The importance of good backups is drilled into IT staff and nominated individuals (usually in the finance department) daily but sometimes it’s worth highlighting the essential components of any backup procedure. If you forget about the important bits then you can hardly expect to rely on your backups when you really need them.
We always ask our clients the following questions:
- Do you know what data you are backing up and is it the data you need to back up? New files and folders are added daily and it’s easy to forget about updating your selection lists.
- Are you keeping enough copies or iterations of your backups? Tapes and disks can fail or you may already be overwriting your good backups with corrupt data.
- Do you regularly take backups off site? If the office gets burgled or burns down there’s little point in having your tapes stored next to the server.
- Are you following the plan you originally set? Many people forget to change the tape or removable hard drive every night.
- How are you going to restore from the backup if you lose 1 file? 10 files? Part of a mailbox database? All of your files? And what are you going to restore back on to?
- And, most importantly, are you monitoring and checking your backups? And acting to address any failures? Check the reports daily and setup notifications for the smallest failure or exception.
Often, it’s worth investing in professional advice to find the best backup solution for your company and have it implemented correctly. There are a huge range of backup applications in the market with a huge range of cost and complexity. And remember, backups are only a small part of a wider Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan.
Fortunately, there are many good offsite/hosted backup solutions on the market which will allow to choose a really good solution without investing huge amounts of money. There are many reasons for using this type of service including:
- Offsite backups can be combined with your onsite backups to give an extra level of security;
- The level of protection offered is generally at an enterprise level and gives you far more for your money than if you did it yourself;
- Your data will (more than likely) be stored in secure data centres with multiple copies and very fast access should you need to restore;
- And, you will generally pay monthly for the service rather than spending lots up front
Not all backup solutions are created equally and some will be fit your IT systems better than others. If you would like some help with reviewing your backup arrangements, selecting a new solution or any advice around backups, disaster recovery and business continuity then please get in touch using the links or form below.