Your company’s value depends on its data, and a catastrophic loss of data will cripple your company, often beyond the point of recovery. For this reason, a tailored backup plan and reliable data backup process is essential, even for startups. Save time and money by doing it right from the start instead of waiting until after the disaster.
What is Data Backup and Recovery
In information technology, data backup is the process of creating a copy of data on your system and storing it elsewhere so it may be used to restore the original data in case your data is lost or corrupted. You can also use backup to recover copies of files if you have deleted them from your system.
What Should You Backup
To ensure you are making a comprehensive backup, you want to back up not only files and databases, but also operating systems, configurations and applications.
If you use cloud infrastructure, you want to include this in your scope. If you use virtualisation, you need to back up your hosts and management console, not just your virtual machines.
Also consider your mobile devices – company tablets and laptops could also hold critical company data.
Here are five things to consider when planning your data backup process.
Five Things To Consider When Planning Your Data Backup Process
1. Choose the Right Medium
You can store data almost anywhere, especially when you don’t have much to back up. However, the storage medium you choose determines how quickly you can go from a server crash, and lost data, to being productive again. The best storage medium allows you to store large amounts of data, but also makes recovery quick.For instance, DVDs may be convenient and inexpensive, but they’ll prove to be rather difficult to manage once you have terabytes of storage to maintain. Hard drives might make sense in such a situation, especially if you are looking for redundancy in your backup solution.What is best really comes down to your own specific needs.
An increasingly popular backup option is a cloud-based solution. Many IT companies offer backup-as-a-service (BaaS) – a cloud-based backup and disaster recovery offering that allows you to provision and run your backups from the vendor’s or service provider’s cloud infrastructure by installing lightweight agents on your machines. The BaaS is even simpler than software because there are no systems to provision and no operating systems to configure.
2. Test Your Backups
How do you know your backups aren’t corrupted? One common unforeseen failure in data backup plans is corrupted files, found only once a catastrophic failure has occurred. You simply don’t know the integrity of your backups unless you test them.
The frequency of when you test your backups ultimately depends on the value of your specific data. It is recommended that you periodically check to make sure that your backups work as expected and restore properly. This process will not only ensure the integrity of your backups, but also provides a regular check that the backups are occurring at the specified interval.
3. Schedule Your Backups During Off-Peak Hours
Scheduling large amounts of data transfers across your network can create all kinds of problems. First, moving terabytes of data can take hours and it will eat up your bandwidth. Backups performed during the day will affect users’ productivity. They can even create issues with dropped virtual meetings, phone calls (VoIP) or data transfers. Instead of interrupting users, schedule your backups at night.
To perform scheduled backups, you’ll need good software. The software must be able to identify when resources weren’t properly backed up and alert you to any issues. It also must be reliable enough to back up your data regularly without interruptions.
4. Audit Your Data
Backups are easy when you have one server. But, what happens when your company expands and you have several servers and workstations to maintain? You can easily forget to include important data in your backup process. The only way to ensure that you back up all your important data is to perform an audit.
Your audit should include all the servers within your network. First, you must know where users back up data. These file servers hold important user documents. Second, you always need to back up database servers. These servers contain critical company data. Finally, any application servers must have backups. Application servers can usually have more infrequent backups since they do not change often.
5. Prioritise Security
The last thing to consider is security, but it’s probably one of the most important. You can’t back up all your data and leave it in a random location. Poorly secured backups leave not only a few documents open to hackers, but tons of data. Backups are frequently forgotten when securing your network, but you should have high standards for their security.
Don’t skimp on your company’s most prized possession. Data is your company’s most critical asset.
Contact Surety IT today to learn more about our IT backup and recovery services and for expert assistance in managing your data backup and recovery.