When it comes to data, the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has never been more true. It’s not a question of “if” you’ll have a hard drive failure, network attack, malicious virus, or a data-wiping mistake. It’s how you handle it when that time comes. And if you aren’t properly prepared, you may never recover completely.
The most important step is to make sure you have a plan in place. If you wait till you have data loss, it may be too late. Developing a backup and recovery strategy means coming up with a maintainable, automated solution. The more manual processes that the plan relies on, the more points of failure. The best plans are automated and redundant, and allow you to sleep soundly at night.
Once your plan is in place, implementation is crucial. Make sure the automated solutions are solidly configured. Make sure the backup locations are reachable via the network and connections are redundant. Identify all key pieces of data to be backed up and make sure the necessary configurations are in place to allow for the backups to occur.
While a good automated backup plan is generally “set it and forget it”, it is imperative to regularly (daily or weekly) verify the plan is still running and the data is backing up as expected. All too often a great plan is implemented, then 6 months later there’s a firewall change that takes the backup process out of commission, and no one finds out until there is a crash and a recovery is needed.
The backups only exist for one purpose: data recovery in the eventuality you need it. Don’t wait until you need it to find out that you’ve backed up your data, but the server environment needed to run the software wasn’t recreated. The best recovery tests take a completely blank server and whatever backups you have and get your company back online completely. If you can’t do it from what you have backed up, you can’t do it.
As you can see, there’s a lot more to data backup and recovery than burning a few DVDs and taking them home with you. At SystemGo IT, we are experts at developing and implementing your backup strategy, and most importantly, we’ll be there when you need to recover.