3 Tips When Choosing a GitHub Backup Service

If you don’t use a GitHub backup service, you run the risk of losing your business-critical codes and repositories. 

The catch is that not all GitHub backup solutions are made equal. 

Some backup services may or may not fit your unique needs, depending on their functionalities, features, pricing, and other factors. 

Finding the best-fitting Github backup solution for your business and team can take time and effort.

However, this guide covering the top three tips and factors to consider when choosing a GitHub backup service can help narrow your list and jumpstart your efforts. 

1. Choose a service with reliable backup performance

Opt for a high-performing GitHub backup service to help you run efficient and seamless backups.

Doing so can ensure your backups run as they should, keeping your data intact and protected in case of server crashes, accidental deletions, malware attacks, and other risks. 

The key features of a high-performing GitHub backup service include the following. 

Repository backups with related metadata

Your backup solution should let you backup your repositories with related metadata, protecting your GitHub environment.

Your GitHub or GitHub Enterprise backups should include the following: 

  • Wikis 
  • Repositories
  • Pull requests 
  • Pull request comments 
  • Issues 
  • Issue comments 
  • Deployment keys 
  • Milestones 
  • Pipelines 
  • Projects
  • Webhooks
  • Labels 
  • Large File Storage (LFS) backup 

Choose a GitHub backup solution that lets you create custom backup plans for your critical repositories. It makes adjusting your data protection to your structure, needs, and workflows easier. 

The backup service should also allow you to set up metadata that changes daily (or more frequently), such as using the recommended Grandfather-Father-Son (GFS) rotation scheme and other backup plans for unused repositories you might want to keep. 

Incremental and differential backups to save storage space

Select a backup software that only includes your GitHub data’s changed blocks since the last copy to help reduce your storage backup size, limit bandwidth, and speed up your backup.  

Some backup solutions can let you define various performance and retention schemes for every kind of copy, such as full, incremental, and differential. 

On premise and SaaS deployment options

You might want to self-host your backup solution on your private infrastructure or run it on the cloud via Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). 

Choose a solution that can accommodate both to give you the deployment options you need. 

For instance, some GitHub backup services offer subscription plans with on-premise deployment plus unlimited cloud storage included in the license. 

Other solutions allow you to bring your own storage for both cloud and on-premise and offer support for hybrid and multi-cloud environments.  

Flexible retention

Select a GitHub backup software with features that can meet your compliance, industry, and legal requirements. 

Your backup solution should let you set various retention for each backup plan by:

  • Indicating the time of every copy for storage. The parameters should be configured separately for the full, differential, and incremental backup.
  • Showing the number of copies you want to be kept.
  • Disabling rules and securing copies infinitely (for GitHub archiving purposes). 

Allows adding multiple storage instances

An ideal GitHub backup software should allow you to add unlimited storage instances, preferably on the cloud or on-premise. 

Unlimited storage instances allow replicating backups between storages, removing disaster risks and outages while meeting the 3-2-1 backup rule. 

The rule refers to having three copies on two separate storage instances with at least one in the cloud. 

Must read: Top GitHub Backup Tools

2. Select a solution with robust backup security

Keep your repository and metadata backup protected by using a solution with essential security features to ensure:

  • Data accessibility
  • Recoverability
  • Improved security posture
  • Shared responsibility duties are met

The GitHub backup solution’s security features can include the following.

Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

Your GitHub backup software should have an essential security feature: proper and reliable encryption. 

Choose a backup solution that can encrypt your data at every stage: In flight (on your device), before leaving your machine (during transfer), and at rest (in your repository). 

For instance, backup software with Advanced Encryption Standard or AES uses the same key to encrypt and decrypt data via a symmetric-key algorithm.

AES is one of the strongest forms of encryption for maximum backup data security. It helps ensure that your data can’t be intercepted, decrypted, stolen, or breached. 

Zero-knowledge encryption

Your GitHub backup software’s AES data encryption should provide your own encryption key and has zero-knowledge infrastructure. 

Zero-knowledge encryption ensures your device doesn’t have information about your encryption key, making it difficult for malicious actors to intercept or decrypt anything. 

Your device should only receive the encryption key when running a backup, so no one except the key owner can decrypt your data. 

Protection against ransomware

Running backups is often the last line of defense against ransomware, so it makes sense that your backup ransomware proofs itself. 

Look at how a potential GitHub backup service provider processes your data. 

For example, some vendors can compress and encrypt your data to make them nonexecutable in storage. This way, the ransomware that hits your backed-up data can be executed and spread across your storage. 

Opt for a backup service provider and data center with top-notch security measures, certificates, and audits for optimum data protection. 

Must read: GitHub Enterprise Backup: Why It’s Important

3. Find a backup software with seamless disaster recovery features

Look for a GitHub backup service with disaster recovery technology that can respond to every potential data loss scenario.

At a minimum, your backup software should have the following disaster recovery features. 

Point in time restore

You can get more control over your backups in case of accidental data deletions and other risks and situations when you can restore them from a specific time. 

Ensure your GitHub backup solution offers point-in-time restore, including unlimited retention options (over 365-day periods). 

It can help you overcome storage limitations, achieve legal compliance, recover data from any point in time, and archive critical data no matter how long time has passed.  

Restore multiple repositories individually

An easy and effective way to instantly restore your GitHub data during service outages and downtimes is by restoring multiple repositories at a time. 

Choose a GitHub backup service that lets you select repositories to restore and view the latest copies or assign them manually to restore them to your local machine. 

It should also allow you to recover cross-over to a separate hosting service provider, making your disaster and recovery plan easy and efficient.  

No repository overwriting during a restore

It is always good practice to restore to a new repository from the copy instead of overwriting the original one. 

After all, you might want to use the original repository to track changes and for future reference. It can also help reduce the risks of data loss. 

Find a GitHub backup service that can give you full control over keeping and deleting your repositories for quick and easy backup and restore. 

Find the right GitHub backup solution for you

There is no shortage of backup service providers for GitHub. 

Find the best solution for your repository backup and recovery needs by considering the key factors and features in this guide.

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