Never underestimate the value of your backup system. Let’s start with the facts surrounding data loss and hardware failure
25% of PCs will fail this year.1
24% of companies said they experienced a full data disaster.2
70% of small businesses to experience a major data loss go out of business within a year.3
¹ Gartner Group ²Forrester Research Group ³ PricewaterhouseCooper
These statistics make for grim reading if your backup solution is less that complete or your saviour disaster recovery system goes untested.
How would you recover a file that has been deleted by a click happy user or has become corrupt?
You may have previous versions enabled on your server or that copy you took when you worked on it from your laptop on the train last week, but what if previous versions isn’t enabled or hasn’t taken a snapshot recently or the file was deleted a few weeks ago and your spent days updating it since then? This is where your backups show their importance so it is vital that you have the confidence that your backup solution is reliable and doing its job.
How long should you retain a backup?
A major part of any backup strategy is planning how long to retain the data for, too many companies rely on a week or even two weeks’ worth of tapes to hold their backups. The big problem with this is some files that may be of great importance to a business or could be required to comply with regulations for years to come could get deleted months before anyone notices they are gone.
Always have a backup strategy that will be suitable for your company’s needs, look at a strategy that will allow you to go back far enough to comply with your contract and regulatory obligations. Even the smallest businesses that may not have any regulatory obligations should consider using the grandfather, father, son scheme as well as other key dates throughout the year (prior to year end etc.)
Daily (son), weekly (father), monthly (grandfather)
What type of backup is best?
Traditional tape drive with numerous tapes – This is a tried and tested method that has been used for decades, the downside to this is the need for human intervention in remembering to change the tapes and take them offsite.
USB HDD in a rotation – Again there is a need for the devices to be changed and stored manually. The biggest plus to this type of backup is that it is cheap to store very large quantities of data.
Online backup – This is a relatively new technology that has only become viable since the advent of affordable high speed internet connections and benefits from being autonomous in its operation and storage of the data offsite with no human interaction.
Planning for a bad day
Daily backups are great for recovering individual files or the odd folder but what happens when things really go wrong and one of your servers suffers a major hardware failure or disaster strikes and the site is flooded or ravaged by fire? – This is where you need a disaster recovery system in place to allow for rapid recovery of your server infrastructure to alternative hardware.
You may have software in place for this purpose already but how reliable is it and how long does it take to recover? It’s all well and good taking the disaster recovery images but unless these images are tested regularly you won’t know that they are recoverable or the process involved.
The same issues can occur with storing a disaster recovery image as do with the daily backups in that it will require user intervention to change the storage device and take it offsite which is where you will want the image to be when a disaster takes place.
The Cloud Backup and Continuity service from ADT Systems addresses both the need for daily backups and disaster recovery system in a single solution.
It offers the ability to back up your files to a network storage device every day and upload it to the cloud which gives you the speed of recovery onsite and the benefit of being able to recover files offsite all without any human intervention which immediately makes it more reliable. Backups can be held online for up to 7 years giving you peace of mind that you can recover you important data years after they were lost.
Additionally the backups that are taken are actually images of the server which are virtualised and also uploaded to the cloud where it sits in a running state which can be verified by viewing a screenshot so no more guessing if your image will work, you can see it. This means that should the worst happen to your server you can switch to this virtual server in the cloud instantly. Depending on the local storage device used instant onsite virtualisation may be available to you.