Today is World Backup Day, for many it’s a day to be celebrated, but for just as many, it’s a stark reminder of the dark omen that is an uncertain backup environment or plan.
We all know the basics of backup right? The things we all want to achieve
I could happily go on for far longer than any of you would care to read on each of these topics!
Today however, I want to talk about the practical elements of making sure your backups and overall disaster recovery plan are the best they can be. Starting with some basic questions.
- Are you backing up your whole environment?
- Are you running your backups daily?
- Are your backups retained for the right amount of time?
- Do you take backups off-site?
- Are your backup sets fully automated?
- Are your backup jobs encrypted?
- If you have cloud resources (Microsoft 365, Azure, AWS) are these backed up?
In an ideal world, you would want each of the above to be a confident and resounding YES! However, this is not always the case – we often hear the ill-fated “I don’t know”.
So, what can we do to be certain on the above and confidently rest knowing our backups will be there for us should the worst occur?
Step 1 – Check the List
Firstly, I would start by checking your infrastructure or approach your IT Team to get the answers to the above questions. Understand that if the answer to any of them is no, in this first step, it’s less important to know why, just to understand the position you are currently in. Once you’ve established that, let’s move on to step 2.
Step 2 – Check the Kit
Once you have a firm understanding of your overall backup integrity, it’s time to push past the smoke and mirrors and figure out exactly what you are working with. Check your storage, check your software and make sure it isn’t letting you down. There are so many options available in today’s market, but a quick search of your products and the competition should help you understand if you need to make any changes.
Step 3 – Make your Plan
At this point, you’re either happily relishing in confidence… or you’re not.
If you’re not… bear with me, I promise, we’ve just ripped off the worst of the band-aids and from here… the only way is up. When making your plan, it’s important to work out what you need first, what you want second and then figure out the cost implications (if any) your business will need to work towards. Everyone loves a good deal (or better, a free deal!) but sometimes investment is required to ensure you have the right infrastructure for your plan. When making your plan, make sure you are referencing the list from Step 1 and work out the following:
- How long do I want to keep my backups?
- What is my off-site storage plan?
- Do I have Cloud Resources that need to be backed up?
- How efficient do I want my backups to be?
- How long can I afford to be offline in the event of a disaster?
- How much data can I afford to lose in the event of a disaster?
The answers to these questions will help you to understand how much storage you need, whether you need a cloud or second-site storage plan, if you need high performance equipment and your Recovery Point/Time Objectives. Know that even if the plan is loose, it’s more than you had at Step 1 and it will help you enormously when collaborating with your teams, suppliers and peers to achieve the best outcome.
Step 4 – Reach Out
At this point, we’ve gone from scratching our heads, to having a clear understanding of the potential issues, a goal to aim for and a plan to get there. Now it’s time to reach out.
Speak to your team and your suppliers and get them on board with your plan. From this point forward, you’re taking control of your backup & disaster recovery plan. You’ve worked out what you want to achieve and you’re making it happen. That, or you were happy from Step 1 – either way, grab a coffee and your favourite lockdown biscuit, you’ve earned it!
Remember, if you ever have any questions, just ask. I, or one of the team here at Planet IT, are always happy to be used as a sounding board and can offer our expertise for your specific situation.