First, some worrying stats:-
58% of businesses have no backup plan for data loss. (Source: Small Business Trends)
68% of SMBs don’t have a disaster recovery plan. (Source: Nationwide Insurance)
Now ask yourself:-
1, Do you have all your critical data backed up?
Modern data storage needs change frequently. Your backup plan should change as your storage needs change. As new network shares are created, or file servers introduced your backup plan may need to include these new resources. This is often forgotten and only noticed when backup plans are reviewed or worse, you need to recover critical data. Review your backup plan regularly as your data estate changes.
2, Do you need to backup everything?
It can be expensive and impractical to backup all data that a company may have. Often old archives or reporting data doesn’t need to be backed up. Manage and maintain your backup plan to cover all critical data but exclude any unnecessary or reproducible data. This will save you time and money.
3, Test, Test, Test!
If you don’t regularly test your restore process, how do you know it really works? True story: we heard about a company in London who meticulously backed up their data, monitored their backup jobs and took their backup tapes off-site each night. When the time came to recover their data after a disaster, the first set of tapes were corrupt. So, they went to the next set of tapes but the found the same corruption. They worked back through all their tape backups to find them all corrupt! It turns out the guy who off-sited the tapes got the tube home each evening and always sat in the same seat on the tube. This seat happened to be above one of the electric motors on the tube train. The magnetic field created by this motor corrupted the tapes in his bag each evening on the way home! Without regular testing how do you know your backups are valid and restorable.
4, How quickly can you get up and running after a disaster?
It’s all well and good to have a perfect set of backups ready and waiting after a disaster, but where do you restore it too! How long does it take to get the backups restored and useable again? The Recovery Time Objective or RTO (the point in time in the future at which you will be up and running after a disaster) is critical and can often be overlooked until it’s too late. Make sure you have all aspects of recovery covered in your backup plans. Look at including a rapid Disaster Recovery Solutions together with backups to for part of your Business Continuity Plan.
5, How frequently are you backing up?
Referred to as the Recovery Point Objective or RPO (the point in time in the past to which you can recover too). If you only back up each night you stand to lose a days’ worth of data. Could your business manage with this? What are the repercussions of losing this amount of sales records, financial transactions or email? Consider more frequent backups or Continues Data Protection (CPD) in your backup plan.
6, TEST, TEST, TEST! Again.
There is a saying that “An untested backup is a failed backup”.
7, The Cloud will make all this go away.
So, your data is safe and sound in the cloud. In the cloud someone else sorts the backups out, right? You don’t need to worry, right? Sorry, your cloud storage may be super available and “always online” but it may not be backed up. Can you restore a file, email or virtual server that was accidentally deleted from the cloud? Make sure your backup plan covers your cloud data and infrastructure too.
So, please, go and check your backups today. Test them, review them, and make sure they are appropriate for your business needs.
If you are still worried about data backups or just need some advice, we are happy to help. Greystone has implemented many different Backup Solutions to suit all budgets and sizes of business.
Get in touch for a free data backup audit, recommendations, and advice.