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Commandment 3: Properly Label Backups

Technology professionals don’t stay in one role forever. Network administrators move up the corporate ladder and become IT managers, while IT managers move into C-level or other roles. IT professionals leave the organization, while others retire. Turnover is even more routine among consultants.

When creating both backup routines and backup filenames, provide labels that describe the data being backed up. I’ve seen too many backup routines titled "DataBackup" and backup files named "Backup.bkf." Backup routines and files you create today may still be in use three years from now, so be sure to provide descriptive labels for both the backup routine itself and the file the backup routine creates.

For example, "PatientAccountBackup" is a much better descriptor for a backup routine scheduled for a doctor’s office than just "DataBackup," especially when the same doctor’s office might include a separate "XrayImagesBackup" routine for collecting and compressing x-ray images. Given the responsibility of restoring patient payment data, it’s much more efficient to restore just the patient account information than also having to restore gigabytes of unassociated x-ray images, as might happen if only one hard disk of two in a physician’s server were to fail.

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