions and copies of the backup versions you'll want to keep.
  • Frequency of the file modifications. The more frequently the file changes the more frequently you'll want to back it up.
  • Quantity of changes in the file. Even if the file is modified rarely, you need to protect it heavily in the case the quantity of these rare changes is large.
  • Possibility to save the previous states of the file. For some of the files you'll keep a backup of only the most recently modified version. Other files may require storing all previous modifications as well.

There are some limitations of the ABE that can affect grouping:

  • The current ABE version can produce backup of size 2Gb or less. If you expect that the compressed size of the project's files may exceed this limit, separate the project to two or more projects. We're working on loosing from this limitation.
  • As the ABE produces zip-format backups, all the project's included files should be on a single disk. Zip files can't store drive info. So if you ignore this limitation and back up together the files which are originally on other drives, you'll have a problem when restoring the files. The ABE (and any zip utility as well) will extract all the files into one folder, and you'll have to find which of the extracted files belongs to which of the source drives.

Here is our recommendation regarding projects:

  • Do not try to back up all your files together. Don't back up garbage. Group your files to projects.
  • Try to place into a single project all the files belonging to a job. If you want to back up a database, include all the database to the project. If you want to backup a program source code, include all dependent files as well.
  • Do not mix different jobs in one project. Don't include your program source code to the backup-project of your database.

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