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Backing up MLS

Posted: Tue May 01, 2012 10:56 pm
by mandrbates
Our ward is currently backing up MLS to alternating flash drives. I've been told that is the preferred method. This seems cumbersome and not very effective if there is a catastrophe like a fire that burns the whole building down.

(1) Has anyone tried backing up to a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive?

(2) Are there security risks in backing up to a third party cloud service that outweigh the benefits?

(3) Would we violate any church policies by backing up to the cloud?

Posted: Tue May 01, 2012 11:03 pm
by Mikerowaved
Welcome to the forum!

You might want to review the following thread, as I think it addresses most of your questions.
https://tech.lds.org/forum/showthread.php?6019-Online-Backup-for-MLS

Cheers,
Mike

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:58 am
by rbeede
In addition to policy issues units in European countries could violate laws if the data was transmitted outside of Europe even if encrypted. If the Church felt that the current level of redundancy against fire or natural disaster wasn't sufficient they would just increase the backup frequency that exists now.

You don't really have to alternate flash drives though. If it worries you that much you could backup to 2 flash drives. One kept in a locked cabinet and another you carry home.

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 12:31 pm
by RossEvans
rbeede wrote:If it worries you that much you could backup to 2 flash drives. One kept in a locked cabinet and another you carry home.


I thought that was supposed to be the standard procedure anyway.

What we do is backup from MLS to the C: drive. Then copy that backup twice to two flash drives: one kept in the locked cabinet, the other carried offsite. The C: drive back can be used for a simple data restore to a prior state; the locked-up backup is insurance against a catastrophic hard disk failure; the offsite copy, which can be on the clerk's keyring because it is encrypted anyway, is insurance against a building-level disaster. The periodic online backups to CHQ are a backstop to everything.

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 2:39 pm
by rbeede
There isn't an official written standard procedure other than back MLS up to something other than the hard disk.

I remember the good old floppy disks days. When we converted to USB drives I had the privilege of destroying 500+ floppies. The STS decided years back to never overwrite an old floppy but always use a new one when the current fills up. They were all kept in a filing cabinet and went back years.

So the STS should decide on what backup strategy they want noting that backups can't be stored on non-church servers in the cloud due to legal issues and CHQ policy. Keeping a USB at home should suffice and isn't a burden to carry around.

Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:59 pm
by jdlessley
rbeede wrote:There isn't an official written standard procedure other than back MLS up to something other than the hard disk.
I think Handbook 1: Stake Presidents and Bishops [2010], 13.3.3, 13.8-13.9, would be considered official and written. This official procedure requires offsite backups.

Posted: Thu May 03, 2012 6:25 am
by rbeede
Useful reference from HB1.

The plus side is that the STS doesn't really have to worry about offsite backups since CHQ already does this for them. A check that units are successfully doing a send/receive should suffice to ensure that an offsite backup exists.