Tag Archives: #DataBackup

5 Ways Preparing for a System Failure Should Be Part of Day-to-Day Operations

Preparing for a System Failure as a Part of Day-to-Day Operations

Being prepared for a disaster should beĀ  standard operating procedure

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.

The Pros and Cons of Common Backup Storage Options

Backup Storage Options - Backup on laptop screen - cloud

What are some of my backup options?

There has been a great deal said about the importance of having a backup and recovery system in place. And, naturally, the first step to building a great backup recovery system is to take backups of all your important files and configurations. Some backups simply repopulate a vital database with all the right values while others are complex enough to restore a computer from factory-reset to functional workstation.

But however you build them, backups are essentially just compressed files that will need to be stored somewhere until they are needed. Each company has a different storage solution for their backups and the storage option you choose matters more than you may realize. Where you store your backups determines how easy they are to retrieve and whether they are at risk when the network itself is threatened.

Locally Stored Backups

Most of us still remember the days when the only data you controlled was data on your own hard drives and disks. For traditionalist businesses, this may still be the way backups are made and maintained, by creating copies of data stored on another local system.

Pros:

Locally stored backups are completely in your control. You never have to worry about a third party wiping, corrupting, or losing your data because it is on your local systems.

Cons:

Your local network is not as safe as it used to be. Network-wide malware attacks (like ransomware) can compromise your entire computer system including your backups. In fact, anything that threatens your main computers can also threaten your backups. Including physical disasters like power surges and outages, flooding, or earthquakes.

Offline Backup Drives

A safer approach to keeping local backups is to store them on offline drives and disks. This option has never been popular, but there are always a few individuals and businesses that decide their backups are safer offline than online. And they have a point.

Pros:

External hard drives, USBs, and disks can keep your backups securely off any existing network. This is the best way to defend from hackers and malware because there is no network for them to access or damage your backups through.

Cons:

Unfortunately, though safe this approach is also impractical. Given the amount of data most modern businesses need to back up, the cost of external storage and the wear-and-tear rewriting offline storage devices is quite high compared to online storage options. And, of course, offline storage can still be physically damaged.

Remotely Stored Backups

Remote storage is when you store your backups on a computer located somewhere else, much like remote web hosting or file storage. Rather than storing your backups on your own system, you buy server space in a data center or even with a sister company where your backups are occasionally updated and wait to be accessed.

Pros:

Remote storage is a very effective answer to many worries about backup security. Because it is on a separate network, local malware attacks cannot corrupt your backups. And if the files are stored far enough away, local natural disasters are not a concern either.

Cons:

There are a few risks related to remote storage. If the third party storing your backups is compromised, so too are your backups. Likewise, if you store your backups in only one remote location, disasters in that area could wipe out your backups even if your home region is unaffected.

Cloud Stored Backups

Finally, we reach the modern solution to backup storage. Cloud storage is more than just remote storage because of the way the cloud handles data. Rather than storing data in just one remote location, cloud storage replicates your backups across several data centers on the globe.

Pros:

The distributed nature of cloud storage allows you to more quickly access your data from anywhere. No specific network access is required because cloud-stored data can be accessed anywhere with internet access. And the distributed nature of the data means that even if one data center is completely wiped out, your backups will still be available in other data centers and therefore safe.

Cons:

The only downside to cloud storage is the challenge of choosing the correct storage provider. Make sure your chosen cloud server providers have high security standards and a good reputation in the industry for protecting the backups of others.

Backup data security is an important concern for any modern business. The way you store your backups matters a great deal and many careful businesses choose to pair up their backup storage solutions just to make sure there is always a backup available in times of need. For more information about choosing the best backup recovery solutions for your business, contact us today!

How Can You Have A Successful Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) Plan?

Two businessmen looking at broken laptop, operating system crash - Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) Plan concept

How will your plan hold up in a disaster situation?

When it comes to back and disaster recovery(BDR), one of the keys to making sure your business is still being able to operate efficiently is being prepared for any natural disaster or event. Not only is it important to make sure you have a BDR plan you can trust, but it is also important to make sure you are able to go through a test run so you will always be two steps ahead.

Before any type of disaster ever occurs, we want you to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I really need a backup and disaster recovery plan?
  • Am I currently using a backup and disaster recovery plan? When was the last time someone tested it?
  • How long does it usually take to recover data from the current backup solution?
  • When there is downtime, how much money could I lose?
  • What is the average downtime for my business after a disaster? Can I afford to be down this long?
  • If a disaster strikes, will there be other copies of my data in another location that I can access?

What’s The Problem?

Not every disaster is going to be the same, and this means not every recovery process will be the same. Before you take any action, we want you to understand all the issues surrounding the disaster and your data. How will all of these issues impact you? Is the current issue impacting one system or is it impacting the entire system? Do you have any files that have been deleted? Are any of your systems and servers down?

What Are Your Goals?

When it comes to a BDR solution and a simple backup of your data, the major difference in a BDR is its ability to actually recover. This is why it is so important to know what your disaster recovery goals are. Do you plan to restore only your data? Do you plan to restore only the system? Do you plan to restore both? How much time do you plan to spend on recovering files before the system recovery begins? Once you determine if you want to spend time on the recovery process, you will want to make sure you have identified the systems that are the most critical.

The Recovery

When you are walking down the recovery road, you should make sure you follow the proper procedures. Which recovery procedure do you plan to follow? We encourage you to follow the recovery procedure that will give you the best opportunity to reach the goals you have set, including file restoration.

Once you have verified the recovery, you should make sure that there is a positive interaction with the users by ensuring the network connectivity is working. You will need to make sure everyone is able to access the files, resources, and other applications. If you need to restore your business’s original system, you should carefully decide what process will be better.

After you have answered the questions and created a backup and disaster recovery plan, you should take a moment and think about the process. Did everyone handle the recovery process the way you hoped they would? Do you wish you could have done things differently?

After you have answered these additional questions, you should be able to determine what caused the failure and what things still need to be addressed and corrected. It can be a wise decision to make notes of what mistakes were made and what things can be done in the future to avoid these mistakes.

If you are looking for backup and disaster recovery solutions, we are more than happy to provide you with a variety of options that will protect your data, whether it is in the cloud or on-premise. Contact us today for more information on BDR solutions.