EPDM – Are you backing up your critical data? Here’s how you can be better prepared

Article by Joe Medeiros, CSWE updated June 27, 2011


Accidental deletions, viruses, hardware failures are just a few things that can damage or destroy your vault data. Without a well structured back-up scheme, recovering data after a calamity can be difficult if not impossible.

Large amounts of data can be generated daily therefore backups also need to occur on a daily basis. In Solidworks Enterprise PDM there are two key areas that need to be backed up daily. The first is the archive folder that is located on the Archive Server. This is where the physical files are kept and this folder can be backed up using any standard back-up software. The next area that needs to be backed up is the SQL database. Regular back-up software typically does not back-up SQL databases. There is third party software available that is capable of backing up SQL databases. Or you can use Maintenance Plans which is included with Microsoft SQL server.

Even with back-ups of these two key areas, restoring data can be difficult if the file versions in database and archive folder differ. In a good back-up scheme, both backups occur as close to the same time as possible.

The components of a good back-up scheme are as follows:

  • Back-up both the archive folder and the SQL database.
  • Back-ups should be scheduled to run at least once per day.
  • Do not rely on manual back-ups – you should use the Microsoft SQL Maintenance Plans and/or third party software to perform the back-ups.
  • Back-ups should be scheduled to run as close as possible to the same times. (SQL first, it’s fast, then the archive)
  • Check your backups regularly to ensure that the scheduled backups are occurring as scheduled.
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Joe Medeiros, CSWE

Joe Medeiros is a SOLIDWORKS and PDM Certified Expert. He has been helping SOLIDWORKS users with training, mentoring and implementations since 1998. He combines industry experience with a thorough understanding of SOLIDWORKS products to assist customers in being successful. He shares his experience and expertise through blogs; one of which has been incorporated into the SOLIDWORKS Essentials training manual.