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6 Steps to the Perfect Data Backup

Apr 16 2015

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So you’ve finally decided to get serious about your backup methods after hearing about data losses all around you? Good, we are here to help! No matter your backup method, there are a few tips we can offer to help make sure you are getting the most out of your data backups.

1. Choose an appropriate backup method for your business.
This may seem obvious, but many companies choose backup methods that are cumbersome or may not work best for their staff. Whether it is removable drives, a cloud-based option, or even tapes, decide what your business needs. You should also consider automating your backup process. You don’t want to forget to perform your backup process or have to stay late to do this in the evening to avoid interrupting employees. Automation eliminates these annoyances.

2. Name and store consistently.
Make sure that once your data is backed up and stored, anyone on your IT staff can locate exactly which backup they need. There are many naming conventions to choose from, so you will need to decide what is best for your company. For example, if half of your backups are full, and the other half are partial, you will need some way to differentiate them.

3. Determine your Recovery Point Objective and backup accordingly.
Your Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is the point at which lost data will cause serious damage to your business. If your business cannot lose more than 4 hours of data without getting into serious trouble, then you should backup every 4 hours at most. Some businesses are able to lose a few days’ worth of data before facing serious problems. The key is to knowing your objective and following through with backup intervals that make sense for your business.

4. Consider on-site and off-site storage.
What if your building catches fire or someone breaks in and steals all of your backups? It has happened to plenty of businesses. Protect yourself and store backups both on-site and off, which brings us to our next point…

5. Replicate your backups.
You must replicate and keep more than one copy of your backups. It is best to have copies stored on-site and off-site for the reasons mentioned above. Whether your off-site backups are stored in a physical storage facility or in the cloud, it provides insurance in case of disasters at your location.

6. Test your backup methods regularly.
Backup methods fail. Make sure that your IT staff are not relying on their automated backup methods, storing them, and never thinking about them again. The methods you use to backup and store your data should be audited and tested on a continuous basis to make sure that everything is working well and that your backups can provide a reliable restore of your data.

Take our word for it – you do NOT want to be left out in the cold with a bad backup when disaster hits your business. Contact us to learn more about managed backup by a leading services provider with experience protecting businesses like yours.

James Oberhaus

Written by James Oberhaus