Regardless of the size of your business, it’s likely that data is an essential aspect of running it. There are three fundamental components you should consider if you don’t yet have a robust strategy in place to keep your data safe.
All humans make errors, all computer systems crash, and disasters happen when you’re least prepared. In any of these situations, you need to have your data backed up and available.
Not only does having a data backup and recovery plan in place give you peace of mind, but it can help you recover valuable data in the event of a breach.
What Is Data Backup and Recovery?
Data backup and recovery is the process of generating and saving data. You can use this data to protect your business from data loss. That data loss is due to many different reasons but in particular, cyber-attacks, and you refer to it as backup and recovery. Disaster recovery is a term often used to describe this process.
The data from a backup is usually restored to its original location or to a different location where it can be used in place of the missing or damaged data. Backing up and restoring data is an essential part of every business’ disaster recovery plan.
Planning Your Backup and Recovery
The cost of losing access to data and applications for some amount of time, determines how you back up your data and applications. Also the cost of restoring or recreating the data if lost for good, (i.e., how often you back them up and to what system or location).
The first steps in developing a backup strategy are recovery time and recovery point objectives, and application. That is, especially in an enterprise backup strategy.
Recovery Time Objective (RTO) refers to the maximum period of time the company can afford to be without access to the data. Also the application time or how quickly recovery of the data and application is.
Recovery Point objective (RPO) refers to the amount of data your company can afford to lose. It also determines how often the data should be backed up to prevent further loss.
RTOs and RPOs can differ depending on the industry and the specific applications and data specifications. Mission-critical applications will have very small RTOs and RPOs. That is because downtime could result in significant financial losses. (i.e. such as a major retailer’s online shopping system or an airline reservation system)
Other factors that influence your backup and restore technology selection include your need for scalability, data protection, and even physical distance.
To recover from a local power outage or disaster, the business may need to keep backups far enough away from the production infrastructure.
In general, there are four types of backup. Let’s learn about them below:
The oldest backup medium still in use today is a tape drive. Tape provides low-cost, high-capacity data storage. But its slow read/write performance makes it unsuitable for incremental backup. Or any other backup system requiring backups whenever data changes.
Tape is often more susceptible to physical wear and damage than other storage media. So it must be carefully monitored and checked to ensure that it can function when needed.
External Drives (HDD or SDD)
The majority of data nowadays is backed up to a hard disk drive (HDD) or solid-state drive (SDD), whether it’s a standalone drive or a backup server.
External HDD and SDD drives have much faster read/write speeds than tape, making them a better option for backups that need to be continuously updated and have a shorter RTO/RPO.
A minor disadvantage of both HDDs and SDDs is that neither is truly scalable—if more backup capacity is required, more disks must be purchased.
A backup server is a dedicated server designed to back up files from several client computers connected to the same network. The server consists of a large amount of disk storage and backup scheduling and management tools. Backup server disks are often designed for redundancy to protect backup data and keep backups running even if a disk fails.
While an on-site backup server can be a cost-effective backup option for a small business, it does not secure backup data from local outages or natural disasters.
Backing Up To the Cloud
All data and applications are backed up to a virtual backup server at a remote data centre. That server is hosted by the business, a hosting provider, or a cloud services provider via a corporate network or internet connection.
The most versatile form of backup is usually cloud backup. It can backup files, application data, and even entire physical or virtual servers. Backups can be scheduled as regularly or infrequently as required. For protection against local power outages or disasters, cloud storage eliminates the need to physically transfer backup media to another location (and the relatively bigger RTOs and RPOs that can result).
When selecting a backup system, consider the factors mentioned previously. But also privacy and confidentiality requirements, retention rules, what is being backed up, and, of course, budget.
No Backups – Pay the Price
Backups should be made on a consistent, regular basis for the best results. That will reduce the amount of data lost between backups.
Any data loss can endanger personal identity, destroy family history, and even put a company out of business.
A strong backup policy and sound procedures would undoubtedly secure confidential business data in the event of a hardware failure, hacker infiltration, or several other risks to digitally stored information.
This is why backing up your data regularly is so important. Contact our team to learn more about cloud services and the solutions that we offer!