Virtualize your server? It’s critical if your building is destroyed and it’s the seventh post from our Business Advisory Guide entitled “12 Little-Known Facts Every Business Owner Must Know About Data Backup, Security And Disaster Recovery.” Written in plain English, this easy to read 15 page guide explains what you must know about data backup and disaster recovery, should you experience a data erasing disaster at your business.
In this post we finish explaining
the 12 Critical Characteristics To Demand From Your
Backup Service And IT Company
6. The INITIAL backup should be to a local, physical device. Trying to transfer all the data online could take days (possible weeks) and cause your Internet connection and systems to drag. If you have a large amount of data to backup, ask your provider how the initial backup is created.
7. Make sure your data can be restored to a different computer than the one it was backed up from. Amazingly, some backups can only be restored to the same computer they came from. If the original computer was damaged in a fire, stolen, or destroyed in a flood, you’re left without a backup.
8. The ability to “virtualize” your server. This is a fancy term for putting your server online so that you and your staff can work remotely if necessary. This option would be important if your building was destroyed or if your area was evacuated.
9. Demand a local “spare” server and backup. Most server crashes are due to hardware failure, not natural disasters. Therefore, you should have an onsite, local backup server as a failover device if your main server dies. This local server also makes it much easier to retrieve a file or folder than trying to pull it down from the Internet (see #3).
10. Demand daily status reports of your backup. All backup services should send you a daily e-mail to verify if your backup actually ran AND to report failures or problems. The more professional providers should also allow you to notify more than one person (like a technician or your IT person) in addition to yourself.
11. Demand LIVE monitoring by a qualified technician. Many online backup services are “self-serve,” which allows them to provide a cheaper service to you. BUT backups are not “set it and forget it” processes so don’t settle for an “automated” monitoring service. All too often problems happen with backups that require someone who knows what they’re doing to investigate the problem and resolve it. Otherwise, you simply have an alarm system that no one responds to. Plus, if you need to recover your data, you want to be able to call and talk to someone who can help you, especially if it’s a major disaster. If you’re using a cheap online backup service or a company that doesn’t offer live monitoring, you’ll be stuck trying to recover your data on your own, wasting tons of time and possibly not being able to get back up and running for days.
12. Demand a written IT disaster recovery plan. This shows YOU that they have a plan in place for restoring your data and that they won’t be scrambling to figure it out when disaster strikes. As the saying goes, “by failing to plan you’re planning to fail.” A written report shows you that they have thought the process through and know what to do in the event of a disaster.
The Single Most Important Thing To Look For When Choosing a Remote Backup Service Provider
While the above checks are important, one of the most critical characteristics – and one that is often overlooked – is finding a company that will do regular test restores to check your backup and make sure the data is recoverable. You do not want to wait until your data has been wiped out to test your backup, yet that is exactly what most people do, and they pay for it dearly. If your data is very sensitive and you cannot afford to lose it, then weekly restores should be done. If your situation is a little less critical, then monthly or quarterly test restores are sufficient. Any number of things can cause your backup to become corrupt. By running a test restore, you’ll sleep a lot easier at night knowing you have a good, solid copy of your data available in the event of an unforeseen disaster or emergency.
In our next post we have a question for you! Want To Know For Sure If Your Data Backup Is Truly Keeping Your Data Secure?
If you want to skip this blog and read the entire 15 page guide, you can download your Free Business Advisory Guide Here.
This guide explains in plain every day English what you need to know about data backup, security and disaster recovery.
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