System failures can take everything. But if you plan ahead, you’ll have the infrastructure to set everything back in place. Instead of just relying on a disaster recovery plan and intermittent maintenance, build these five practices into your business’s usual operations.
1. Back up your actively changing data multiple times throughout the day.
System failures strike at the worst possible time. That includes in the middle of the day and right after your peak selling hour. If your systems don’t back up data frequently throughout the day, you may lose completed orders and sales without any way to notice the loss. This includes both online sales with customers anticipating deliveries or service and in-store transactions that won’t be totaled up into your third-party service until the end of the day.
Automate restore points that capture the frequently used programs or the systems that handle day-to-day operations. You’ll capture the vast majority of what you need without filling up your cloud in a week.
2. Save deeper system restore points regularly and don’t delete them.
But just capturing the active data entries every hour or every quarter of an hour isn’t everything you need to keep your business safe. Also schedule deeper data recovery downloads that capture everything. These larger restore points can be scheduled less frequently depending on the size or urgency of your business. Also be sure to set the schedule for low-activity points so your network isn’t overloaded.
These deeper packets of data are important because a system failure can wipe out everything. Having the day’s input won’t matter if the entire database is gone. So use these as insurance against complete wipeouts and then filter the transactional changes back in.
Deeper restore points also protect your company from slow-growing threats. Some network errors don’t immediately cause problems. Instead, they corrupt critical data or code behind the scenes. Save these points for as long as possible so you can reach weeks or months back to salvage uncorrupted data.
3. Run disaster recovery drills so everyone knows what to do.
Once you have your data saved and your system restores automated, the biggest problem in the event of a system failure is people. Train your employees so they know what to do once everyone goes down. Also, make sure you have hard copies of your data recovery and business continuity plans so people can find the procedure.
But there’s going to be panic if your company hasn’t gone through this before or if it’s been a long time. So hold drills every so often, and train new employees on what to do
4. Make your monitoring system notice the signs of an incoming system failure.
Usually, a system failure seems to strike out of nowhere. But they have lots of invisible warning signs that your employees just didn’t see. Network outages, old hardware, and more are all signifiers that increase your risk. A buildup of corrupted data or an increasingly unsteady code is noticeable as long as you know where to look.
So strengthen your system by adding monitoring software that can identify potential warning signs. Set threshold points where your IT staff or service knows to deal with the problem while it can still be prevented. Problem prevention can seem less urgent than dealing with customer tickets or a task requested by the executive team, but it can only be ignored for so long.
5. Train everyone to save in the cloud and not on the hardware.
Virtual computer systems have made system failures both better and worse. One of the best benefits of switching to the cloud and virtual machines is that a physically damaged server won’t ruin your business. But that’s only true if the employees actually make use of the virtual tools. Strap the company computers and devices to reduce local storage. If you have to leave local storage in place and your company has a server in the storage room as part of your legal requirements, automate that backup. Also, make sure employees are clear on where to save their documents and projects.
Go to SystemsNet here for more backup procedures and the tools you need to optimize your disaster recovery plan.