Most people don’t think about data backup until they’ve lost valuable information that could be impossible to recreate. Then it’s critical and everyone wants to know now when the server will be running. IT professionals, for the most part, install sound backup technology and let the process run until they get an error in the daily log. Then they take a look and correct. However, this is incomplete and gives a false sense of security. Is the right data still protected as your needs change? Don’t assume data backup is someone else’s job.
It’s not a question of if but when you will lose data. If you don’t have a sound business continuity solution in place, then be prepared to lose your most critical data. Accounting, customer information, trade secrets, and more can all be lost via many avenues including hardware failure, malware, viruses and even simple mistakes. Here are some steps to take to ensure your critical data is protected.
- Back up the business solutions, not just critical data A good business continuity solutions provides for rapid return to production measured in minutes, not hours. Of course you can reinstall Exchange or other software from a backup and reload data, but it is a lot of work to load Windows on the server first, patch it, then make sure it’s connected to the domain correctly, and reinstall the application. Only after all these steps are complete, can you reload the database and get back to operation. This can take hours or even days! You’d also have to find all the installation software or have an extremely fast Internet connection to download them and then take time and employee cost to reload and restore while end-users are calling constantly asking “where are my email and documents!?!”
- Make sure your IT department has it covered!! Let’s say you are satisfied that you have competent professionals safeguarding your data. But when was the last time it was tested in a real world environment? Do a dry run and ask IT to restore the most recent version of a document as well as another copy a few days old so you can see the changes you made to the file. Can they do it? How quickly?
- Get a great, documented and tested plan developed by professionals that addresses the needs of the business. One of the primary questions is to determine your acceptable mean time to recover? Can IT recover a database running your customer relationship software in minutes? Have they done a recent test restore for all critical servers? Ask yourself honestly how long you can be without certain critical IT functions while the restore is happening.
- Constantly test everything and review the results You know business continuity is critical and demands your IT staff pay close attention to this crucial aspect. Here’s one more question: Who is determining what data gets backed up? IT pros are great at their jobs, but they may not know which data should be classified as critical. Management should be involved in the decisions regarding critical data. Are all departments protected? What about critical PC’s? A one hour quarterly meeting to review and provide your IT team direction can prevent disaster. It takes time to do it right, but should you have a disaster, you’ll be glad you planned ahead.
Are you sure your data and processes are protected? Check the status of your current backup solution. If you’re not satisfied or would like to learn more about our full solutions , give us a call at 330-750-1428. ECMSI is here to make IT easy!