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How do backups work?

Ever wondered how do backups work? Find out more about the workflow for a successful backup and disaster recovery strategy.


We recommend an industry standard Grandfather-Father-Son (GFS) approach to backups if there are
no other pre-existing requirements. There are some variations to this approach depending on the
requirements but typically this follows:

• Long Term Backup - Stored either On-Premise or in the Cloud (Grandfather)
• Short Term On-Premise Backup (Father)
• Regular On-Premise Incremental Backup (Son)

All of these backups can be stored on-premise, in the cloud, or both depending on the requirements.


On-premise backups require less resources as all of the data is transferred locally. Backups can be run continuously, depending on the hardware resources available and also, depending on the importance and change rate of the data. However, for most businesses anywhere between 1 and 4 times a day is fairly standard. Different data can be backed up to different schedules where required.

Cloud backups require internet bandwidth and depending on the bandwidth available this may take longer to upload to the cloud. Typically these are run less often than the on-premise backups as these are purely for disaster recovery purposes.

Retention Point Objective (RPO)

On-premise backups can be stored for as long as is required. The retention periods (RPO) can be different for different types of data. The only limitation of storing on-premise backups is how much storage you have available. This can also help with compliance in regulated industries.

Cloud backups are typically for disaster recovery purposes only so generally these are your most recent backups, for example, the past 7 days. However, you can also store single point in time, long term backups in the Cloud to separate these out from your on-premise infrastructure, for example one backup a month for the last 12 months.

Restoration Time Objective (RTO)

Day to day file/folder restores are typically retrieved from the on-premise backups as this is the quickest method of recovery with no impact to internet bandwidth. Depending on the size of the data being retrieved this can be anything from a few minutes to a few hours. In reality most day to day file/folder restores are fairly instantaneous. Also, depending on your frequency and RPO you will have multiple points in time to pick from in the event that a file has suffered corruption or been deleted, or, if you need to go back to a much earlier version.

When looking at a total loss of all data, including on-premise backups, you will be reliant on your cloud backups to restore from. At this point we would work with you to invoke your disaster recovery plan.

Disaster Recovery

IT3000 will work with you to develop a disaster recovery plan if you do not have one in place already. We can provide cloud computing resource where required in the event of a disaster to get you back up and running as soon as possible. We can provide loan hardware or procure hardware (typically next day) to get your on-premise environment up and running in the event of a total hardware loss. 

In the event of complete data loss, for example, a ransomware attack, the on-premise hardware would be restored using your cloud backups. Depending on the available internet bandwidth and data size to be restored we would work with you to prioritise the data restore to get key business systems up and running as soon as possible. As all of the cloud backups are controlled and stored by IT3000 you can be assured that we can get physical, hands on access to your data whenever required.

Data Interrogation

Backup data is not just for recovering in the event of lost data. It can also be used as a data interrogation tool. For example, creating a report on a set of data that would otherwise take up too much resource on the live system. IT3000 can work with you to provide an environment to achieve this.


We have partnered with Veeam®, a centralised data protection platform for physical, virtual and multicloud workloads. Veeam® can backup all of your data, whether it is stored physically, virtually or on a cloud based subscription (such as Microsoft 365).

Backup Locations

On Premise Backup
Allows you to run backups multiple times per day without impacting on internet bandwidth. It also allows for quicker restore times for situations such as lost files.
Cloud Backup*
Provides a disaster recovery solution which allows for full restoration in the event of total loss, for example if the unfortunate event of a fire occurs.
Hybrid Backup*
Having a hybrid backup solution gives you the benefits of both on premise and cloud. Providing you with peace of mind that whatever the situation, your data is protected and easily restored.

Is your backup working for you?

Now you've answered the question, how do backups work. its time to ask if your backup is working for you!
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IT3000 Limited

At IT3000 we are an ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 accredited Midlands and South West based IT support/ managed services provider who specialise in providing IT support and services to organisations nationwide. Our extensive help desk team, as well as offices in Leicestershire and Dorset allow us to work with a wide variety of companies across the UK.
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IT3000 Limited, The Barn, Bridge Farm, Holt Lane, Ashby Magna, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17 5NJ
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