The old saying “pack your own parachute” comes to mind when I think of data backups or, more specifically, data RECOVERY. Here’s the best tip I can give you, the absolute WORST time to check your parachute is on the way down.

The same goes for checking the robustness of your network and data back up where the absolute worse time to think about it, is AFTER a data disaster.

What continues to surprise me is how many companies don’t properly pack their parachute and systematically manage their back up.

Here are four things that every company CEO ought to know about data back up.

Know EXACTLY where is your data being backed up, and how you get access to it.
If it’s being hosted in a remote place, you ought to have the account information and a direct contact you can call if your vendor or employee goes missing with this information. Ideally, this information should be in your network documentation that is kept in your operations manual or somewhere you can easily access if necessary.

Know who’s responsible for monitoring the backups to make sure they are working.
When data is lost, the finger pointing starts. It’s not uncommon to hear, “Well I thought (they/he/she) was in charge of our backups!” only to discover that this person (be they a vendor or employee) actually has no idea that they had such an important responsibility. Keep in mind that many offsite backup companies allow you to store your data there, but they won’t agree to ANY responsibility for whether or not the data is being backed up correctly, completely or in a format that can be restored.

Know how often you run a test restore.
The only way to know if your backups are working properly is to conduct a test restore or “fire drill” of your data. We recommend running a test once a month at a minimum to verify that you can actually restore from your backups in an emergency.

Always know what your back up plan is.  
If your data is lost, what’s the process required to restore it? Some business owners don’t realize that their raw data backups would take a LOT longer to restore than they imagine. If you are not “imaging” your data (a process that takes a snapshot of your server as is), you will have to reload all of your software, set up the network, reconfigure your settings and THEN restore the data—a process that can take the better part of a week PROVIDED you still have your original software discs and licenses.
If you don’t have a backup plan.  We do and we’re here to help you pack your parachute.  Call us today.