Backup and disaster recovery (BDR) might seem like a singular process, but in reality it’s more of a combination of processes that work in tandem with each other. Backup and disaster recovery both require a different perspective and approach in order to make sure they play nicely with each other. We’ll attempt to address this difference and give you the information needed to make the best decisions possible for your solution.
Properly Preparing for a Data Backup
Before implementing a data backup solution, you should consider the following:
- Have data handling policies and a scalable solution: First, you’ll have to determine some of your policies regarding data backups. Keep in mind that you should be future-minded when planning this out, unless you think you’ll be going out of business soon. This means that you should be planning for an increased amount of data as time passes, meaning that you also want to have a scalable backup solution to accommodate it. Here are some policies to think about:
- What data needs to be backed up, how often backups are taken, how these backups are accessed, and which tools will enable backups to be taken.
- What data needs to be retained, for how long, and in what format.
- What data needs to be destroyed, when it will be destroyed, and how it will be destroyed.
- Utilize a data backup solution that fits your needs: Your business will require a solution that is designed specifically for your its needs, but it should also adhere to best practices and take into account common sense. This will help you get the most out of it. Here are some criteria to keep in mind when choosing your backup solution:
- Multiple copies of your backup will be a necessity. To this end, many businesses utilize the 3-2-1 rule: three copies in total, stored in at least two different locations, and one being accessible remotely.
- Some industries might have regulations and requirements that must be kept to, so be sure to keep these in mind when planning your backup needs.
- Make sure the backup solution passes the test: If you’re not taking time to test your backup, then there’s no real way to know that it works until you need it. Therefore, you can’t be positive that it actually will work–and if it doesn’t, then you’re in a real bind.
Designing Your Disaster Recovery Strategy
Your solution isn’t the only thing that needs your attention; without a solid backup strategy, your solution won’t be as meaningful or helpful. Here are some topics to keep in mind for your data backup and disaster recovery strategy:
- Who needs to know?: Who should be notified in the event of a disaster? You shouldn’t plan for just a single contact; you should also consider second, third, and so on, as you can never know the circumstances surrounding a disaster until it’s too late. It’s better to be over prepared than underprepared. Be sure to make these responsibilities known to your staff, too.
- Who is doing which job?: Who is responsible for initiating the recovery process? You need to know that anyone involved in this process is cognizant of what they must do. This is especially the case if the person is unavailable for some reason.
- Are you reviewing and practicing the strategy?: Your entire team needs to review and practice the processes in place to ensure that a disaster does not undermine operations or place your company at risk. You should have simulated practice drills to make sure your team knows how to react in the event of a disaster.