Year-End Review: 4 Questions to Ask as You Audit Your Data Backups

data backupsYear-End Review: 4 Questions to Ask as You Audit Your Data Backups

 

Whatever your current solution for data backups, it is critical to perform a yearly review to safeguard your data.  Below, we’ve provided some key questions to ask as you audit your backup procedures, to ensure that your essential files will be there when you need them most.

  1. How often do you test restore your data?

You’d be surprised how many organizations have never tested their backup systems. They monitor that the backups are performed on schedule, but neglect to test that the backup will restore into a usable format. On more than one occasion, our test restore of a client’s data has revealed corrupted or unusable formats, rendering those routine backups completely useless. This is why Azureity performs random monthly checks on all of our clients’ data, from regular file tests to entire drive restores.

  1. How much time would it take to restore your data?

These same companies (many of whom use an off-site backup solution) have never tested how long a restore will take in the event of an emergency. Many realize, too late, that their current system requires weeks or even months to restore their data. (Remember, Internet speeds vary between uploading and downloading, and planned backups are usually scheduled in small change files during off-hours.)

Consider how much data you have, and how long it will take to download to new servers. Your current solution may replace damaged drives or servers, but if it takes a month to restore your data to a usable form, how useful is it? Because Azureity understands the impact of downtime on productivity, we offer virtual spin ups to a brand new server on the backup site, so you can begin using your data within hours from any secure Internet connection.

  1. What data is actually being backed up?

When your data backups were originally scheduled, someone determined what folders and directories you wanted to save. But, as often happens, any new folders that have since been created are likely not being captured in that backup. This common oversight is not usually discovered until the data becomes corrupt or is missing. It is a terrible feeling to realize that you are trying to restore desperately needed files that were never backed up.  It’s essential to have someone look at your current data backup locations regularly, and verify that all of your data and systems are included in your routine backups.

  1. Where are your backups stored?

While it can be helpful to have your data readily available with inline or near-line backups, make sure that a copy is securely stored offsite at least once a week. Smaller organizations should back up essential information monthly to a thumb drive, and store it in a different building than their primary data. Floods, fires, thefts and other catastrophes can be devastating enough, so take the steps to ensure that you can retain your data in the event of an emergency or disaster.

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