Network Backup Strategy –
Things You Need to Know
Backup strategy is a must to protect from media failure, hardware failure, user error and potential natural disasters. Therefore, a tested operating procedure is essential in protecting your business from preventable data loss.
Before creating a successful backup strategy, you must first know what data to protect, location of the data, how often to back up the data, where to store the data, and who will be responsible for the documentation and maintenance.
Where are the files located?
In order to setup a backup strategy, you must first know where the files needing backed up are located. For best control of company documentation, all files should be stored in a central location, such as a file server or shared network folder.
However, this is not always the case. If you do not have a file server or a common file share, chances are you have files stored on individual workstations. If this is the case, you will need to include each workstation in the backup solution. This is problematic for many reasons and should be considered a priority to correct.
If you’re not in the position to buy a file server or set up cloud storage, consider setting up a shared network folder. Here’s why. First, you will have better control over sensitive company information. Secondly, you will have more control and predictability over your backup strategy.
What to backup?
Once you have outlined where your files are located, you need to determine exactly what data needs to be backed up. You will want to include any spreadsheet and document files in your backup rotation.
Along with documents and spreadsheets, you also need to backup databases and any special software, such as accounting or financial applications. Special considerations need to be given to database backups. Following the best practices for each database provider will ensure successful protection.
Email is also a consideration for backup solutions. If the mail is hosted in house, the server will need to be backed up. If the email is hosted remotely, email will be on each individual workstations user profile and will need to be backed up.
If you are using webmail, you contact your ISP to see if they are backing up email.
If your business uses mobile devices, consider including them in your backup solution.
Websites will also need to be backed up. If the website is hosted in house, the server will need to be included in your backup solution. If the website is hosted remotely, check with your hosting provider for their backup solution.
Network devices cannot be overlooked in your backup strategy. In the event of a network device failure, the backed up configurations are critical in promptly restoring service. Keep in mind; the network device solution for backup may differ from the solution used for server/workstation backups.
How often to preform backups?
Now that you know data location and which data to back up, you must determine how often the data needs to be backed up. The answer really depends on how long you can afford to go without computer services.
For example, how dependent are you on local services, such as email, CRM software, and financial or accounting software? If your files are compromised, can you reproduce them?
If all your resources are in the cloud, you will have minimal risk of data loss.
If you have local resources, ask yourself two questions. Can the data be reproduced and, how costly is it?
If you still use paper copies, the data can possibly be reentered losing primarily production hours. If your risk is low, you can probably get by with scheduled daily backups.
However, if you are completely paperless and dependent on databases, your risk for loss is much greater. If your risk is higher, you will want to look at hourly back ups with full backups running nightly.
Where to store backups?
A good backup strategy always includes offsite storage. Regardless of location, the last successful backup should always be stored offsite. Simply having someone take the backup home will achieve offsite.
The tape backup strategy does create an in issue with the guarantee of data integrity.
A better solution for backing up data is cloud services. Partnering with a company that provides backup and recovery solutions can be very beneficial. A partnership with a service provider, like Elmore Networks, will address offsite requirements, while giving you access to the latest offerings in backup technology.
Who will be preforming and monitoring backups?
The individual(s) involved in the backup solution must be trained and provided proper documentation of the backup and restore procedures for a successful backup strategy. The backup and restore procedures are critical for successful prevention of data loss.
The backup and restore procedures need to be secured in multiple locations. Consider having a written copy and a copy stored electronically. Storing copies on a thumb drive adds another location, along with storing copies with a solutions provider or other cloud storage.
Again, training is imperative for proper execution of the backup procedure and restore procedure. Inadequate training is a leading cause in delays of restoration of services in a disaster situation.
Partnering with a solutions provider, such as Elmore Networks, helps identify key deficiencies and build a backup solution that gives you piece of mind.
Allow Elmore Networks the opportunity to assess your current backup strategy and relieve you of your pain points. Contact us today for your free assessment.