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MIS Systems Thread, How long do you keep Sims back up and how do you do it? in Technical; How do people back up Sims? We have been asked to keep weekly or daily copies of all the databases ...
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    How long do you keep Sims back up and how do you do it?

    How do people back up Sims? We have been asked to keep weekly or daily copies of all the databases and matching program and doc storage folders for a year. we have various theories of moving the .bak files to a NAS but it all gets very big very quickly,
    Do other schools have similar issues and how do you sort it?

    Thanks

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    GREED's Avatar
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    Who has asked you to keep individual daily backups for a year? That seems only so very excessive, given a typical backup is around 3GB+ for some schools, giving you over 1TB of just SIMS backups over a year!

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    GREED's Avatar
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    Most backup solutions (Symantic for example) can tie into the SQL database and backup direct, or like me you can set SQL maintenance plans to backup each day and place a copy of the database in a file location, and backup from there, as well as supporting folders such as doc storage.

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    We backup as part of our standard backup process so will have backups daily for the last week, per week for the last month and then 1 quarterly. The standard SIMS backups we only keep a couple because they are blooming huge as they broke the compress feature and SIMS data changes so constantly that any backup too old is nigh on useless.

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    You can never backup too much. Learnt that the hard way Personally we have now moved to hourly backups of all schools on a weekly rotation.

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    zag
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    Dont forget Sims has major upgrades a coupe of times a year making long term backups redundant.

    We keep it for 3 months here using backupexec direct SQL feature. We also backup the .bak files from upgrades just in case.

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    SIMS backups are actually managed centrally by the LEA but I still take my own. All backups run nightly through Backup Exec with Monday - Thursday obviously being overwritten weekly and Friday 1 to Friday 4 being overwritten every 4 weeks.

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    We were told on a recent ISI inspection that we need to have SIMS backups going back 3 years, which was a bit of a heart-stopper! We now archive a monthly SIMS backup onto a DVD and store it in the safe.

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    I think a monthy backup going back a year (or 3) is sensible, but daily? so 365 different backup files over a year?

    What is the use out of interest of having a backup from 165 days ago, compared to 164 or 163... you couldn't restore information from just that backup, without loosing all subsequent information added to SIMS.

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    maniac's Avatar
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    We pay our LEA 500 a year and they backup SIMS for us via our WAN.

    SIMS is the one system I do my best to have absolutely nothing to do with, and by enlarge I succeed.

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    Might be worth compressing those .bak - maybe Tidy Backups can help

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    Thanks for all the comments, it was seen that we might have to get data back for say a single child up to a year ago if something had got lost somehow. I think the plan was to restore to a secondary system , get the data off and reenter it. And yes the files are huge, ours get to 5 gb a day. Keeping the weeklies for a year has now been seen as acceptable given the amount of date. But you do have to have sims program files and doc storage in sync for this method to be useable. It's not disaster recovery , but individual data files. Do many people do this? I gather ISI is independant school inspection, anyone know if ofsted have any similar timescale?

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    Quote Originally Posted by anne1 View Post
    Thanks for all the comments, it was seen that we might have to get data back for say a single child up to a year ago if something had got lost somehow. I think the plan was to restore to a secondary system , get the data off and reenter it. And yes the files are huge, ours get to 5 gb a day. Keeping the weeklies for a year has now been seen as acceptable given the amount of date. But you do have to have sims program files and doc storage in sync for this method to be useable. It's not disaster recovery , but individual data files. Do many people do this? I gather ISI is independant school inspection, anyone know if ofsted have any similar timescale?
    I think some people miss-understand that SIMS stores all it's old data in-definitely in its live database and you can go back and view it at any point, just search for a student record and change the filter to 'ever on roll' and you'll see all your old student records still there. When you see standards like 'must keep records for 7 years' that doesn't mean you have to keep the backup tape from 7 years ago for that length of time, as all the information is still accessible in the live system (you just need to ensure it is backed up in the normal way)

    When I used to have responsibility for backing up SIMS, I used a normal tape rotation consisting of mon-thurs tapes that were re-used weekly, 4 friday tapes used in rotation and 12 end of month tapes and even that is quite over the top in my opinion as the data on any tape more than a few weeks old would be so out of date it would be useless.

    Mike.

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    Tidybackups looks useful, thanks for the advice, however we are asked to keep the .bak files , is it possible to use it to move the files rather than delete? The data manager wants to be able to get data back from up to a year ago by restoring the database to a duplicate sims system on a partition on his PC.

    And if it could make tea as well that would be really helpful!

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    We hold backups for a quarter here, very useful when you want to restore to a local test server and go "when was that change made?"

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