If you're like most small business owners, you take the subject of data backup and recovery very seriously.
In today's business environment, data drives everything from the sales cycle to your accounting department. On-demand data requirements mean that your company needs guaranteed access to your data – there simply isn't any room for error.
A quality data backup and recovery software solution is the first step toward complete data protection. But before you get too comfortable, you should know that a sophisticated software application doesn't guarantee that your company's information will be secure. Although you won't want to hear it, there are still plenty of things that can go wrong when it comes to your company's critical data.
Small businesses are especially vulnerable to mishandling the backup and data recovery process. Smaller (or non-existent) IT departments and lack of oversight can be contributing factors to your data's demise. It's possible to protect your business information – but to do it, you'll need to get up to speed on common backup and recovery mistakes to avoid.
- Sporadic backups. Unless you have an affinity for living life on the edge, consistent and scheduled backups should be the backbone of your data security and protection philosophy. Daily full system backups aren't realistic. But weekly full backups combined with daily incremental backups are – and they should be executed religiously.
- Wrong storage space. You might be surprised how many small businesses backup their data to the same physical device or disk that holds the data they are backing up. Common sense should dictate the importance of storing archived data on a separate device/disk, with another version preferably stored offsite.
- Tape-only backups. Tape backups are popular storage options for small business server environments. For long-term storage and offsite archiving, tape backups are a sound choice. But you'll also want to archive backups on a disc that is stored in-house because it can be difficult to retrieve data from tapes. Disc-based backups provide shorter recovery times and easier access.
- Limited knowledge base. Who knows how to restore data after a disaster? If it's only a single IT guy, you're in trouble, especially if a disaster occurs while he is off-the-grid on a two-week vacation to Fiji. Educate multiple staff members about the recovery process and document step-by-step data restoration.
- Failure to perform recovery testing. Untested data recovery systems are just that – untested. Conduct periodic recovery tests and evaluations to make sure your system is functioning properly and is capable of delivering both full and partial restorations.