You Need To Backup Now!

We all know that we should backup our data, configurations settings, etc…, but do we do it?

I always advocate doing backups, but sometimes I forget to follow what I say.

Today I decided to update my firmware on some of my networking devices.

I typically would do a backup first, but for some reason I didn’t feel like it was too important to create a backup of my configuration.

And as luck would have it, there was a problem. Long story short, I was able to recover with an older backup.

Rule #1: Always create a backup before any change

  • Whether you are making a major or minor change, create a backup.
  • Most devices (or maybe all devices) that allow your to configure them, have a option to save those settings.
  • Also be sure that you can easily access the backup file or saved settings, if things don’t go as planned.

Rule #2: Use a naming convention for the filename

  • I use a date/timestamp prefixed to the filename.
  • Example: 2020-09-26_device-type.ext.
  • That way you can distinguish when the file was created and what type of file it is.

Rule #3: Schedule automatic backups

  • If your device has options to schedule backups, enable monthly or weekly creations.
  • Again, be sure the backups get created in a location that is accessible, even if the device is down.
  • You don’t want to have a switch down and then have your backup on a storage device that is connected to that same switch.

Rule #4: Read the Release Notes

  • Just about all updates have release notes that come along with the update.
  • Read through it to determine how important the update is.
  • Release notes usually state the importance, like if it resolves security vulnerabilities or just minors fixes/updates.
  • After reading, you can decide if you need to apply this update.
  • You can also go to forums, to see what others have to say about the update.

Lessons Learned

It’s better to be on the safe side whenever making changes.

This is especially true if others depend on these devices to be functioning.

For me, this was my home network, so it wasn’t too big of a deal.

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