How reliable is your backup?
If you are still reading this after reading my title, thank you — though I am sure you’re thinking why is there another article on backup, right? Though this topic has already been covered we are still finding companies not protected. In the last 3 months we have had 2 new customers come to us with significant data loss. We’re talking shut the business down loss. Thankfully in both situations we were able to recover the data but what these 2 companies also have in common is they thought they had a sufficient backup solution in place. They also spent thousands of dollars with us in man hours and expensive software to recover their data.
Many considerations go into determining what type of backup makes the most sense for your business data. Onsite versus offsite, how much retention, how many computers and servers, how often you want to backup, etc. are all things to be considered. The three main options of computer backup are tape drive, disk to disk and cloud.
Tape drive backup is the oldest method of backing up but it is still very reliable when used correctly though it does require human intervention. Along with being relatively expensive, a tape drive backup will not be of any use if the tapes are left onsite and a disaster occurs. I’ve heard of employees taking the tapes home with them but then you also run the risk of something happening to it when it’s out of the office.
USB drives, external hard drives and network drives are all examples of Disk to Disk (D2D) backup systems. Compared to a tape backup system, a D2D solution is less expensive and much quicker. Again though, human intervention is involved and for higher level of protection the devices should not be kept under the same roof.
Cloud backup solutions are understandably becoming the standard among small to medium size businesses. Most importantly, cloud solutions are safe from burglary and natural disasters, easily accessible from an Internet connection and there’s no physical device to lose or break. Human intervention is also minimal; often you are just looking for a “backup successful” indicator. The downside is that you’re entrusting your information to someone else so you must feel comfortable with a company you are working with and ensure that they are utilizing proper safeguards such as encryption.
Back up is a boring topic but ridiculously important. You may even think you’ve got a stellar system in place but have you tested it? Do you have an onsite backup for quick retrievals and an offsite backup for complete restores? As much as you’d like to deal with this topic once and then move on it really does need to be an ongoing business function much like balancing your books every month. A backup system can be reporting positive backups but if you are not periodically verifying the integrity of the data, you may have a false sense of security.
Regardless of the method you choose, proper setup, ongoing verification of successful backups and periodic testing is the key to protecting your data. Just ask someone who has lost their QuickBooks files or years of customer data and they’ll tell you how important it is to have a proper backup solution in place, giving you the peace of mind that your data is protected.
Mythos Technology is an IT consulting and management firm. For more information, please call (951) 813-2672.