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This page has maturity level 4 (mature)
Status: Replaces Backup&Restore

This is a Building Block document

Document icon BT Backup Version: 0.1 OIAr logo
Document type: Building Block Type Owner:

J.A.H. Schoonderbeek

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This Building Block Type belongs to Working Area Storage (ST). Backup is a Storage facility that creates a copy of (a specified set of) data, in order to be able to rescue data after an incident or emergency has occurred. In this way, data can be restored when the original data is lost, corrupted or (un)intentionally changed. It's always paired with an instance of Restore, which takes care of the actual restoring of the data. Furthermore, it's usually paired with Retention Engine because

  • backup is one of the intelligent functions that the Retention Engine is supposed to offer, and
  • backup often requires the intelligence that the Retention Engine offers to actually access the data, and/or to improve the backup processes.

Backup can preserve data at any one of several of the lower levels of data abstraction, but usually handles only a single abstraction level. Examples are

  • at the "raw bits" level, storing sets of elementary data elements, such as the bits and bytes on a hard disk;
  • at the "loosely structured data" level, storing coherent chunks of data like files or documents;
  • at the "strictly structured data" level, storing (parts of) databases.

When creating a Building Block Variant of this type, the next items are points of consideration:

  • What data needs to be secured, how often and in which manner?
  • Is there interrelation between (sets of) data that need to be maintained, e.g. by backing up interrelated data in a single backup?
  • When must the backup process start? (one could pair Backup with Scheduling to manage automated backups)
  • How long must the secured data be retained (minimum and/or maximum period)?
  • What level is needed for monitoring of the success or failure of any backup action, and of available backup capacity?
  • At what physical and/or logical location must the backup be created? Are there requirements whether or not created backups need to physically be moved off-site and on-site?


The icon below can be used to represent this infrastructure function in graphical Pattern representations that it might be part of:

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Variants of this Building Block Type

The following variants of this function have been defined:

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Pattern Types using this Building Block Type

The following Pattern Types use this function:

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Pattern VariantBrief DescriptionOwnerMaturity
PAT.Data ManagementData Management?J.A.H. Schoonderbeek?3
PAT.File StorageFile StorageJ.A.H. Schoonderbeek4
PAT.Raw StorageRaw StorageJ.A.H. Schoonderbeek4