Backing up your data is an absolute necessity. If a drive fails, a file becomes corrupted, or ransomware scrambles files, being able to recover them makes the difference between an inconvenience and a catastrophe. Losing data and not being able to recover is a common cause of business failure.
The key to successful backup is making it automatic. No one has the time to remember to run a backup every day; it should simply happen.
The 3-2-1 rule
Having just a single backup volume next to the computer is insufficient protection. A widely recommended rule of thumb is the 3-2-1 rule for backup. It works like this:
Have copies of your data on at least three different devices, counting your active drive.
Keep the copies on at least two different storage devices. Having each copy on a different device is best.
At least one copy should be offsite. If a physical disaster ruins your entire office, there should still be a safe copy in another location.
Incremental backup and versioning
Backups should be frequent. One a day is a minimum; one every hour or less is better. Copying a whole drive on such a schedule is impossible but also unnecessary. Most backup software is designed to copy only files which have changed since the last time. In the case of very large files, they may copy just the parts which have changed.
Most backup software will keep old versions of files, up to the limit of their capacity. When the volume is full, the oldest versions will be deleted to make room for new ones. This provides multiple snapshots of the volume being backed up. If a file has been damaged for some time, or if the most recent backup is infected by malware, being able to recover an older version is a life-saving option.
To guard against dangers that affect an entire office or data center, there has to be an offsite copy. However, backing up to it requires special precautions. The backup needs to be strongly encrypted, both in transit and in storage. The offsite storage should be physically secure and well maintained.
Total Computer Solutions provides a complete backup and disaster recovery solution. Your data is stored offsite in two locations for extra safety and is fully encrypted. No one can recover it without the passkey.
Your backup plan needs to make sure that all important data is covered. The typical small business has files on multiple desktop machines and servers. As the network grows, so does the number of machines to back up. Forgetting one of them could leave a gaping hole in the company's data safety. Systems which hold infrequently used data are easy to forget. The files on them may be crucial even if they are less often used.
Disaster recovery solutions
The other side of the backup equation is recovery. When data loss strikes, a quick recovery is important. Not only data files have to be restored, but applications and settings. The best way to avoid problems when recovering them is to store a full system image. It holds a complete representation of a bootable volume. After a disaster it can be brought up on the original machine if possible, or a failover machine if necessary. Restoring a system image is much faster than restoring individual files. It minimizes downtime and associated loss of business.
Being prepared is important. Data loss can strike any organization, and it strikes when it hurts the most. Total Computer Solutions offers backup and recovery plans to make sure your data is always safe. Contact us to learn more about our data backup and recovery services.