Five Aspects of a Complete Back Up and Recovery Solution
Theft, natural disaster, hardware failure, and user error all have a common outcome; they all frequently lead to the permanent loss of important data that was never backed up. Your business runs on data, from client contact information to project files and everything in-between. Protecting it should be a priority for your company. It takes a skilled IT team with a comprehensive backup and recovery plan to properly protect your critical information.
The 3-2-1 backup method has been around since the dawn of the digital age, and it’s still the smartest strategy for protecting your data. A 3-2-1 backup system is a redundancy system. It maintains at least 3 copies of your data – 2 local ones stored on different devices, and at least 1 more copy stored offsite. Having redundant copies gives you adequate protection in the event any one of the storage devices becomes corrupted. Having multiple data storage sites helps prevent the loss of your backup during a theft or natural disaster.
Computer systems that update and back up regularly are something business owners need. When manual backups are in use, all too often weeks or months pass without a successful backup.
Then it happens – a power outage, or a computer crash – typically followed by panic. Panic can be prevented when an experienced IT professional keeps your backups current. This can be done by scheduling them to run at specific intervals each day, or using a continuous backup solution that captures every change made to your data as it happens.
A backup solution with file versioning allows you to restore a previous copy of your file. This is helpful if it becomes corrupt or if you save changes that you later want to reverse. Backup software can even be configured to encrypt every file, ensuring your privacy.
You should also maintain onsite backups for fast access to your data. If your only backup is online, you might be downloading data for days to completely restore missing files. While this is certainly better than permanent data loss, it’s far from ideal. A complete backup stored on an external drive will allow you to recover the same data very quickly, so you can get back to running your business as soon as possible.
When disaster strikes, you’ll want to have at least one full backup safely stored far away from your computer. Onsite backups are great for quick access, but in the event of a flood, fire, or theft, all locally stored copies of your data could be lost simultaneously. The easiest way to maintain backups offsite is through the use of cloud storage technology. Data can be uploaded in the background as you continue to work, keeping your files up to date automatically.
Backups sometimes fail. Monitoring and routine testing ensure your IT team is aware of potential problems before they impact your data. You or your IT team should periodically restore files to verify the integrity of backups. This testing should duplicate the conditions you will encounter when restoring data in a real situation. If possible, restore the test files to the equipment you would use in a real event. Examine the directories. Try restoring entire folders – including subfolders. Ensure that the restored files are the same size in bytes as the originals, and that they can be opened and viewed. This simple test verifies you can find data in your backup system, can restore it and that backups are current.
Routine backups are key to data accessibility and use at all times. Establishing both an onsite and offsite backup solution ensures your data will always be there waiting for you, even when the unimaginable happens.