Every business owner understands the importance of planning and the proper implementation of said plans. However, after everything is set up, it’s easy to overlook the testing of one’s plans, which can really come back to hurt you when all of your careful planning falls apart. Nowhere is this more true than with data recovery.
Data backup and recovery is a major part of your business continuity plan. When your business is faced with a disastrous event causing downtime due to data loss, the recovery of your lost data is crucial to getting your business up and running again–and the faster the better. In a dreaded scenario such as this, your next step is to put your data recovery solution into place and hope for the best. How confident are you that when you restore your backup, everything will work as it should? This is where testing comes into the picture.
Going through the effort of testing will prepare your business for unforeseen problems with your backup solution. In an interview with Processor magazine, Adrian Sanabria, senior security analyst of 451 Research, gave an example of a common data recovery scenario gone wrong due to the lack of testing. “It’s no good to switch over to disaster recovery (DR) and find that your Tier 0 application won’t run because the DR environment is three releases behind. If DR will be expected to support a full production load, plan it as such.”
Testing should be done regularly. Many Technology Consultants agree that a complete test of your backup systems should be done at least once per quarter, and there’s no harm in testing more frequently, like monthly or even weekly.
Logistically, testing your company’s backup systems may sound like a burdensome task, especially if you’re a larger company with multiple departments and multiple locations. Like any project, one way that you can make backup testing easier is to spread it out. For example, a larger corporation may test out a few locations at a time instead of testing every system at once.
Another way that you can test your backup solution is to periodically run your entire business off of it. This the surest way to know that your business can withstand a disaster. Sanabria tells Processor of a major retail company that tested their data backup systems this way:
They’d actually switch production over to DR once every three months and run the DR environment as production for a full week before switching back. The first few tests were difficult, but the outcome was worth the dedication, because they never worry about whether their DR environment will work.
Any way you slice it, testing a company’s backup solution is a time-consuming task that only gets done if the organization understands the value of their data as part of their business continuity plan. If regular testing of your company’s backup seems like too burdensome of a task, you can outsource it to Symmetric IT Group, your Business Continuity Service Providers. We offer businesses of all sizes our comprehensive Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) Business IT Solutions. Our Business Continuity Services and BDR solution is much faster compared to the more traditional tape backup systems that some businesses still use. A tape backup could take as much as 40 hour to thoroughly test the integrity of the backed up data, while a BDR may only take an hour to restore.
BDR is the most secure way to backup and recover your company’s data. Included with our BDR IT Business Solutions is having us monitor and oversee the entire data backup and recovery process so that you don’t have to, which includes regular testing. This will give you peace of mind that if a disaster strikes your business, your data will be just fine and operations will be up and running again as soon as possible. Call us at (813) 749-0895 to learn more about backing up with BDR.