They are automate, regulate, duplicate and restore. Let’s take them one at a time.
Why’s it important to automate the backups? So don’t rely on somebody to go down, or push the button, to start the backup every day because some days it won’t happen and that will be the day. It’s the law of the cosmic calamity. That says that will be the day that the backup didn’t happen the night before Automate it. Computers are very good at repeat actions. Humans are not!
Regulate what you’re backing up. Think about how much data you’re producing and how often you should back it up. Many people will just back up their data once a day at the end of the day. That’s fine. If you’ve got a larger workforce of, say 10 staff or more. You might want to go to a backup at lunchtime and a backup at the end of the day. Because if you have a calamity at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, at least you’ve only lost 3 hours work. Not the entire day. So just think about that.
Next you need to duplicate the data. Why do you need to duplicate it? Many business owners are moving to cloud-based services and it’s a good thing to do. I’m not knocking cloud-based services Just don’t rely on it 100% Why? Because when you upload the original amount of data, it was probably this much and from that moment on, you keep adding more data every day and this pot grows and grows and grows and grows and grows Until eventually, a year down the road, you’ve got this much data. that you need to recover.
Now if you have a full disaster recovery and you need to download all of this. You’ll probably find that you might have been able to download that over a few hours or even a day. But this might take 3, 4 days. So, backup the data to a local hard drive and to the cloud. Not just one or the other and that’s. The local drive will give you a quick restore if you need to restore everything very quickly. You can do that from there and if you need to just recover one or two files instead of having to go to the safe and get the drive you can actually just quickly restore from the cloud. It doesn’t matter where you restore it from so long as you can restore it. If you’ve got 2 copies of the backups going on, you’re being as safe as you can!
4th thing you should do is to “Test Restore” This is probably the most important step in the whole strategy. You need to know that you can restore the data because the backup is only as good as what you can restore. That’s a fact! It’s really quite simple. What we tend to is. We will re-name a folder or a few files Rename them and just put the word “TEST” in front. So let’s just use the example of an accounts folder.
Within the account folder, you might have a folder called invoices. So if you just rename the folder TEST invoices. It pretty much renders that folder useless. if anyone’s trying to access it. So you can’t do this while people are working on the data. But let’s just imagine for a moment you’re going to do your test restore. You make sure all your accounts people have gone home. Rename the folder TEST invoice. Then go to your backup software, recover the folder called invoices and check that the 2 are identical up to the moment of the backup. So if there’s anything that’s been created since the backup obviously that’s going to be a difference. But you should have everything up to the last backup and they should be identical to that point.
Once you’ve confirmed it, you can delete the version you’ve just restored and you can re-name your invoice folder back from TEST invoice back to invoice and everybody’s none the wiser and everything can carry on. It’s a very crucial thing to do. So much so that we do it every week, here And for some of our customers, once a month It depends on how much data you’re looking to do it and the other, final caveat on that is if you’re going to do test restores make sure you do test restores of different data each time. Schedule it! Make sure you’ve got a note somewhere. A reminder in Outlook or whatever to make sure that you do a test restore every week or every month whichever you decide. It’s the most important part of any backup strategy.