Protecting your data is essential to securing business success, enhancing productivity, and preventing costly consequences. Data backups have several benefits, and when aligned with the right solution, they can ensure your peace of mind. But for most, determining best practices can feel daunting. So let’s explore three key points to remember when considering the importance of data backups.
The Importance of Reliable Backups
Data Storage Solutions
The first step is to consider the location of your data and align this with a wide range of solutions available to meet your needs. Your data needs to be in more than one physical backup location. For micro businesses, this could mean just making sure they use Google Drive, Box, Microsoft OneDrive, or Dropbox to synchronize their data across multiple devices. The drawback is that if something gets deleted, the platform synchronizes that deletion across all those devices. In most cases, you only have a limited amount of time to recover, typically 30 days. The next and more ideal solution is what’s called archival backup. These backups allow you to go back to a specific time in the past and recover data that may have been lost.
In addition to simple vs. archival backup, we also need to discuss File and Folder vs. Image backups. File and folder backups grab specific files and folders from a computer and ensure that only those items are backed up. An image backup captures the entire computer and then keeps that image up to date over time. File and folder backups are typically used on systems that are not “Up-time” critical. If that system fails, we still have access to the critical data and can restore it as we need. Image-based backups are for systems that are “Up-time” critical. These are systems that, if they go down, cripple a company’s ability to deliver services, and they immediately start losing revenue. If the system goes down with image-based backups, a recent copy of that system can be restored to another physical computer and put in place of the failed system, bringing the client back up quickly and with minimal downtime.
Schedule Data Backups Often
Your business investment deserves to be protected. Successful business owners see the importance of regularly backing up their data. Unforeseen events like computer hijacking, natural disasters, or even a disgruntled employee deleting important information can be disastrous if regular backups are not occurring. Based on my experience, I feel very strongly that if you or someone in your organization is manually running backups on a schedule, you must change this immediately. Having someone manually backup is not reliable nor scalable as your company grows. The timing of the backups can be determined by how often the data changes and how current the backups should restore. Once a day for most small businesses is acceptable; multiple times a day for larger companies or those with very dynamic data that needs to be consistently updated.
Data to Secure
With so much information you are processing on a daily basis, it is critical to know which of it should be backed up. The simple answer is – Backup anything that will affect your business if it becomes impossible to access suddenly. Software can easily be reinstalled, like Microsoft Office or Adobe. Data related to customer correspondence, policies, patents, accounting records, financial information, and transaction details should be stored in a central location like a local file server that is backed up consistently. Whatever workloads your server runs, like databases, need to be backed up at least nightly.
Are you feeling overwhelmed at regularly backing up all of your critical information, or are you unsure of your current solution? TEK Utah can help you find the solution that will best fit your business model, as well as help to ensure they are getting done on a regular and timely basis.
*Data backups continue to be a critical area for businesses to incorporate, and as such, this post is an update from a previous post.