IT backups

The Good, Bad and Ugly of Backups

Do you have a backup? Hopefully, you said yes. Now, it’s time to ask yourself these questions:
  
  • How recent is your backup?  
  • How many backup copies do you keep?  
  • Is it a file and folder level backup or image based?  
  • Have you tested restoring it?  
  • ​Do you have the backup in more than one location?  
  • Do you have business requirements for how long you must keep your backups?  

There are no right or wrong answers here. The answers are all subjective based upon specific business requirements.  
 

The goal is to know what objectives you need to achieve based upon your business continuity requirements 

Most organizations should have a business continuity plan. This plan covers what to do and how to get work done in the event of a business interruption. A business interruption could be a power outage, down server, natural disaster, or cyberattack.  
 
A business continuity plan typically includes business processes, assets, human resources, business partners, a disaster recovery plan and more. The backup method your business uses will contribute to productivity and recovery when disaster strikes.
 

There are basically two types of backups 

A file-based backup is a copy of a specific set of files and folders on a workstation or server. These types of backups are checked every few minutes on your computer and backed up as changes occur. OneDrive is a great example of this. All the files you need are on your computer to work from and they are also copied off to the cloud. 
  
Pros: 
  • Fast Backups 
  • Doesn’t take as long as an image backup 
  • Tends to be cheaper   

Cons: 
  • You only get the files and folders, not the configuration of the workstation or the server. This means you need to setup a new one, restore the file, and reinstall applications if something happens. 
     
      

Image based backups are total system copies. These types of backups allow you to restore computers fully back to their operating condition at the time of backup. This type of backup is great because you capture the configuration of applications and the computer in addition to the files and folders. 
  
Pros: 
  • Full image backups restore the data, configuration, and applications. No need to setup something new.    

Cons: 
  • Takes a long time 
  • Takes up a lot of space 
  • Can be costly 
 

Typically, businesses have an acceptable amount of downtime 

This downtime conveys a few things about your backup strategy. If your business only allows four hours of down time, being able to recover from a backup within that window is the target around which to build your backup strategy. 
 
Additionally, testing backups on a regular basis to make sure they are valid and have not been corrupted should be a consistent security check. You also need to ensure backups are not located in just one spot in case of fire or theft. 

Remember, backups are a key part of business IT and they should be budgeted for with labor and materials in mind. If your business could use help with backups, contact the Bit Wizards Managed IT Services Team. You can have peace of mind knowing that we always have your data backed up and ready to restore no matter the emergency. Learn more about how our team can assist your business if a hurricane or other natural disaster strikes and get help here


 

Author

Wiz E. Wig, Mascot & Director of Magic
Wiz E. Wig

Director of Magic

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