Backup Strategy Checklist
After working many years assisting businesses with backup and recovery of their data, there’s a number of situations which can demonstrate good (and not so good) practices for developing a backup strategy.
What is a Backup Strategy?
A backup strategy is the basic plan around making sure your backups are able to meet the requirements set out by the business to cover potential data loss and also the turnaround period to get the data back. Some questions which a backup strategy can answer are:
– How regularly does a backup run?
– When do the backups run each day?
– Who is responsible for maintaining and checking the backups are working correctly?
– Where will the backups stored?
With this, we’ve found some key additional factors which can be implemented within a backup strategy so backups can be used to cover a number of incidents.
In addition to the following, the 3-2-1 backup strategy which is quite popular and covers much of what’s below. More information on the 3-2-1 backup strategy can be found at http://www.itprotoday.com/blog/why-3-2-1-backup-rule-still-makes-sense
Don’t rely on just one type of backup.
Reason: Can have the ability to strengthen the data recovery options available overall.
There are many different types of backups depending on what data is being backed up. Examples of the different types are:
– Full System Image backup
– File level backups
– Application specific backups (SQL, Exchange, Accounting packages, etc.)
The reason why you should always have multiple types of backups is to cover any issues that may arise.
For example, if you perform a full system backup and aren’t able to recover an individual file from it then you can always use your file level backup to recover from.
Backup to multiple destinations
Reason: You have redundancy and not at the mercy of a hardware failure.
By backing up to multiple destinations, this adds an extra layer of protection from a hardware point of view. If you’re backing up to a network location (a dedicated server to store backups or a NAS device) then it’s possible all previous backups could be lost unexpectedly in a disaster scenario.
As a consequence; backing up to different types of hardware could mean that backups are available during an unexpected incident.
Always store a backup offsite
Reason: To avoid counter a disaster that prevents access to the building.
Just saying, what if a disaster occurred to the building or office? An issue with the water unexpectedly floods the server room, or an earthquake demolishes the building completely?
How does the business get back up and running? By storing a backup offsite permanently; it’s possible a disaster to the physical location is likely avoided as an offsite backup can be used for data recovery.
How long do you need to recover back to?
Reason: If you’re not storing backups for long enough; you may not be able to go back far enough?
If it’s not possible to archive the backups for long enough it can become a problem for businesses in legal and privacy terms.
Consequently; make sure that the configured retention period meets all obligations required by the business.
Regular tests of recovery procedures
Reason: Being in the middle of a data loss incident isn’t the time or place to find out backups won’t recover.
By performing regular recoveries of data from backups; this ensures three things:
– The backup can be used to recover data in a possible live scenario.
– Someone knows the recovery process.
– If there are any issues that result in a backup recovery failure can be fixed.
By regularly testing backup procedures and recovery processes; this can also help toward any backup audit as well.
Document the backup strategy fully
Reason: Make it easy for anyone to find out anything about the businesses backup strategy.
As with anything in IT; documentation is very important. It is no different for a business backup strategy.
– Where will the backups stored?
– What’s the recovery process?
– What can they recover?
– When a failed backup happens?
These are some of the questions which may arise in the event of a disaster. If only the employee that setup the entire backup strategy knows the complete configuration – then there is a risk there. The employee may have moved onto other things, or become incapacitated and can’t communicate what needs to go on.
It may also be a good idea to password protect the document so that the entire backup strategy is open to unauthorized access. Someone can also review the backup strategy document on a regular basis for changes.
Need help with business backup strategy?
Still unsure? Then TestMyBackups can help with any questions or work with you to set your backup strategy in place.
Therefore let us know by contacting us via https://testmybackups.com/contact/.
We can also perform backup recovery testing of your backups. If you’d like for us to do this then you can purchase at https://testmybackups.com/shop/.