Data is the core of your business. The effects of data loss can be catastrophic so it is crucial to ensure your critical data is protected. Backups are the most important line of defence against data loss but as they are inconvenient and require time to manage, they are often overlooked or given a low priority.
By backing up files you are insuring against loss of data from accidental deletion, database corruption, hardware failures, viruses, hacking, ransom ware and even natural disasters. A successful data backup and recovery plan consists of multiple steps and will ultimately depend on the type of data you are backing up and how convenient you want the recovery process to be.
The core issues driving your back up plan will include capacity, reliability, extensibility, speed and cost. Here are the answers to some questions to assist in the developing the right back up strategy for your business:
How important is the data on your systems?
List all the applications and data that are fundamental to your business (for example, email, accounting systems, databases, documents etc) and then rank them in priority order. For critical data you may want to setup several back up periods. For less important data you won’t need such an elaborate plan.
How often does the data change?
How often the data changes will affect your back up frequency. If your data is changed daily then it should be backed up daily. The time between backups should be no more than the time you are willing to spend re-doing any lost work.
Do you have the equipment to perform data backups?
To perform backups you will often require dedicated backup hardware and specialised backup software such as Shadowprotect or CA Arcserve. You may need several devices and sets of backup media depending on how critical your data is to your organisation.
How quickly do you need to recover the data?
To answer this question, you need to know how long can your business survive without access to your data. This will have a big influence on the backup technology you implement.
Who will be responsible for the backup and recovery of data?
A task as important as backups should not be left to chance. Backups need to be checked regularly to see if they ran successfully and the files should be checked to ensure they were backed up successfully. The integrity of the backup files should be tested on a regular basis by performing a test restore. You cannot have confidence in the accuracy of your backups and that it will actually work when needed unless the validity of your processes are monitored and tested frequently.
How do you store your backups offsite?
Your backups will always be vulnerable unless you include secure offsite storage of a complete and up-to-date copy of your data. Offsite backups give you additional protection when compared to local backups such as protection from theft, fire, flood, earthquakes, hurricanes and more.
Researching, implementing and managing a backup system that meets the requirements listed above can be a daunting task. IT Masters offer a range of monitored onsite & remote backup solutions to secure your data.
Our systems include both onsite backup for quick recovery of files and remote backup for disaster recovery. All your backups are monitored on a daily basis and test restoration of data can be completed on a routine schedule, so you can get on with running your business.