21 Aug Data Backup for Your Business
Maintaining a sound data backup of your important business information is something you must be doing. You must define a good data backup policy, implement it, and verify that it is working properly on a regular basis.
A lot of people don’t do this. If you asked them, they would certainly say that having a good data backup policy is very important. Good intentions but often poor execution.
The fact is that business systems will work very nicely without good data backups; until they don’t. When they don’t work, having a good data backup can save your business.
These are some of the components of a good data backup policy:
- Regularly scheduled backups
- Complete backups that includes not only data, but also code customizations, original code, other data that’s needed to run the system
- Store data backups offsite on a regular basis
- Monitor data backup success to ensure that scheduled backups are working as planned
- Perform test restores of data to make ensure your policies, software, and hardware are working properly
The last two items are the steps most often neglected.
If you don’t monitor the daily results of your backup policy you will not be aware of problems until it’s too late. It’s fairly common for backup process to run out of adequate disk space to actually store the backed-up data. In most cases everything will seem as if it is working fine even though there are regular errors being reported by your backup processes. Make sure you receive email notifications of all errors being generated.
Make sure that the backup process is actually working. There are several reasons that it may just stop working, e.g. change in network environment, change in user/system account security, expired software licenses, etc.
You must perform test restores of your systems. A lot of people don’t do this because it’s extra work. But there is really no other way to ensure that your backing up the correct data, your backup media is sound, and your backup equipment is functioning properly.
There really is no excuse for not maintaining a sound data backup policy. It’s not fun to do and it takes a certain level of daily attention and discipline to be effective. But it is worth it. Review your back up policies now and see if they’re effective. Tomorrow may be the day that you need it.
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