Backup Best Practices

When reviewing your backup plan, and more specifically your recovery plan, one needs to look at and evaluate your systems resiliency along with your backup.

Resiliency refers to redundancy built into your systems. It could be in the form of redundant power supplies, UPS Systems, RAID (for protection in the event of a drive failure), virtualization, clustering, fault-tolerant systems and the list goes on.

Date backup is the process and result of copying or archiving files and folders for the purpose of being able to restore them in the case of a loss.

Pretty simple, but here are a myriad of ways to accomplish your backup. The following highlights some general “best practices” associated with backup.

  • Backup regularly:  Depending on the “value” of your data, this could be as much as continuously or at minimum regular set intervals, for example daily.
  • 3-2-1 Rule:  3 copies of your data, on 2 different media, and 1 backup copy off-site. Sometimes referenced to as the production/primary (copy), a local backup copy and an archive for the off-site copy.
  • Test:  You should test your most critical backup sets or applications. From backup, are you able to restore the critical application, database or information? How long did it take? How would your staff access it? What dependencies exist? Test regularly.
  • Align you backup techniques to support/accomplish your business needs. Is it best to do a file based-, VM-based or bare-metal backup, snapshot, VSS enabled snapshot, log shipping?
  • Location to restore to:  What assets/systems do you restore to so you can support the business again?
  • Establish retention policies to support the business and meet any regulatory requirements that apply specifically to your business. Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly….these copies will anable you to recover file item(s) or corrupted application(s).
  • Security:  Today backup security is a must. Data at rest and in flight needs to be encrypted, especially if you are using the cloud or sending your backups over the web. “You are protected as much as your weakest link”.

The above list certainly is not intended to be an all-encompassing list, but a place to start the internal discussion of diminishing your exposure to risk and hopefully simplifying your backup and data protection effort.

We work with many backup applications and there are a number excellent solutions on the market. Equally important to the tool/solution you choose are the processes you have in place. We have a number of service offerings targeted at helping with your backup operations.


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