data recoveryThe importance of regular data backup

A robust data security policy must address several issues related to server and data backup. One of the most important involves the frequency of backups. It is in the company’s best interests to be sure that in the event of an interrupting factor such as a natural disaster or a malware incident, company data can be restored accurately and seamlessly.

The “hit or miss” backup approach

Some businesses, instead of coming up with a coordinated backup plan and implementing it company-wide, have relied on a “catch as catch can” approach. Unfortunately for these companies, such an approach might as well be termed “hit or miss.” This model relies on individual employees to perform their own backups, frequently using an external hard drive or some form of online backup. The problem with such an approach, of course, is that individual workers will vary greatly in their compliance with the policy. Some will regard it as an imposition, just “one more thing to do,” and will neglect it entirely, relying instead on their belief that the backup will never be needed.

Automated backups allow for frequent scheduling

Even when workers do their best to comply, however, the hit or miss approach is still fraught with problems. When workers make backups of data on their own schedules, the company will not have a single backup that represents the state of all data sets at a particular point in time. Thus, the accounting files may not coordinate well with the employee work records files should the company need to implement data recovery after a disaster. Reconciling the files and getting a true working set of data again will take time, and during this time, the firm will not be fully operational – which means it will most likely be less profitable during that time span. Even worse, if workers are using external hard drives to make backups, they may lose them completely in a disaster such as a flood.

A better system even for small companies is to adopt a data security policy that involves automated backups of all data at once. By taking employees out of the loop, reliability and frequency of backups can be improved. Ideally, companies should strive to backup all their mission-critical data at least once each day, storing the backup offsite, such as at a cloud provider. This, however, is a minimum security requirement. Some companies are now using a technique known as “continuous backup,” which duplicates each change in each file the instant it occurs so that a completely current set of data is available should data recovery become necessary.

Great Lakes Computers has partnered with Dell’s AppAssure product to provide backup and data recovery services.  AppAssure is the #1 unified backup and replication product that offers data protection for VM, physical and cloud IT environments. Our server backup software has already won 10 major technology industry awards including Gold award in Backup category as well as Gold award in the Disaster Recovery category from Windows IT Pro magazine and also the ISV Winner in Backup category from Virtualization Review Magazine for 2012.