It is absolutely essential that all EduAdmin data is backed up regularly. In our experience, daily backups are required. Anything from power failures to lightning strikes to user error to faulty networks can result in loss of data. This loss of data can subsequently result in loss of productivity and frustration for users, staff and parents.

There are several different methods of creating backups. No matter which method is used, the following should be considered:

  • Full backups should be performed daily. Management should consider this as non-negotiable.
  • All EduAdmin data should be backed-up. Avoid using the Cumulative or Incremental backup regimes which some backup programs provide.
  • Check that the data is in fact being backed up correctly -- it is not advisable to simply assume that the backups are working. It is too late when the time comes to restore from a backup to discover that the backup tape was full or that the backup program had crashed.
  • Remember to synchronize files restored from a backup with the version of EduAdmin you are running. This involves running System into the data folder after the files have been restored.
  • Backups should always be clearly labelled and dated.
  • Avoid making "ad-hoc" backups directly onto Windows Desktops or elsewhere on the network. If you need to restore files from a backup, you need to be sure that you have the latest version of the files. This becomes difficult to trace when there are multiple backups scattered around the network.
  • Avoid making backups into any of the EduAdmin folders on the Server or on the Workstations. This creates confusion and could lead to current data being inadvertently overwritten.
  • Ensure that backups are made to removable media which can be taken off site. Many schools use tape backups and have a 5-day tape rotation, with at least one tape always taken off-site. Backups stored on the Server itself or in the room where the Server is located may be stolen during a robbery or may be burnt during a fire. A backup stored off-site will mean less down-time.
  • Schedule backups at a time when users will not be using EduAdmin. Many backup programs require that data files be closed before they can be backed up.

We strongly encourage management to ensure that a reliable, secure and effective backup regime is in place. Backup media range from tape backups, ZIP drives and CD Writers to removable flash memory sticks and removable hard drives.

Management way also want to consider what approach to take regarding printed data. In a worst-case scenario when data had been lost and backups were not made, schools may have to "resort" to hard-copy printouts of data. If these are being kept, it is essential that all hard-copy printout be very clearly labelled and filed to avoid confusion when this data needs to be accessed. It may be worth considering storing hard-copy printed data off-site as well.