You’ve invested in a modern backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution and now sleep more soundly at night, but the hardware itself is really only part of the solution. Now you want to ensure it will 100% work and provide both your data and a rapid resumption of operations when disaster strikes. Now is the time to make sure your provider is doing preventative maintenance, periodic restore testing, multi-location storage, and that staff are trained and timeframes required for various scenarios are understood. Having these things in place will help avoid surprises if the worst happens.
In addition to the hardware itself, a solid backup solution also has its own backup including generators, backup batteries, cooling systems, fire detection, suppression systems, and redundant cloud storage. You can’t necessarily head to your provider’s datacenter to see for yourself, but you can read the fine print on your contracts as well as have meaningful conversations with potential providers.
Consistently ensuring everything is running as it should, will allow you some peace of mind as well as lay the groundwork for successful backup. This goes beyond simply testing backup software or cloud storage. A good backup provider will run regular testing and provide reports on the health of the backup, size, and any glitches that you might be facing. This testing should also include periodic test restores of your actual data to ensure the solution works and timeframes are clear.
At a minimum, backups should be done to local hardware as well as to hardware that is offsite. An offsite data center that is hundreds of miles away is good. Having backups in more than one offsite location is even better. It’s also important to know what the offsite datacenter(s) meet in terms of compliance standards. The goal is to ensure geo-separation between your data and the backups as well as to ensure that data is secure in a professionally certified facility.
Scenario Planning and Training
Don’t leave it all to your IT company. Take an active role in “gaming” different events that could require restoring some or most of your data. Who makes the decisions? What is the process and how long does it take? What processes can be available and practiced to reduce the disruption to business operations? And don’t lose sight of the fact that when it comes to backup, security, and other breaches, employees often are the weakest links. Cybercriminals are going after these individuals rather than attacking at a network level because they are easier to infiltrate. Make sure you have regular cybersecurity training in place for all employees to limit these potential breaches. Creating a strong disaster recovery plan starts with prevention and then you need a practiced plan to manage operations while systems are restored. Just having good backups may not be enough to avoid costly and frustrating disruptions.
Every business needs to have a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan in place. Need help with yours? Give us a call.