What are the key points to include in a backup testing strategy?
Most business owners are now well aware of the need for regular data backups to overcome unforeseen events such as natural disasters, system failures, ransomware attacks, or accidental deletion of data. A backup ensures that data will be restored in the event of such primary data failure. What most people may not have realized is the fact that backups can also become corrupted or lost. Such a situation when no proper backup is available will lead to loss of time and money and complete chaos. Mobile Computer Services, a managed IT company in Wake Forest, shares the importance of having a good backup strategy.
1. What to test?
Businesses should primarily test their data backup by restoring files from the storage device or cloud. However, this alone will not suffice in the event of a hardware failure or a situation that could damage the whole IT environment. To overcome an electrical or hardware failure, the backup testing should ensure that new hardware can be quickly installed or a backup site is available for failover.
Businesses should perform both full and partial backup testing and restoring. As repeated complete restoration testing would be expensive, testing the backup of vital data should be prioritized.
2. How often should testing be done?
Most businesses perform backup testing once annually. However, data experts recommend testing backups of critical applications, data, and systems at least on a monthly or even weekly schedule. Any new system or application upgrade should first be thoroughly tested before moving to production. New hardware upgrades often lead to application downtime and impact end-users badly.
3. How to make sure that backups work?
Businesses should clearly know how long it takes to restore a backup from a remote site or cloud location. They should ensure that their recovery software can recover data from disks/tapes, remote data centers, and the cloud as expected. During a disaster recovery, physical movement or online movement of data backups will be challenging. Hence, it is imperative that these movements of data are tested prior to such an incident to identify weak spots and provide risk mitigation.
4. Checking if recovery is effective.
Once the backup has been restored, it should be tested to make sure that the right data is available at the right place. Individual application experts should perform use case testing of their applications to ensure that the expected result is obtained. Business owners should ascertain that ransomware protections are enforced on the data obtained from remote data centers.
5. Ensuring data and processes are consistent.
Backups should be consistent across various departments of the business to ensure seamless interoperability of departments after a restoration has taken place.
Taking redundant backups is a good idea. Cloud services generally never fail. However, using multiple services can help if one service becomes unavailable when a full backup restoration is required. In data centers, backups are done on multiple tapes/media, and all of these are tested and stored in different locations. These media must be replaced as soon as any wear and tear are noticed.
The IT support team should keep a record of all test results and share the lessons learned across the board.
Why Mobile Computer Services?
Mobile Computer Services, a managed IT services company in Wake Forest, has a specialized team with a state-of-the-art backup and data restoration system that ensures the best safeguards for customers and the integrity of their data.
Contact Mobile Computer Services, Inc. Wake Forest at (919) 230-2900 to avail the best data protection services available.