Administrative Regulation 16.03-1

SUBJECT: Data Backup and Recovery ORIGINATING DEPARTMENT: Systems Management


It is the intent of the Board of County Commissioners to establish standards to protect and preserve important County data with an effective backup and recovery policy.


  1. Full backups of County data will be performed on a nightly basis. Where possible, data will be encrypted.
  2. Nightly backups will be retained for a period of two (2) business weeks. Month-end backups will be performed on the first Sunday of the new month and retained for two (2) months. An annual backup will be performed and refreshed each year. 
  3. Backups will be rotated between the Robotic Tape Library, the locked Fire Proof safe in the hardened Software Vault, and an offsite location. Backup tapes will be transported offsite via an environmentally protected case. Staff will try to avoid having the most recent copy stored within the building containing the servers.
  4. Tape Rotations will be completed by the Systems Administrator; however, in the Systems Administrator’s absence, assigned staff will be responsible in the following order: Systems Engineer, Information Systems Coordinator, and System Support Technicians. 
  5. Backup activities and logs will be monitored daily by a Systems Administrator. Should a server not receive a full (complete) backup, the Server Administrator or Network Administrator of that server will be notified. Dependent upon the length of time required to troubleshoot, a backup may be restarted immediately after the problem has been detected and resolved. Otherwise the server will be backed up at its next regularly scheduled 
    backup time. 
  6. Data restores will be performed by authorized Systems Administrators at the request of the user or by Server Administrators. The length of time it will take to restore a file, directory and/or volume will be based on the availability of the physical tapes and age of the backup image. If the lost data can be recreated quickly, the employees should use that option. 
  7. Offices with servers at remote locations not backed up by Systems Management shall perform local data backups as prescribed and forward the media to Systems Management via County courier. The media will be returned upon receipt of the next set.
  8. Systems Management will not backup data saved to local machines; therefore, restoration of files stored on those systems is not retrievable. 
  9. Certain data will be disk staged to a Storage Area Network (SAN) device located at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at night, allowing tape based backups to be performed during the day. This will provide a second layer of protection to the current backup program. This will apply to the most critical data using the SAN space currently available. The Director of Information Systems and the Backup Manager will determine what data will be disk staged.

FOOTNOTES & REFERENCES TO RELATED AR’s: Supersedes AR 16.41 adopted January 27, 2009; AR 16.03 dated June 22, 2010.