As your practice grows, so does your database. The amount of time it takes to back up your database grows with it. There are a few things that can be done to make sure your backups are efficient.

First, backups are mostly constrained by the speed that you can write to the disk. This means that creating a backup locally (on your server’s hard drive) is often faster than creating the backup on an external drive. When creating a backup externally, all of the data needs to be written and then read again to translate it to “hash” or verify it. Instead of writing and reading, first create the backup locally. Once it is complete, move it over to an external drive. 

Next, be mindful of hardware limitations in reading and writing this data - especially external drives. With larger databases, storage capacity is no longer the only factor required when choosing a drive. You’ll need speed, as well. The higher the Revolutions Per Minute (RPMs)the faster the data will be read and written; for example, if you have a hard drive with 5400 RPM and another with 7200 RPM, the hard drive with a 7200 RPM will be capable of reading and writing data much faster than the other. While Solid-State Drives (SSDs) have no RPM because they lack movable parts, they are often a faster and more reliable option, however the cost is also increased. Whichever you chose, it is a good idea to replace external drives every two years as newer technology becomes available.