Git Repository Backup: third-party software or your own script

When it comes to files, endpoints, servers, or VMs – a third-party backup software is something obvious that nearly every business needs and should have. Unlike repository backup which is not so obvious, but of equal importance. As CTO, IT manager, software-house owner, or team leader – you probably can imagine how much it would cost you to lose the code your team has been working on for months… if not, try to calculate…

Repository backup – why do you need it?

Data breaches, systems downtime, malware, malicious employee, human errors, policy changes, and more – all of those factors can limit access to your repositories and put your intellectual property at risk. Even if you use such trusted Git-based source code repository hosting services provided by Microsoft or Atlassian, you still are at risk of losing data. 

In the previous articles, we described reasons to backup repositories – both in GitHub and Bitbucket. So if you still need to ensure yourself – go here, read articles, and see you back within a few minutes. 

Managing your own repository backup – pros and cons

Managing backups in-house obligates you to manage all the infrastructure, processes, ongoing maintenance, and repair costs to make your internal backups. While in the beginning, it might seem cost-effective, in a long-term perspective maintenance cost and working hours of the employees managing backups can cost you a fortune. 

PRO: Full control & customization

Managing your own repository backups lets you decide how it should work to meet your company’s requirements and specifications. You know how it should integrate with other elements of your business. Finally – you know what kind of data you want to protect, how often this backup should perform, and how – you can customize it. 

CON: Responsibility, distraction, and high long-term costs

If you want to make your own backups you have to dedicate internal employees to work on it, test it on a regular basis, maintain it and enable some form of data retention – unless you have to keep in mind to manually remove older backup copies to make room for new ones.. Even if it’s 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 Git backup script. Now somebody has to test it and maintain it as a part of his routine. As in most software, only in the backup case, most costs occur after implementation. 

Moreover, if the event of failure happens and your Git 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?

Third-party repository backup – pros and cons

When you are buying a third-party repository backup you know you pay for removing responsibility from your head, saving your employees time so they can focus on core duties, reducing maintenance, and administration costs, and data protection 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 peace of mind…

PRO: All the best of backup solution

The third-party repository backup solution such as for instance Xopero ONE Backup & Recovery enables you to protect all GitHub and Bitbucket data – no matter what hosting service you use. You can backup all GitHub and Bitbucket: servers, repos, and metadata – both local and cloud. Including comments, requests, milestones, issues, wikis and much more. 

Using a dedicated repository backup you make sure you use years of experience of a backup service provider on the backup market that protects all mission-critical data – including files, endpoints, servers, virtual machines, SaaS, etc. (and on which btw. you can take advantage on)

So, except for some dedicated features, you have access to the best features such as: 

  • any storage compatibility (you can store your copies on SMB network shares, local disc resources, public clouds) 
  • 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)
  • wide range of recovery options (including granular, point-in-time recovery, cross-user recovery) 

Even if you delegate your best developers to write you a Git 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:  Repository backup security and recovery guarantee

Speaking about best practices – for all third-party professional backup service providers security is an integral part of their DNA. They need to make sure that the data is protected, recoverable, and accessible anytime and as fast as you need it. As your business probably relies on software and digital assets more than ever before, make sure the repository backup software you use provides you with encryption (AES is desired), zero-knowledge encryption, and no-single-point-of-failure, web-based architecture. Additionally, if something is wrong with your copy, you should be informed about it by daily reports, logs and special notifications.

CON: Limited control 

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

PRO: Lower long-term costs 

You might think a third-party repository backup solution is an expensive option. But try to calculate how much you are going to pay for preparing internal repository protection procedures and Git backup scripts. Then, to this sum add hours spent on maintenance, tests, and administration of your employee and alternate cost – how much money would this employee bring you while he would do his normal work instead. And of course, take his word that your data is secured. I will make a bet, that initial higher costs seem pretty slight now – long-term costs of a third-party backup solution now seem more attractive, and your employees can focus on what they are best at – their work.

PRO: Meeting the shared responsibility model 

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


If you can make your own pizza – why do you normally buy it instead? Well, probably because this way you can get it faster, better – well backed and tasty – and delivered to your door. And at least no one will blame you for stomach problems. Then, why do you want to make your own backup solution and take responsibility for such crucial issues as your business data?