Essential Components in a Data Backup Strategy

Few elements of a business are more valuable and worth protecting than its data and files, and this is the basis of the data backup and cloud storage world. A strong data backup strategy, plus all the required technological elements to carry it out, will not only significantly lower your risk of any kind of data loss taking place, but will also prepare you in the event of a disaster – including non-software disasters like floods or power outages – and ensure your business does not suffer from data loss in any such event.

At Storage Whale, we’re here to help. We proudly offer numerous data backup and cloud storage for both personal use and businesses, helping a variety of companies secure and protect their data at all times. When helping any entity map out a data backup strategy, what are the top elements we typically identify to help you get started? Here are several to keep in mind.

Onsite Backups

For certain types of disasters or data loss, there is great value to maintaining data backups on the premises themselves. Think of a situation where one of your business servers crashes, for instance, perhaps due to overheating or some other concern outside your control – in this setting, it’s enormously beneficial to have simple backups on-hand that you can immediately restore, allowing for little to no downtime.

Onsite backups are one area that exemplifies a particularly important theme in data recovery: Time is money. The longer you have to wait for lost data to be restored, the greater the chances of losing business, damaging your reputation and other related risks. And while cloud backups play a huge role in recovering from other disaster formats, onsite backups are faster to restore, both compared to the cloud and offsite tape backups.

Offsite Backups

At the same time, maintaining quality offsite backups – or backups that are not present on your actual premises – is vital. Why? Because there are also certain kinds of disasters that may impact not only your initial onsite data, but also your onsite backups. Certain events at your actual data center may cause this, such as a flood or a major power outage.

And in these situations, it pays major dividends to have quality backups offsite. The most common format for offsite data backup today is cloud storage, which allows for secure protection and retrieval of data from any location using modern technology. There are also forms of manual tape backups that are still used in some situations, though these were much more common in the years before the cloud became a robust option.

Backup Testing

Now, having the above-stated backups in place will only be truly effective if these backups are also tested, and tested often. There doesn’t have to be a disaster for you to run a test data backup scenario within the business – in fact, this is something the best companies do often within their tech departments to ensure security and safety throughout the system.

On top of this, it’s vital to train IT staff and anyone else who will access data on the proper methods for accessing and restoring data backups. Your system can be set up perfectly, but still lead to failure in your data recovery if your staff doesn’t know how to handle a particular type of disaster. Your entire investment in data backups could be wasted if this is the case.

Backup Schedule

In addition to testing, it’s important to ensure your backups are done on a regular schedule. What good is a robust data backup system if you’re not taking the right opportunities to back up the actual data? This often leads to situations where the system is in place, a disaster takes place…and important data is lost because the most recent data backup was days or weeks in the past.

How exactly you should schedule your backups will depend on a few factors, from the size of your business and the data quantities involved to the sensitivity of data and some other variables. Our team will be happy to recommend an ideal data backup schedule based on these factors, one that will keep your entire business protected at all times.

Clear, Organized Storage

Within the actual data backups themselves, whether we’re talking onsite or offsite backups, it’s also vital to maintain solid organization and labeling for files and data. Multiple people or entities will surely be accessing this data from time to time, and a confusing, poorly-labeled system will simply slow everyone down. This theme goes not only for online files stored in the cloud, but also for any manual tape backups or other types you’re utilizing.

Importance of Speed

We noted it above, but wanted to drive the point home once more: Speed is an absolutely paramount factor in data backups and a recovery strategy. Backups need to be easily accessible by anyone who might be involved in the data recovery process, allowing for immediate initiation of this process as soon as any kind of threat or disaster is identified.

Consider a test case where your backups are reliable and accessible, but staff are not properly trained on the immediate needs of data backup. Compared to a competitor who has done this training and has a comprehensive data recovery program focused on speed and efficiency, your business will appear slow and clunky – and if there’s data loss along with this, some clients will begin looking for other options. Avoid this by being ready.

For more on the vital elements involved in a data backup strategy, or to learn about any of our cloud storage or other services, speak to the staff at Storage Whale today.