The Final Step to Your Recovery Strategy

Jan 2012

The Final Step to Your Recovery Strategy

Posted by Samantha Morris

You’ve got your backup policies and procedures all set up, automated backup scripts are scheduled and your backups are running. Are you immediately under the assumption that everything will be fine?

No matter how sophisticated or comprehensive your backup system is, you’ll never know unless it has been actually tested. Without testing, can you really be sure that your customers’ data is safe? Are you willing to put your career and business on the line?

Let’s look at a specific scenario. Your client has just incurred a significant loss of data due to a fire in one of their office buildings. Their networks are down but they’ve been able to contact you and their primary concern is “How long until we’re back online?”

If you’ve practiced those quarterly “fire drills”, you know exactly what to do when the real fire hits through testing designed to out you and your team through the paces of what business continuity really means. If you are prepared, each team member will know exactly what his or her role will be to get your business on track again. This could include, but not be limited to, retrieving offsite data, ordering replacement hardware and software, and transitioning to your backup hardware.

Best Practices for Testing Backups

  • Don’t just randomly check a couple of files! Ensure that you are able to restore entire directories, servers and applications. 
  • Make sure to document  the procedure for restoring and/or reinstalling applications, especially those special tips and tricks that will help you get it done faster.
  • Test with whichever media you use from your regular backups.
  • Do a test restore from a different computer or server.

Disaster Recovery testing should be performed on a regular basis; the exact frequency will ultimately depend on the needs of your customers. However, it is normal for full deployment tests to be performed, at a minimum, on a semi-annual basis. There are of course other trigger points, for example, a change in your infrastructure that may require additional testing. 

Overall, disaster recovery tests are essential to execute and demonstrate, but be cautious and take the correct steps to test your Disaster Recovery plans. To learn more about Disaster Recovery planning, please click here.

Interested in the other ways you can effectively meet the needs of you prospective customers and what they may be looking for from a cloud backup service provider?

Please access the complimentary “What you Need to Know About Cloud Backup Guide” to learn more. 

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