Since everyone supposedly do backups on a daily basis, why so prominently show this item as part of the DR planning process? It’s because data backup is a prominent component of any DR. It is a fact that we consult with clients who perform daily backups only to find out at the moment of data loss that the needed data is either not backed up or is not readable for a variety of reasons. As such, the first part of our effort to provide business continuity / disaster recovery planning services is to examine the client’s data backup process. Some of our common recommendations are listed below for your information.

  • Consider migrate to best practices backup method of using disk to disk to disk backup process. An online database is stored on a higher performance SAN (the first “disk”), the data is first backed up to a “backup server” where ample back up storage is available (the second “disk”). The backup server provides speedy backup that minimizes the backup window and disruption to business. The backup server then offloads the data to the “third” external disk, where the disk is rotated for offsite storage. This practice avoids the many pitfall of using tape or other medium as backup storage.
  • Always perform complete backup (vs. incremental backups) if your storage solution and capacity allows it. Nothing is worse than trying to stream multiple backup medium to try to recover the latest data.
  • Use a commercial off-site data storage company. Avoid the temptation of asking an employee to take the data backup home as an off-site storage method. This occurs more often than one wants to admit and is often the shortfall of a small business when the trusted employee’ relationship with the business sours.
  • Stick to periodic restoration exercises. A backup is only as good as the last successful attempt at restoring data from it.
  • Consider more advanced solutions such as online data mirrors once you’ve got the basics covered.