Backup is a business solution that leaders may not realize they need until it’s too late. The moment a disaster strikes, data protection suddenly becomes a top-of-mind consideration. The key is to think about it before the fact, understand its importance and build a comprehensive strategy.
All IT leaders have to do to realize how much they need offsite backup is to think what would happen if the whole office was destroyed by a natural disaster, data center and all. How long would it take to get the company back online? Would it be able to recover at all? Disaster recovery solutions enable managers to give themselves reassuring answers to those all-important questions.
Prioritizing and protecting
A recent Examiner column by Michael Branford laid out a few of the basic principles companies today will encounter when they consider their data protection future. He explained that leaders sometimes overestimate their ability to get information back following a crisis. If this mistaken assumption is proven wrong via a real disaster, the results could be catastrophic for the company in question. It’s important to get a plan in place that would hold up during the strenuous conditions that follow a real data loss incident. Processes that seemed fine at first may actually have significant gaps and oversights that need to be corrected.
What are some of the elements leaders should look at when they inspect their current operations? Branford recommended ensuring the current setup obeys the “3-2-1” rule. This means backing every component up three times, with a minimum of two media types involved. One or more of those copies should not be in the office – that offsite backup is designed to ensure recovery of key IT systems in the most extreme cases, ones in which every piece of technology in the office becomes unusable. Firms that don’t have enough backups may be giving themselves a false sense of security.
Not only should organizations have comprehensive protection systems, they have to ensure these processes are correctly suited to the major components they are protecting. Branford noted that each IT area will demand its own schedule and type of backups. He emphasized the fact that the loss of even a little data from some systems is more harmful than long-term damage to others. Once again, leaders must ask important questions of themselves to determine which recovery solutions and strategies are important. Once they have a clear picture of their own current outlook, their next moves will become clear.
Beyond the threat of massive natural events harming companies’ data – a very real danger – more mundane occurrences may harm information as well. As Business 2 Community contributor Sean Wade pointed out, hard drives fail all the time. Individual employee computers or server arrays could give up suddenly, and organizations that don’t have solutions in place may end up in very expensive trouble. Wade echoed Branford’s assertion that information should be in three different places. He also emphasized that companies should be running tests on these systems to ensure they’ll be good to go if the worst occurs.