Backup Solutions for IT Systems

September 5, 2013 by Brent Goedel
Copeland Buhl

Companies rely on their day-to-day IT operations and the systems that provide them. When those systems fail due to failure of hardware, infections or natural disasters, companies need to rely on backups to recover those systems.  When backups don’t work, more than 60% of companies shut down within 6 months of a disaster due to data not available for recovery.

If you are a business owner, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

1. Where exactly is your data being backed up, and how do you access it? If it is hosted in a remote place, you should have the account information and a direct contact you can call if your vendor or employee goes missing with this information. Ideally, it should be in the network documentation that is kept in your operations manual or somewhere else easy to access if necessary.

2. Who is responsible for monitoring the backups to make sure they are working? When your data is lost, that’s when the finger-pointing usually starts. It’s not uncommon to hear, “Well I thought [this person] was in charge of our backups!” only to discover that this person (be it a vendor or employee) actually has no idea that they had such an important responsibility. Keep in mind that many off-site backup companies allow you to store your data there, but they won’t agree to any responsibility for whether or not the data is backed up correctly, completely, or in a restorable format.

3. How often do 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 a disaster-recovery plan. We recommend running this once a month at a minimum to verify that you can actually restore from your backups in an emergency.

4. If your data is lost, what is 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.

Our IT Consultants at Beyond IT Advisors have done extensive research into backup solutions, and we use the same system we offer our clients. We have trained staff to install, monitor and recover the data, and the backups are off-site and monitored by a 24-hour staff.  If you would like to learn more about system backups or are unsure about your current backup method, please contact us.

Contact Beyond IT Advisors

Brent Goedel