Have You Formally Tested Your Recovery Solution to Ensure it Works?
Like a fire drill that ensures your staff knows what to do and where to go in the event of an emergency, the “occupational health and safety” of your systems and data needs regular testing and review. The problem has been that this additional step is one that no one ever wants to pay for – that is, actually testing recoverability of backup systems. This goes beyond just reading files and encompasses such tasks as ensuring the software works, if the virtual machine (VM) can be restored and can boot and if the system works like clients expect.
The Importance of Testing Your Data Backup
One of the most important items in a network environment is the backup system. Without one, a company is susceptible to lost data in the event of a small or large data loss event. However, most businesses feel that once their backup system is in place, they can just cross it off their “to do” list and move on – this, unfortunately, is almost as dangerous as having no backup system at all.
Here’s what you need to remember: A backup is only as good as the last successful test restore that was performed. Without regular test restores, a company runs the risk that their backup is bad or corrupted; perhaps even worse, this isn’t usually discovered until the time the backup is needed the most. Whether backups are being managed internally or outsourced to another company, business owners suffer when a restore needs to be made and is unsuccessful.
Three Reasons to Test Your Data Backups and Disaster Recovery Plan (You DO Have One of Those, Don’t You?)
Imagine, for a minute, what would happen if companies didn’t test their cars, electronic goods or software before the public purchased them. Pretty scary, isn’t it? The exact same logic should be applied to computer backups and disaster recovery plans. In fact, organizations must design and plan their backups to cover all their important systems, the way we see it; the short-sighted nature of skipping tests should be self-evident, one would think, but when it isn’t, the following reasons spell out the importance of making sure backups and disaster recovery (DR) work before you need them:
1. Gain Trust in a System
Once a backup plan and system have been implemented, it must be tested immediately – the sooner any shortcomings are found and addressed, the more likely it is that backups will serve their intended purpose. It’s normal to discover flaws in design after implementation, but people sometimes are surprised.
2. Gain Understanding of the DR Process
Once practice runs are done, organizations and their IT departments better understand how the DR plan works; in so doing, they also gain the confidence to tackle any “This is not a drill!” scenarios.
3. Making Sure the Plan Fits the Business Environment
Are all your servers covered? What about data created on notebook computers or mobile devices? Does the backup plan retain data far enough in the past to ensure your company meets regulatory requirements? Do backups make your team “e-discovery ready” should litigation arise? These are just some of the questions your organization must ask when you test your backup and DR plans.
A Full-Service IT Team That You Can Consider Your One-Stop-Shop
Of course, there’s nothing like leaving it to the pros, and that’s precisely what you do when you trust DMS iTech to handle your IT needs. Their solutions are designed to not only reduce your costs, but increase revenue and mitigate business risks through productivity and efficiency-enhancing benefits.
Their data protection solutions provide confidence by way of onsite and offsite data backup, with professionals who understand that organizations rely on data – and that without access to it, operations quickly grind to a screeching halt.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you’re in the market for data backup assessment, connect with the professionals at DMS iTech today.