Do you want your successful enterprise to come crashing down around you?
Probably not. Yet, if you’re among the 75% of small businesses don’t have a backup and restoration plan, you’re putting everything you’ve worked for at risk.
This means that when a disaster like a hack or a power loss comes, your business won’t be able to recover valuable data.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to show you how to plan and execute enterprise backups.
Create a Backup Schedule
Although certain aspects of your enterprise can be synced to cloud services, you’ll still need to run deep backups occasionally to ensure everything is captured.
For this, you’ll need to come up with a backup schedule. A backup schedule details the exact resources and timings you need for your backup.
Things to include in your schedule are:
Backups take time, and they also take staff. You’ll need to look at your enterprise backups and decide what kinds of resources they’re going to take from day-to-day operations.
Knowing these details in advance is key to ensuring the continuity of your service during backup periods. Do you need to hire extra staff during the process? Do you need to put an overtime policy in place?
You’ll also need to take staff training into account. Can’t deploy key members of staff to backups due to service-level agreements? If not, then you’ll need to train the staff who will be doing the backups.
The most obvious part of the backup schedule is the matter of timetabling.
How often will your backups be? Enterprise backups aren’t something you do when it ‘feels’ like the right time. They need strict timetables in place to be effective.
Much of this will depend on the size of your business.
A small business may not see database changes as frequently or in high volumes, so backups can afford to be less frequent. The exact time frame will depend on the needs of your business.
The data covered by your backup will vary considerably from business to business.
For instance, a smaller business may choose to back up all of their information due to the reduced amount of time it will take.
However, big businesses may not have the luxury of creating manual back ups of everything. This could be due to the prohibitive amount of space required. But this is where you can identify issues such as these. By working this out in advance, you can search for alternative support methods, such as cloud synchronization.
Your backup destination is as important as your method.
Enterprise backups should always include an off-site solution. If damage to your business premises or server location can wipe out your backup data, then it isn’t really a backup at all.
Now is the time to plan the destination both for your on-site and off-site backups.
Make Redundant Backups
The biggest mistake business can make is assume that a backup means their data is now safe. Storage media can fail, and the cloud can let you down, so you need to be prepared.
When it comes to the cloud, many small businesses confuse cloud synchronization with genuine enterprise backups.
While the cloud can backup your live data, it may not have restore points that will let you recover information from previous days. If your company is the victim of a hack or wide-scale data corruption, you need the ability to roll back to previous data. You need to be sure you have genuine cloud backups.
Likewise, leaving all your data on tapes in your premises leaves them vulnerable to fire, flood, and more. So, your backup plan should still be cloud ready!
That’s why it’s important you make redundant backups. It’s the only way to be sure that your business continues — no matter what kind of crisis you face.
Much like your backup plan, your restoration plan should take several factors into account:
Test your Backups
You can’t assume your backup will successfully recover your business. Part of your restoration plan should be testing your backups in a controlled scenario.
This is when you’ll be able to see any weaknesses in your backup plan, and repair them. Without this step, you could have some nasty surprises waiting for you.
Measure the effectiveness of your recovered data. How fast was the recovery? What percentage functionality did you restore? Was anything lost?
These questions can all help you prepare for the ‘big one’.
In a disaster recovery scenario, your enterprise may find itself flailing. The time to make a plan is before disaster hits.
Recovery and restoration can be a time-intensive process. It involves data diving and multiple layers of checks. Creating a priority structure for your data restoration lets you get important systems up and running as soon as possible.
This may be the single biggest impactor on your business continuity in a disaster scenario. So, it’s a mistake to overlook it.
If you’re secure in the quality of your backup and you have an idea what your priorities are, it’s time to follow it up with a deployment plan.
Like your backup scheduling, this should be a schedule that takes into account time and manpower.
Who do you have on site to process the data? How quickly can it be moved back into the live system? What sort of losses are you likely to incur? Thinking about these things in advance will allow you to ensure your staff is appropriately trained to manage the crisis.
Enterprise Backups are the Way Forward
Just like you wouldn’t build a house without a stable foundation, you shouldn’t think about the future of your business without getting your backups in place.
The more you invest, the more you stand to lose if you aren’t prepared for the worst. Keep referring to this guide as you formulate your plan and you should be able to avoid joining the 60% of companies that never recover from a data loss situation.
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