All Things Backup
Do you have data that you just simply can’t afford to lose? In today’s world we have so much data online, on our phones and on our laptops. We rely on this information to be stored and expect to retrieve it when we need to. This could be anything from family photos to important business documents.
As a business, do you know what you would do if you came into work one day and your important documents were corrupted, or you couldn’t get into your everyday applications? If your business was closed for one day, do you know how much revenue would be lost? These are important conversations to have when you're discussing backup solutions.
There’s a several things you need to consider once you decide that you need to implement backups for your business. Here are a few questions you should be prepared to have an answer for.
1. Why do you want your data backed up?
Do you have compliance that your business has to meet? Are you worried that an employee would delete files? Are you concerned about your business staying operational if applications like your EMR aren't functional? Being clear on your objectives for backing up your system can help to set expectations in the event of a disaster. This will also help to drive the type of solution that needs to be designed.
2. How much data do you need backed up?
Size is important when it comes to discussing backups. In a business environment, that helps to determine the cost. The more data you have, typically the more the price increases. Certain applications take up more space than files. However, some files require more space if those files are large such as CAD drawings or X-rays.
3. How long do you need to keep your backups?
In some industries, you must keep your backups for several years. Many organizations are okay with only keeping 30 days or 90 days worth of backups. Backup retention can also play a part when looking at cost.
4. How quickly do you need to recover your data?
The real question here is, how much time can your business afford to be down? If your ERP system is down, is your business dead in the water? If your file server is erased, can you still process customer orders? Different types of solutions have different recovery rates. If you have no tolerance for downtime, you’ll need to make sure that you have a professional plan in place for Business Continuity.
When it comes time to back up your system, there are many different options and several schools of thought. Some solutions will back up your data locally with a storage device or external drives that sit onsite at your office. Many businesses like to have local copies at their office. But what if something happens to the building? Or you have a roof leak and your equipment is damaged.
If that’s something you’d like to consider, you may want to look at backups that are cloud based. Cloud backups can help to mitigate those types of risks. With cloud backups, you still have the option to choose your retention policies and storage limits. It’s often times flexible when it comes to storage since it's in the cloud and you can increase or decrease as needed. It’s best to discuss different options with your IT department, or a professional managed services provider to determine the best options for you.
Now that you’ve identified your needs for backing up your system and it’s in place, now what? You should have a plan in place to regularly TEST YOUR BACKUPS. We cannot stress this enough. Regularly testing your backups is the difference between being restored and not. We’ve heard horror stories over the years of businesses stating that they have running backups, only to find out that when they have a major disaster, there’s no data on their backup drive! They’ve had their backups running along, but never had to attempt to restore anything. Just because it says it’s running, doesn’t always mean that data is backing up. Or in some cases, it’s not backing up the right files, folders, or applications. Backups are not a set it and forget project. They should be monitored, tested and occasionally restored.
Invicta Partners is here to help you with all things backup related. We can discuss different options and customize a solution that fits your business. Give us a call at 423-664-8700 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a discussion started!