Data circulates throughout your organisation, entering and leaving, constantly. Each day as your employee’s work through tasks; working on projects, closing deals, sending emails and creating documents, the volume and value of your data grows. If a business loses access to this data, or even to business-critical processes and systems, it would be very costly and present a significant risk. Following the introduction of GDPR, the concerns surrounding data loss and its protection are equal for the smallest and the largest companies, meaning the need for a comprehensive backup strategy has never been more apparent.
What makes a backup strategy effective?
Effectiveness is the main priority when creating a backup strategy, with a variety of factors contributing to the appropriate system selected. However, most often in the strategy creation process there are two often interrelated aspects that need to be discussed, explored and decided before any other: budget and intended usage.
Evaluating Key Factors
In order to have these features reach an equalised state that works to maximises backup strategy effectiveness, a number of key factors should be considered.
The nature of your data
Depending on your organisation the nature of your data will vary; it will come from different sources and be stored in a multitude of ways. It is important to understand what you have and where it is currently saved when devising your backup strategy. Not just the nature of your data but understanding how your organisational systems and processes are hosted throughout your business is a key factor in selecting the right system. Understanding your previous backup and recovery strategy will also provide an insight into the ideal features required of your backup solution.
The rate of change
Knowledge of what and where your business data currently are is only the first consideration for the long term. Understanding how often the situation changes will provide useful indications into how often you will be required to backup your data and how the deployment of full, incremental and differential backups can be utilised to protect your data. A combination of these should be used throughout the day, week, month and year to create a strategy that is specific to your data requirements.
How long are you required to keep your backups?
The length of time an organisation will retain a backup copy will vary depending on the nature of the data contained, institutional guidelines and legal compliance requirements. This consideration will impact the functionality features required within your backup solution and should be considered in your overall strategy.
What scenarios do you envision?
The things that you are protecting your data from will have an impact on the appropriate backup strategy to protect it. From fire and flood to hardware malfunction and software crash, right down to accidental deletion and with everything else in-between; your backup strategy should consider a clear method of backup and restoration for each, along with the likelihood of the respective occurrence.
This part of the strategy will influence your backup methodology; the type of backup solution that would be most suitable while also impacting on your data storage. When creating your strategy, you will need to evaluate the pros and cons of physical and virtualised backups as well as on-site and off-site storage.
Short Term Vs Long Term costs
The costs associated with the deployment and maintenance of backup and disaster recovery solutions can vary greatly from solution to solution; both financially and in time spent. Aside from the initial installation costs, considerations should be given to the length of time taken to run the required number of backup processes each day and how this will influence the distribution of departmental resource. Solutions which may have high initial cost may be able to recoup these through minimal requirements of man-hours in the long-term maintenance processes.
Building an effective backup strategy is not a straight forward process and requires constant re-evaluation as your data environment morphs and evolves. Throughout the creation process a number of key factors can be evaluated in order to create a backup and disaster recovery strategy that most effectively meets its intended usage, while also meeting budget expectations.
If you are unsure where to begin then just fill in our questionnaire today, designed to assess your current backup strategy. Following the questionnaires completion, one of our experts will be in touch to provide an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of your current strategy to identify recommendations to help you develop a robust backup solution that works.