Image for a minute that there has been a water leak in your server room that has fried your hardware. Your data is gone. What is your next step? For most people their immediate reaction will be panic because they either don’t have a backup, or they are not confident about the backup they think they might have. This is one of the worst feelings for anyone who has the responsibility to manage servers, or anyone who relies on the information they contain.
Now imagine this same scenario, except this time you have solid disaster recovery plan in place, and you have a backup system that emails you reports regularly telling you that everything is ok. You still panic a little because data loss is never fun, but you have confidence as you start the restore process that everything will be ok.
Data loss is serious business, and can seriously hurt your business if you are not protected against it. Studies show that 70% of small businesses that suffer a major data loss will be out of business in less than a year! Companies who protect themselves against such a loss don’t have to face such terrifying odds.
Whether by human error, hardware failure, or even natural disaster, data loss is going to happen as some point, and on some scale, to every business. So how do you protect yourself and ensure that you can survive it?
Develop a Disaster Recovery Plan. This plan can be broad enough to cover your facilities and personnel, but must be specific enough to deal with network hardware, servers, and most importantly, the data on the servers. Northbridge can help you develop a Disaster Recovery Plan if you don’t already have one.
Have a strong backup solution in place. Where is your backup now? Is it on a little flash drive, or an external hard drive? Or is it on a tape that you try to remember to switch out every week? These methods may give you some piece of mind but they are not the type of backup solution that will save you in the event of a serious loss of data. A strong backup solution will backup not just your files, but also your programs, and can even be used to fully rebuild a server when needed.
The off-site option is critical. How you backup your data is only the first consideration, where that backup exists is equally as important. It is very possible that your current backup is in the same room as your server, either on a tape, flash drive, or external drive. What if there is a fire in the server room, or water leak? Or even if you have a catastrophic loss of your whole facility? Your backups will be lost along with your servers. An off-site option will enable you to recover data even in the event of a total loss of equipment.
Test your backup regularly. The only way to really know if your backup is working is to test it regularly. Even if you have not lost any files, you (or your IT support team) should be data recovery tests on a monthly basis. Successful tests will give you increased confidence in your backups, and failed tests will alert you to problems that you can resolve before a data loss occurs.
When it comes to data loss, it’s not a matter of if, but when, and how much will be lost. When that loss hits your business, will you be prepared to recover? If you are not completely confident in your backup solution, or if you need help with anything discussed in this blog, please give us a call today at Northbridge Professional Technologies and we can help you restore that confidence.