You have a key client presentation tomorrow. You’re about to launch a new product. You have a big deal pending. What happens if you have a disaster and your key systems go down? Do you have days or weeks to recover? Probably not.
So you backup your data, right? You take data from production and store it on some other device. Delete a file in production and now you can restore it from the backup. There are a lot of applications and services to accomplish this – Mozy, Carbonite, Windows Backup, Symantec. Good, but not good enough.
Yes, data backups are important, but they are insufficient. All organizations need a business continuity plan (BCP) or disaster recovery (DR) data plan. It includes the data backups, but has a broader focus on the business and the end users. With this approach, you think about how to get the entire server operational again quickly – in hours, not days. This will include not only the data, but also the applications and how the users will access the new system.
Here are the five steps:
- Think first about the users and the business – Backups are just data. Business continuity is the data, but also the end users’ ability to be functional again. Focus on how much downtime the company can handle and wants to handle.
- Don’t just backup your key data – We have seen this data-only approach over and over again. Someone decides that the X: drive on the server needs to be backed up and the Y: drive top 3 folders need to be backed up. Ultimately people make new folders which never make the backup routine. And what about the applications to actually access the data?
- Get your data and systems offsite – You never know when a disaster could hit. Good, reliable offsite backup solutions are more available than ever. For the Waident clients, we can backup their entire server and data offsite and locally for about $150 per month. The full system can be back up and running within a couple of hours compared to days with a generic data backup.
- Review your processes and procedures – At least twice a year, meet with your technology support team and discuss the business continuity procedures to make sure nothing has changed. The business will change over time and so should your plan.
- Test the darn process! – Once you get it all in place, test it regularly. Don’t be dumb and assume it just works and nothing has changed. For our clients we do regular test file restores to ensure the business continuity backups are reliable and working as they should be.
So, data backups — good but not good enough. Think continuity and get peace of mind.