Q: What is the “best” way to back up my data?

A: Ideally data back up should be done at least daily and more often if possible. The data should be stored off site in case there is a disaster that damages or destroys the office. Multiple redundant copies of the data should be backed up and stored. All critical data should be backed up including chart information, financial data, the schedule, diagnostics like x-rays and photographs, checkbooks and  correspondence. The entire server hard drive should be copied and backed up to preserve current application versions and settings. The data should be easily retrievable. The system should be automatic with as little human input as possible.

There is no one back up system currently in use that provides all of these ideal features. The closest is online back up. Online systems provide instant off site protection and are virtually automatic with no human actions needed once it is set up. However for offices with larger data bases online systems can be expensive and it is not practical to do a full server backup every day.

The next best option is to copy the server to a removable hard drive overnight and take it off site the next day.  You should have a different drive for every day of the week plus a spare.

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