Not all backup systems are created equally, make sure yours is fit for purpose
Backup systems seem like pretty boring things to most people. Sure, the people understand the need to protect their data and they have taken the step of backing up their data; but why should they care about what sort of backup system they have? Read on and find out why your choice of backup system could be critical to the long term success of your business.
We backup so we can restore
It may seem obvious to most people that backup systems exist to take a copy of the data that exists on your computer systems, but what may be less obvious is that they really exist to enable the data to be restored! Taking a copy of the data is the easy bit: restoring it is often more difficult. Make sure your backup system allows saved data to be restored easily and speedily.
The need to avoid losing data
Backup systems actually take a snapshot of the “state” of the data at a particular point in time. The frequency of the snapshots will determine how much data you will lose when something corrupts or destroys the live data. Make sure your backup system can take snapshots at a high enough frequency that your potential for losing data is appropriate to the Business Continuity needs of your business.
The need for consistency
Many businesses have multiple computer systems. If those systems talk to each other, e.g. because one has the database used by the other; then it is important that when a snapshot is taken, or restored, the “state” of all computers remains consistent. This needs to be taken into consideration when specifying the backup system, so make sure your backup system can restore the entire state of your computer environment if needed.
Why this matters
Regardless of how good your people are, how careful you are and how lucky you are; sooner or later you will suffer a major data loss. The survival of your business could depend on how easily, speedily and comprehensively you can restore the state of your computing environment. This in turn will be defined by the care you took when you specified, and operated, your backup system. Backups could save the life of your business, take them seriously.
Agdon Associates and Business Continuity UK are no longer in business. This website is not being updated: it has been left online solely as a source of useful information on Business Continuity.