Creating a Data Recovery Plan

6 Tips for a Successful Data Recovery Plan

Information is the lifeblood of your business. What would we do if our email, calendar, spreadsheets or accounting data was lost? What about irreplaceable photos?

A reliable backup plan is a requirement for any business using computers. It’s a fact – your computer will fail – it’s just a matter of when.

There are many ways of backing up your data, but it’s important to make sure the following things are taken into account by your backup plan.

  1. Regular backups – Preferably daily. Try to take the human element out of it and automate things.
  2. Versioned backups – Don’t just keep the most recent copy. Backups aren’t just needed for deleted/lost files; what if you overwrote a file by accident, or corrupted the file. With versioned backups, you can go back a couple days if needed.
  3. Fast restore times – The rule of thumb is ‘Slow Backups, Fast Restores’. Downtime can be costly, so make sure your plan can be implemented quickly in the event of disaster. This is where some of the online backup solutions fall apart – without local support, you have to download your backups.. depending on the amount of data, this can take a lot of time. If you use online backups, try to use a local company that can provide your data on a harddrive quickly if needed.
  4. Store a copy off-site – What happens in the event of Fire / Flood / Theft? Don’t lose your backups at the same time. Always keep a copy of your data outside of the building – either take it home with you, keep a copy in a safety deposit box, or use an online service.
  5. Your backup is not complete until you have tested a restore – The number of times I’ve run into clients who back up regularly, but when the time comes – find out that their backups are useless… Test your restores at least once per month.
  6. Make sure you are backing up what you need – have a knowledgeable set of eyes go over your backup plan – it’s better to double check now and notice you forgot something than find out when it’s too late.

If you aren’t comfortable building your own backup plan, speak to a professional. Don’t leave something like this to chance. For most small and mid-sized businesses, unless you have your own IT Department, a good managed backup service is the best way to go. You will pay a little for it, but at least you will have peace of mind.

Don’t wait to find out your cost of downtime!

Any questions / comments relating to this article? Please feel free to contact us.