Every business owner understands the importance of having a business plan and the need to properly implement it. Once everything is set up, it’s easy to overlook the need to test the plan. This lack of testing can really come back to hurt you if all of your carefully laid plans fall apart. Nowhere is this more true than with data recovery.
Data backup and recovery should be a major part of your business continuity plan. When your business is faced with a disastrous event that creates downtime due to data loss, the recovery of your lost data is crucial to getting your business up and running again–and the faster the better. In a catastrophic scenario such as this, your next step is to put your data recovery solution into place and hope for the best. How confident are you that when you restore your backup, everything will work as it should? This is where testing comes into the picture.
Going through the effort of testing your backup solution will prepare your business to deal with unforeseen problems that may arise. In an interview with Processor magazine, Adrian Sanabria, senior security analyst of 451 Research, gave an example of a common data recovery scenario gone wrong due to the lack of testing. “It’s no good to switch over to disaster recovery (DR) and find that your Tier 0 application won’t run because the DR environment is three releases behind. If DR will be expected to support a full production load, plan it as such.”
Testing should be done regularly. Many IT professionals agree that a complete test of your backup systems should be done at least once per quarter. There is no harm in testing more frequently, like monthly or even weekly.
Logistically, testing your company’s backup systems may sound like a time consuming task, especially if you’re a larger company with multiple departments and locations. Like any task, one way that you can make backup testing easier is to spread it out. For example, a larger corporation may test out a few locations at a time instead of testing every system at once.
Another way that you can test your backup solution is to periodically run your entire business off of it. This the surest way to be certain that your business can withstand a disaster. Sanabria tells Processor of a major retail company that tested their data backup systems this way:
They’d actually switch production over to DR once every three months and run the DR environment as production for a full week before switching back. The first few tests were difficult, but the outcome was worth the dedication, because they never worry about whether their DR environment will work.
Any way you look at it, testing a company’s backup solution is a time-consuming task that only gets done if the organization understands the value of their data as it relates to their business continuity plan. If regular testing of your company’s backup seems like too burdensome of a task, you can outsource it to Quikteks. We offer businesses of all sizes our comprehensive Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution. Our BDR solution is faster compared to the more traditional tape backup systems that some businesses still use. A tape backup could take as much as 40 hour to thoroughly test the integrity of the backed up data, while a BDR may only take an hour to restore.
BDR is the most secure way to backup and recover your company’s data. As part of our BDR solution we monitor and oversee the entire data backup and recovery process, which includes regular testing. This will give you peace of mind that if a disaster strikes your business, your data will be just fine and operations will be up and running again as soon as possible. Call us at (973) 882-4644 to learn more about backing up with BDR.