The modern business landscape makes data backup crucial for organizations to survive and remain competitive. Unfortunately, each company may get hacked or attacked by different types of ransomware. Therefore, cybercriminals can steal your critical business data for further ransom or selling. In addition, your company’s hard-earned data can be corrupted or deleted by the injected malware. Are there any ways to prevent such occasions or recover after data loss?
The answer is yes - you need to create the appropriate data backup strategy. This strategy should combine some techniques and solutions required to provide efficient and cost-effective backups. Thus, your business information will be copied to multiple locations at the previously defined frequency. To do that, you can configure a flexible data backup schedule and make the process more flexible. After all, many backup and recovery solutions are available on the market. So choose your perfect one to avoid information loss and breaches.
What Is a Data Backup?
Data backup is copying information from your primary source to secondary storage. Its main objective is to protect data when natural disasters, unexpected accidents, or malicious actions occur. Since data is vital for each modern company, its loss can cause significant damage and affect your business operations. That makes data backups crucial for organizations of different types and sizes.
But what does information backed up mean?
Traditionally, information backed up means all required data for running relevant workloads by your server. Data can cover various documents, media and configuration files, machine images, or operating systems. After all, any information that your company intends to preserve should be considered backed-up data.
5 Backup Challenges and Solutions
Such corruption may occur for different reasons. For example, your old media storage may suffer damage because of poor handling or age. Meanwhile, readable backups often do not have application-consistent information. Thus, even after restoring documents, applications may not perform correctly.
Solution: you have to make different backup copies using various media types. Here, you should implement application-aware backup approaches to ensure information consistency.
Unfortunately, your business may have only one backup copy that you cannot access in the case of unexpected events. It means that you also cannot use it to restore necessary data.
Solution: you should make some copies of your data backed up and store these copies using several different locations.
Backups failed to start
If the backup process does not run, you will not obtain data copies created.
Solution: your organization should automatically schedule backup performance instead of manually conducting this job. Besides, automation reduces the risk of potential errors in parameter configurations, which is typical for manual backups.
Backups failed to complete
One of the most critical data backup challenges is when the backup process suffers some problems during the performance. Thus, your valuable business information is not protected.
Solution: you can apply monitoring options to alert your personnel if the backup process is not completed successfully. Also, there is a need to check storage capacity regularly and consider your database growth. That helps ensure your company has enough space for further backing up information.
Not each incomplete backup results from the backup process that failed to complete. Often, backup procedures can miss essential documents, or someone responsible for backups thought they were not obvious. Or such files were never added to a relevant script before.
Solution: you need to take a comprehensive approach instead of a selective one when defining information for backups. Thus, if you apply new applications or databases, you should add them to your backup process as soon as possible.
Finally, slow backups are also among the most popular data backup obstacles. First, you must know that performing backups is an integral part of your daily operations. So, if your backup process is relatively slow, it will cause delays affecting the beginning of the next working day.
Solution: if you perform backups via the internet, ensure that your network connection is reliable enough and provides sufficient bandwidth. Also, you should check the potential database growth and the time necessary for long backups to complete. Probably, it would be better to reschedule your backups or provide incremental ones to complete them successfully.
5 Must-haves in Enterprise Data Backup Strategy
An appropriate data backup strategy must cover the following critical concepts:
- Backup solutions and tools. Of course, your company can back up information manually, but this approach is not practical. If organizations aim to ensure regular and consistent data backups, they should implement a specific technology solution. The most widely-used ones are cloud-based.
- Backup administrator. Each company should have a relevant employee responsible for performing data backups. This staff member must ensure you have configured all backup systems properly. Also, this person takes responsibility for testing backup tools.
- Backup scope and schedule. Businesses have to create their backup policies. These policies should specify documents and systems necessary for backing up. Besides, they can define the frequency of data backups.
- Recovery point objective (RPO). This term represents the number of information businesses is willing to lose in the case of disasters or other events. RPO is determined depending on the frequency of data backups. For instance, if you back up your systems once per day, your RPO will be 24 hours. Also, the lower RPO means that your organization requires more data storage and network resources to achieve the desired frequent backups.
- Recovery time objective (RTO). The term demonstrates the time necessary for companies to restore information or systems from their backup storage and continue typical operations. When it comes to large data volumes, you store off-premises; copying and restoring information requires some time. Therefore, your business must apply an advanced tech solution to ensure your RTO is low.
What Is a 3-2-1 Backup Strategy?
A 3-2-1 backup rule serves as a method to ensure that your information is appropriately duplicated and can recover reliably. According to this backup strategy, you should create three copies of your business information. While two of these copies must be stored using two different storage media, another should be kept remotely. Let’s explain this approach in detail.
- Three data copies. Such copies must include your original information, along with its two duplicated. It helps ensure that your lost data backup or corrupted storage media will not affect recovery.
- Two different storage media. That allows your business to reduce the risk of potential failures regarding a specific media since you use two various technologies. The most popular choices are internal or external hard drives, removable mediums, and cloud environments.
- One copy off-site. Using one data copy off-site means eliminating the risk regarding a single point of failure (SPOT). So, offsite duplicates are crucial for advanced data recovery and backup strategies since they enable failover when local outages occur.
Ultimately, the 3-2-1 backup rule is recognized as the best practice by numerous data security experts. Furthermore, different government authorities also highly appreciate this strategy because it provides efficient protection against unexpected accidents and cyber threats. Besides, the 3-2-1 rule ensures that the other information backup and restoration process will be reliable.
How to Choose a Backup and Recovery Solution?
To choose a perfect backup and recovery solution for your business, you should follow the following tips:
1. Use the pay-as-you-go model
The appropriate backup and recovery tool must be flexible. That allows your company to spend wisely on storage space, recovery options, data backup size, and security measures. You must check whether a potential solution enables you to start and stop required backup services easily. Thanks to the pay-as-you-go model, you will feel realistic about your critical business needs and can prevent different up-front expenses.
2. Consider the simplicity of implementation
Let’s suppose that you have selected a reliable backup and recovery vendor. Cool! Now, it is critical to check whether the deployment of relevant software is simple enough. That is because the comprehensive configuration and ongoing management make data protection much more complex. Thus, a great option is simplified management using a single user interface. In addition, this approach provides you with fast access to critical business information.
Also, your company can perform, configure, and drive all the necessary backup processes quickly. So, your IT department obtains enough time to provide the best possible security.
3. Analyze the vendor’s support options
Does your vendor provide effective backup and restore services to maintain all your required tasks? Does it provide the frequency your organization needs to back up its critical information? Is your chosen solution flexible enough in the case of backup failure? Does it offer 24/7 support through each geo-location?
So, you should analyze all the mentioned parameters. The appropriate backup and recovery vendor must be responsible for information retention and continuous maintenance. At the same time, there should be no overhead related to upgrades, patching, and long-term maintenance. Besides, you must ensure that your vendor provides instant recovery or can restore separate objects without any maintenance-related budgets. Finally, you should contact the vendor’s support to know the estimated size of data backups and their time.
4. Check the experience
When creating backup and recovery strategies, the vendor’s experience and reputation are important factors to check. Thus, you have to analyze client support channels. That allows your organization to obtain valuable insights on the provider’s backup and restore assistance. Also, you should know whether your vendor meets all necessary compliance and security policies. Finally, to get the best possible results, your organization should consider a provider with a proper track record of information backup.
5. Perform a test drive
No doubt that you will never know when unexpected IT outages, cyberattacks, human mistakes, or natural disasters may occur. If you aim to ensure that chosen software is perfect for your business, you should check whether workloads can continue running quickly. Thus, you have to try a free data center backup to understand the actual environment better.
No doubt, your organization can struggle with one or even more challenges aforementioned. Although you have learned about possible solutions to such problems, you may also consider replacing your current backup and recovery software. Nowadays, the available solutions offer new approaches to securing backups. In addition, they provide a modern, web-scale viewpoint for addressing all potential deficiencies elegantly, simply, and affordably.
Frequently Asked Questions
The most common data backup obstacles include:
- corrupted backups
- inaccessible backups
- backups that failed to start
- backups that were unable to complete
- incomplete backups
- slow backups
Your company can implement three different types of backup processes to ensure their critical business data is protected appropriately:
Backup strategies and a detailed disaster recovery plan are essential parts of your company’s all-covering business continuity plan. Thus, such strategies will help you address different cyberattacks effectively. Also, they allow your organization to recover with minimal possible damage to your data, reputation, and the entire business.
When creating your data backup and recovery strategy, you should consider the following:
- backup tools
- backup administrator
- backup scope and schedule
- recovery point objective (RPO)
- recovery time objective (RTO)
Most data recovery and backup experts believe that the 3-2-1 rule is the most effective strategy for backing up critical data.
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