When it comes to data backups, many decision makers focus on implementing the most sophisticated software solution they can afford.
To some degree, that makes sense. A proven backup solution that is loaded with features and benefits has a better chance of protecting your data than an entry-level solution you found in the discount bin at the local superstore.
But an effective software package is only the start of the battle to protect your company's critical information. If your application isn't accompanied by a comprehensive set of backup policies and procedures, the security of your data is still in jeopardy.
Backup and recovery procedures vary from one business to the next based on each company's unique information storage and retrieval requirements. Even so, there are several business data backup procedures that should be non-negotiables for companies that are serious about maintaining redundant systems and seamless access.
- Scheduled backups. The implementation of a consistent and frequent backup system is your first priority. In addition to regularly scheduled full system backups, you'll need to address a schedule of daily incremental backups that fully leverage your application's automated backup features and capabilities.
- Secure storage. Where will you archive your data after it's been backed up? You're in trouble if you store backups on the same physical disk you're backing up. Tapes and other backup devices stored offsite are useful, but you should also consider online backups for full data protection.
- Proven devices. Don't trust your backup tasks to unproven devices or hardware components. If your IT hardware is old or outdated, it could compromise your backup and/or restoration abilities. Conduct periodic evaluations of your devices to make sure they are fully functional.
- Restoration testing. You can't live without an assurance that your data can be adequately restored in the event of a data-related disaster. Frequent restoration testing of individual files/folders and the full system are a prerequisite for sensible data protection. Your disaster recovery plan should specify testing procedures and the process by which data will be quickly restored.
- Verifications. Most business backup solutions provide verifications that scheduled backups have actually occurred. Get in the habit of monitoring these verifications so you can stay on top of system malfunctions or errors in the backup process.