What three things are the most valuable to your business? For most, it’s employees, customers and data. And how do you insure against the loss of these? Treat employees like family, customers like gold and your data like life itself. And you invest in the best data insurance plan you can, by building a complete data backup plan. Let’s look at what it takes to create a complete backup plan.
Part One – Simple File Backups
You are probably doing this today; copying files to disc or tape. You might know where all critical data is, you might remember to add new data, and you might have a couple of weeks of backups.
But what if something critical is not in your backup set? What if you needed to recover a file deleted six months ago? What if you need to recover a day of work at 4 pm, and your most recent backup was last night?
Modern backups are snapshot based (capturing data and network configuration, including users and groups, file permissions, and everything else that makes your network unique). And modern backups happen frequently, so you can recover data recently created.
Your complete backup plan should be based on snapshotting technology, providing frequent protection of your data and network configuration.
Part Two – True Business Continuity
Now let’s consider what might happen if your server failed today.
Imagine waiting a week for that new server, only to find the nightmare of downtime isn’t over yet. After all, your network isn’t just your data, it is also the unique and complex configuration of your business, your user accounts, your data files and their layout on the server, permissions, policies, printing, and more.
This can take days to recreate. The answer is to build a comprehensive backup plan around snapshot technology that writes to a local device that can stand in for your server in the case of a server failure. With this in place you can instantly recover from the loss of a server in minute to hours, not days to weeks.
Your complete backup plan should be designed to limit downtime to hours, not days, providing True Business Continuity.
Part Three – True Disaster Recovery
First think about the common threats such as ransomware, employee errors and hardware failure, and then next the rare stuff, such as fires, floods, fires, thefts, maybe or earthquakes, hurricanes, or tornadoes in your area.
There is a lot to protect against. Even with your files backed up online, you will still need to run your business while you await your replacement server, and then get your network setup and data restored.
Simply copying your data off-site is not the complete answer you need to recover from a site disaster, as that doesn’t provide you a backup server, only your data, if you’re lucky. Your backup plan has to include the ability to recover from both common and rare disasters.
Your complete backup plans should protect against even a site disaster by providing for True Disaster Recovery.
Tying it All Together
A complete backup plan has to provide for recovery of data lost an hour or months ago, against a ransomware attack, a failed server, or even a complete site disaster. And it has to do this within minutes or hours, not days or weeks.
Health insurance won’t keep you healthy, and life insurance won’t keep you alive, but a complete data backup plan will keep your business alive and healthy.