Backup strategies and the importance of testing

Most organizations that have an IT environment adding some value to their business are doing backups in some way or another.

August 16, 2012

Scott Orton, Sales Director, Triple4

Most organizations that have an IT environment adding some value to their business are doing backups in some way or another. Some companies will simply copy data to an external drive; others use backup programs to do the same. It is often seen that backups are not really taken seriously until data loss has actually happened, then some serious attention gets put in place. In general, the more serious the IT environment is to a business, the more serious the organization is about backups, well that is how it should be anyway. A backup strategy should be the foremost part of a disaster recovery strategy

In our experience at Triple4 throughout the years, whether a company is taking a risk using a R 500 external drive or doing backups to an expensive tape device and housing tapes offsite, it is not often seen that an organization has a working backup solution that is actually tested. As long as backups are seen as successful within the various backup programs, the support team and business seem to be happy to rely on that. It cannot be stressed how important it is to test your backups regardless of the strategy you have in place, yes even if you have an online strategy!

We recently did a consulting trip and performed an IT business impact analysis for an organization. This involved setting up meetings with business unit owners about which business applications are used and the criticality of them. A Report was then drawn up against what the business actually needed from IT systems and what was being backed up. It was quite eye opening to see the results and made us realize what an important exercise it is to perform on your business.

Bottom line it highlighted how important it is not just to rely on IT staff to ensure the correct information is backed up and backed up properly. Business should be involved to ensure that all aspects are thought about, no matter how big or small the applications may seem. Also the importance of ensuring you can actually restore the data that is part of your backup sets is critical.

So if the data and integrity of business applications is important, we strongly suggest getting some standby equipment and fully test your backup strategy to ensure you are safe from a disaster. Or better yet if you don’t have the time, equipment or know how, we can assist, analyze, test and report back for you.

For more information contact Scott Orton on 0836002536 or visit www.triple4.co.za