Apple’s Time Machine is ruining the way we think about backups. If you’ve used a Mac for any period of time, you’ve likely run in to the company’s user-friendly backup solution. All you have to do is turn on Time Machine, connect your machine to an external hard drive, and wait for the magic to happen. Every time you connect that hard drive to your machine, a new backup will automatically be created. If you’re getting out of your car one morning and drop your laptop into a puddle, no worries. Buy a new machine, pull that hard drive off the shelf, and your new machine will magically have all that content you loved on your old machine.
Time Machine works as a consumer solution because the truth is consumers don’t have that much riding on their backups. Sure, it’s heartbreaking to think of losing personal photos and videos, but there’s a limit to the financial burden you’re going to face if your personal machine goes belly up.
What about your business’s data? Would you be comfortable knowing your company’s data was sitting on an old hard drive? If disaster strikes and the drive doesn’t work when you try to plug it in, how much does that cost your company? How many hours would it take to recreate that data and how much business would you lose due to the downtime?
Thinking of your company’s backup plan in the same way you’d think about backing up your home computer is a recipe for disaster. Here are three things to keep in mind as you create a backup plan that’s fit for a business.
1. Backups Need To Be Tested.
This note is one of the most important, but it’s one people don’t often think about. If you don’t have a plan for testing your backups, you don’t have a backup plan. One of the worst emotional roller coasters in IT is suffering a data loss, feeling relief when you remember that you have a backup system in place, and then dealing with the crushing realization that your backup doesn’t actually work.
Implementing a backup plan that includes regular testing gives you the confidence of knowing that your backup is going to be there when you need it – which is the whole point of having backups in the first place.
2. One Backup Isn’t Enough
If you’re thinking about the true security your backup system provides you, here’s where you need to start – what’s the worst that can happen? No, worse than that. Still worse.
This is another area where thinking about your corporate backups like you might think about your personal backups can be problematic. Sure, it’s great to know you have a backup on a shelf in case your computer crashes… but what if your house burns down? Having a single backup in a single location may help you out in a handful of use cases, but it’s not a real solution.
If you want to be sure that your data is safe, you need to have copies of your data in multiple locations, with at least one backup offsite. While the ideal backup locations for your business vary based on your company size and industry, storing your only backups on site isn’t enough to make sure your company can come back from a disaster.
3. Your Backup Should Be A Time Machine
If there’s one thing Apple got 100% right about backups, it’s the name. One of the most valuable things a backup system can do is let you roll your system back to a specific period in time. This sort of backup becomes incredibly important when you find yourself dealing with an environment that’s been infected by malware. If things are bad enough, your best bet might be turning to your backup. How often you create new backups (and how long you hold on to those backups) then becomes incredibly important. If your company was infected eight days ago, having backups that only reach back a week isn’t going to be much help.
Determining the backup schedule that works best for your company can be a little complicated and its one of the reasons why working with a managed services partner like Symplexity proves so beneficial. In addition to setting up your backup schedule, a good managed services provider will manage the location of your backups and regularly perform testing to make sure that if you ever do need to use a backup, it’ll be there when you need it.
Your managed services partner will be responsible for deploying backups should you need them and working with a good managed services provider goes a long way toward making sure you have the best backup experience possible. To learn more about how Symplexity can make sure your backups match your business (and aren’t waiting for you on a shelf), contact us today for a free consultation.