Data Recovery and Backup Plan
Everyone has lost a document or some type of data at some point since technology entered our daily lives. Whether it’s something simple like the grocery list or something of high importance like company records, nothing is more frustrating than losing data and starting from scratch again (if you can). If you’re lucky it wasn’t anything important, you didn’t spend hours of your day working on it and it wasn’t critical data to your business. However, you can’t just rely on luck when it comes to important files and simply hitting “save” isn’t enough insurance to keep your work safe.
Even storing data within onsite servers isn’t always enough. If a natural disaster strikes your business or even if the power just happens to go out and your servers don’t power back up, what would your recovery look like? Not only could you lose internal data, but client data is also lost, which could lead to the loss of business from that client altogether. Take the steps to be prepared and ensure your data is secure.
TechNet Magazine lists nine questions to ask yourself when you begin to look at a backup plan. These questions are the first steps to keeping your data safe.
1) How important is your data?
Determine which data needs to be backed up and if the data is of high importance it will need to have redundant backup sets in case one of the backups fails, it will still be protected by other methods. Ready.gov recommends that data is backed up by at least three different methods. If the data is of a sensitive nature then it will also need to be encrypted.
2) What type of information does the data contain?
Consider the fact that different types of data are important to different people in the company. What may not be important for you to have backed up may be crucial to another department.
3) How often does the data change?
If the data changes frequently then backups should be scheduled everyday, but if changes are less common backups can be scheduled less frequently.
4) Can you supplement backups with shadow copies?
Shadow copies are point-in-time copies of documents in shared folders. The copies make recovering documents easy because you can go back to an older version in case a document is deleted. These copies should be used in addition to your regular backups and are not meant to replace them.
5) How quickly do you need to recover the data?
If the system is critical and you need to get back online quickly this may change your backup plan.
6) Do you have the equipment to perform backups?
Backups require hardware and devices. This can include includes tape drives, optical drives, and removable disk drives. Or you can use offsite backup solutions, such as the services DataCave offers.
7) Who will be responsible for the backup and disaster recovery plan?
Designate a person to be in charge of overseeing your recovery and backup plan. Have this person be responsible for reviewing the backup log to be sure no files were missed in the process. He or she should also check to make sure your backup solutions are functioning properly and actually backing up your data.
8) What’s the best time to schedule backups?
Try to schedule backups when the system use is as low as possible. This will also speed up the backup process.
9) Do you need to store backups offsite?
Similar to #6, but this step goes a little further. When you store copies of your data offsite it can safeguard your data in case of a natural disaster. Consider also storing copies of software that could be lost in case of a disaster.
Work through this checklist with your team to make sure your valuable data is safe. That way if disaster strikes, your company will be prepared because you were proactive and took the necessary steps to backup your data.
If you need a safe place to keep your critical business data or would like some more tips, give us a call or check out some of our Disaster Recovery whitepaper for more information.