Last Updated on June 5, 2024

When it comes to files, endpoints, servers, or VMs – a third-party backup software is something obvious. Try to find a business that doesn’t have it – nearly impossible, right? And now let’s consider any business with IT department, software development companies, or software houses – what is a key asset within those businesses? Source code as intellectual property. Sometimes it even defines the market value of such companies (especially including startups). So… for them – git repository backup should be of even bigger importance. How to protect the source code hosted within GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket?

No protection, self-written git backup scripts based on git-clone command, snapshots of local repositories, on-premise backup – this is how companies try to deal with git repository backup today. In this blog post, we will take a look at the pros and cons of managing your own git backup scripts vs. repository backup software.

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Managing your own git backup script – pros and cons

Managing your own git backup scripts of GitLab, GitHub, and Bitbucket in-house obligates you to manage all the processes, infrastructure, maintenance costs to make your internal copies. In the beginning, it might be laborious and time-consuming but it seems cost-effective. However, it turns out that in a long-term perspective, the working hours of the employees managing backups and all related maintenance expenses can cost you a fortune.

PRO: Customization

Managing your own git backup script lets you decide how it should work to meet specifications, legal and internal requirements. You can decide how it should integrate with other elements of your organization. You know best what kind of data you want to protect, how often this backup should perform, and how you should be able to customize and manage it. However, are you sure how are you gonna make it happen? Can you supervise your employees in this matter? Do you have enough time and resources to write down specifications, delegate developers to write such script, and finally, someone to maintain it?

CON: High long-term costs

If you want to make your own backups you have to delegate internal employees to work on it, test it on a regular basis and maintain it. You need to supervise their work and further maintenance activities. You need to dedicate some time to consider how this script should work. For example – think about data retention. You need to have such assumptions unless you have to keep in mind to manually remove older backup copies to make room for new ones… 

So even if maintaining a git backup script is just a part-time job of your employee, it distracts him from his core duties. And now – let’s assume that you sacrificed your employee time and you finally have your own backup script. Now somebody has to test it and maintain it as a part of his routine. As in most software, not only in the backup case, most costs occur during use so, in a long-term perspective, such a git backup script costs you huge money you would be able to invest somewhere else once having third-party repository backup software. 

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CON: Responsibility

Moreover, if the event of failure happens and your backup script fails so you won’t be able to restore the data, the only person you can blame is yourself. Or at least your management will do that. Are you sure you need this additional responsibility on your shoulders?

CON: No git restore guarantee

Please bear in mind that having a git backup script allows you to do only copies. Once you need to recover your data from such copies – you need to write another script. Then, just think about how long will it take to write a git restore script and how long will you have to work without access to your source code. 

Third-party repository backup software – pros and cons

When you are buying a third-party repository backup software you know you pay for a piece of mind, saving your employees time so they can focus on core duties, reducing administration and maintenance costs. What is most important, you gain data protection and restore guarantee. Initial higher-cost seems now pretty slight when you consider it in the long-term. It turns out that it’s a pretty small investment for all of the security it provides…

PRO: All the best of professional backup solution

The third-party repository backup software such as for instance powered by Xopero ONE enables you to protect all GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket data – no matter what hosting service you use. You can backup all GitHub and Bitbucket repositories and metadata – both local and cloud. Including comments, requests, milestones, issues, wikis, and much more. 

Such dedicated git repository backup software as makes you sure you use years of experience of a backup service provider – Xopero Software. Additionally, you can even protect all mission-critical data – including files, endpoints, servers, virtual machines, SaaS, etc.

So, except for some dedicated options, you have access to the most professional features of general backup software such as: 

  • any storage compatibility (you can store your copies on SMB network shares, local disc resources, public clouds) 
  • long-term retention and advanced rotation schemes – GFS and FIFO for git archive options, legal compliance, and effective storage usage.
  • full automation (“set-and-forget”) and central management
  • predefined backup plans or advanced plan customization (so you can adjust backup performance to your company requirements and specification and execute backups even several times a day)
  • wide range of recovery options (including granular, point-in-time recovery, cross-over recovery, and easy migration between git hosting platforms) 

Even if you delegate your best developers to write you a backup script, they probably won’t be able to deliver you such advanced and secure features as a professional backup provider and won’t ensure you with the same guarantee of data accessibility and recoverability.

PRO:  Security and recovery guarantee

Speaking about best practices – for all third-party professional backup software providers security is an integral part of their DNA. They need to make sure that the data is well protected, accessible, and recoverable from any point in time, as fast as you need it.

We bet your business probably relies on software and digital assets more than ever before. That is why you need to be sure the git repository backup software you use provides you with key security measures. Such as encryption (AES is desired), zero-knowledge encryption, no-single-point-of-failure, web-based architecture. Daily email notification and audit logs should keep you up to date with the backup execution.

PRO: Lower long-term costs 

You might think an external repository backup software is an expensive option. But try to compare a git backup script vs. repository backup software and calculate how much you are going to pay for writing and implementing internal procedures, specifications and methods. Then, add hours spent on maintenance, tests, and administration of your employee. Finally, consider an alternate cost – how much money would this employee bring you while he would do his normal work instead. We will make a bet, that initial higher costs seem pretty slight now – long-term costs of a third-party repository backup software now seem more attractive, and your employees can focus on what they are best at – their work. And bring you money. 

CON: Limited control 

Like with every kind of third-party software you don’t have control over each aspect of its pricing, terms of services, and potential changes in the future. So you should consider what is more important to you – choosing a third-party repository backup software with limited control and team’s focus on solving core business problems or maintaining your own git backup script over which you have full control with devoting priceless time of your developers. 

PRO: Meeting the shared responsibility model 

Whether you use GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket, like most SaaS providers, those also rely on shared responsibility models. In short: service providers are responsible for the accessibility and availability of their infrastructure while you, as a data owner, are responsible for data protection. Are you sure that your own, internal git backup script is safe enough? Have you considered all possible scenarios of losing your data? Finally, do you have a git restore script written as well? With a third-party backup solution you share this concern – now also an external company is responsible for keeping your data safe, accessible, and recoverable. 

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