All Information on Grandfather Father Son Backup

Jerry updated on Feb 22, 2023 to Knowledge Center

A well-liked data backup strategy is the GFS backup rotation strategy, which combines full and partial copying to various media to shorten backup times and improve storage security. You can learn more about the grandfather-father-son backup scheme in this article. Keep reading!

What Is Grandfather-Father-Son Backup Scheme

The Grandfather-Father-Son backup strategy, also known as the GFS backup strategy or just the GFS, is the most popular and extensively used backup rotation mechanism for storage media. It is a data preservation policy designed to make data backup administration more manageable and less resource-intensive.

The GFS backup method allows you to maintain a complete system backup for the entire year while using the least amount of storage space possible. It typically consists of three or more backup cycles. This allows you to combine different backup frequencies (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or annual backups) and full, incremental, or differential backup methods and save backups in two locations.

How Does Grandfather-Father-Son Backup Work

So how does it work? GFS, a multi-level backup method, links various backup types cycles and rotates them at different intervals: Here, let's use the traditional grandfather-father-son backup as an illustration:

Grandfather: A full backup, performed less often than a father or a son backup. Once per month, for instance, on the last day of each month, perform a full backup and store it off-site or in the cloud.

Father: This is also a full backup, but it is often backup up to a local device to allow quicker access. Weekly full backup, and save it locally. Here, use every Monday in a week as an example; alternatively, pick a specific day.

Son: A regular incremental backup. Store it locally and perform a daily incremental backup or differential backup at least once a day but preferably hourly.

grandfather father son backup priciple

Additionally, some backups are taken out for storage or disaster recovery. The first in, first out principle is used in the grandfather-father-son backup system, which deletes the oldest backups first to make room for fresh backups.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Grandfather Father Son Backup

The grandfather-father-son backup advantages and disadvantages are evident.

Compared to a single backup technique, it provides you with more backup images, which, because they are saved on various storage devices, considerably reduces the risk of data loss or downtime in the event of a system crash or disk corruption. Meanwhile, it ensures you a fast data recovery. Furthermore, your files or system may be restored no matter what happens.

This backup method does, however, take a long time and calls for two different storage devices. Additionally, the procedure will become more complicated if you do incremental backups, have several retention policies, and utilize various off-site storage. Further, you must confirm that all linked incremental images are unharmed before restoring a daily incremental backup.

The Bottom Line

That is all about grandfather-father-son backup. Each backup strategy has its advantages and disadvantages. Grandfather-father-son backup system is no exception. After reading this post, you can learn the grandfather-father-son backup, its working principle, advantages, and disadvantages. 

Utilizing computers for work or communication is popular today. Therefore, in case of a virus attack like the WannaCry virus or a blue screen of death, you should carefully store your essential data. Under such circumstances, you should always keep a backup of your data to avoid tragedy. The grandfather-father-son backup strategy may meet your needs.

Was This Page Helpful?