Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Length of the backup cycle - for how long should backups be stored?
Posted by Sakari Heinonen (M-Files) on 25 April 2018 06:42 PM

In many - if not most - cases, when a disaster happens, it happens suddenly and unexpectedly, like a hard drive failure. Or someone might accidentally delete something that is not supposed to be deleted. However, there is a far less common, but very disastrous, type of data loss which may develop and stay unseen for a long time - slow data corruption occurring over long time. It may remain undetected until someone references that data. At this time it could have been weeks, even months since the actual corruption has happened. The situation is even worse if this corruption happens constantly due to faulty memory or some other component causing unintended, but rare changes in the data. At this point the Vault may be so badly damaged that recovery is no longer possible. Then the focus should be more on recovering the most critical data.

In the case above, if the backup cycle is too short - old backups are overwritten too soon - there is no "good backup" to go back to. This risk can be mitigated by introducing a backup cycle in which certain backups are stored for extended time period. For example, if your backup cycle contains full backup every week and incremental backups daily, you might want to save the first backup of every month for a long time - for a year or even several years. Then there is more likely to be a backup to go back and the amount of data which needs to be recovered from the broken vault is limited, should this kind of long term corruption have occurred.

Please also review our backup policy at our knowledgebase:

Last edited: April 25th, 2018

M-Files Customer Support Team,

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