The Seven Golden Rules Of Backups
How often should you backup your data? Backups should be easy to carry out, so at least once a day makes sense. For critical, fast-changing data, more often may be appropriate. For certain types of data (for example, databases), there may be better ways of taking frequent backups.
Keep Data On Servers
You really, really don’t want to have to backup desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, even phones. The company policy should be that the master copy of your data is held on a server, and that is what gets backed up. If you need remote access to data, consider using something like ownCloud, which can securely share data from your server.
Backups are tedious and boring. At the end of the working day, you’d probably prefer to set off home or grab a quick drink with colleagues rather than stay in the office, find the correct tape and start a backup. Automating backups means a) they get done and b) you get home (or to the pub) on time.
Monitor The Backup Process
As your backups are automated, you need to integrate them into your monitoring regime. You need to check whether there were any errors last time the backups ran, whether they completed in a reasonable time and when they last ran. On the last point: “I never get any backup errors” is great until you realise that the last time the backups ran was when The Osmonds were at number one.
Keep Backups Offsite
Seeing wisps of smoke rising gently from what was once your business empire will be distressing. Realising that the backups were also in that building could make a bad day a whole lot worse. So, either make sure your backups are stored off site, or carry out your backups directly to another, remote, server.
A Backup Recovery Manual
Write an idiot-proof, step-by-step procedure that details how to restore data from your backups. Oh, and keep a copy off-site as well (remember the smoke?).
Test The Recovery Procedure
Ask a member of your staff to recover a file from your backups (you could even try the ten minute backup test, below). Don’t ask someone whose job it is to run backups, or someone who helped write your manual. Do a real test, using some unsuspecting member of staff (because that’s what will happen in real life). If you did this twice a year you’d know your backups work, you’d know the recovery manual works, you’d sleep better.
We have been using Tiger Computing for more than 10 years and they have provided us a server with 100% up time and off site backups. Their technical support has been second to none. I highly recommended them to anyone who needs trouble free IT.– MIKE VINCE, MANAGING DIRECTOR (MONODE)