19 Jan The Simple Way to Back-up your Data and Start Sleeping Easy
The Simple Way to Back-up your Data and Start Sleeping Easy
“If a virus hits our server and destroys all or data, will we be able to get it back?
“If a lightening strike fries our server, what will happen?”
“If someone broke into our office and walks out with our server, are we going to be okay?”
Ummm, the truth is that your going need to pray that A) you have a backup and B) the backup actually works. The crux of most businesses backup issues is that they have no idea what’s backing up their business (and worse yet), they have no idea if it’s actually working.
LME has received at least 10 new clients because of situations wherein a virus destroyed all their data and the incumbent IT company didn’t have a working backup to restore everything from.
So, how do you backup your data and start sleeping easy? Here is your 3 key solution to this question:
- Back up your data to a local repository (for quick restoration)
- Send a copy of your backups to an offsite location (for true disaster recovery)
- Test the backups quarterly to ensure they actually work (to make sure it actually is working)
The ideal scenario is this, keep a local backup of everything for quick and easy restores and then an offsite backup for worst-case scenarios. When you have a backup solution that keeps all your data in 2 places then you’re protected in 99.999% of scenarios.
So how do you setup your backups to ensure success and what products should you use?
Local Backup Options-
It all depends how you want to back up your data. If you like tapes, you can use Backup Exec or Novastor, if you want to back up to a USB drive you can use CrashPlan, Carbonite or Windows Backup. But what needs to be understood is that with most of these programs, YOUR ONLY BACKING UP YOUR FILES. Why is that bad, well let’s pictures a very common scenario…
Your server crashes and you only have a tape backup.
Your backup program keeps a copy of your files but not your programs, settings, operating system or all the admin functions that you rely on to connect your computers/printers/programs. If your using a tape backup you can’t even restore these files because it requires 1) a working server 2) with the tape drive connected 3) the backup software installed and working before 4) you can even attempt to get the files off the tape. You can expect days of down time while you get a replacement server and all the programs setup again before you will even be able to get your files coped back off the tape!
You have to purchase and rebuild a replacement server AND THEN restore all the data from backups. Between ordering servers (or parts), reinstalling the O.S. and applications along with the data and settings, you can expect days worth of work (and downtime) in this scenario.
Now picture this…
You have a dedicated server for all your backups and your main server dies…
These backup servers take constant ‘snap-shots’ of your servers using programs like AppAssure, Acronis or Datto. These snapshots are great because they include everything: programs, settings, operating systems, files, the entire shebang. This way, when the server crashes you simply choose a snapshot and tell your backup server to spin it up. The backup server then spins up a virtual copy of your dead server and you can keep working and accessing it as though it were still alive. This virtual copy keeps everything running and gives you time to get a replacement and get everything back in place without all the downtime.
A snap-shot backup is more expensive but it makes downtime minimal.
Now to the Offsite Backup –
To ensure that no natural disaster (fire, flood, power issues) can wipe out your data, you need cloud backups or a replication site. CrashPlan, Carbonite, iDrive or SugarSync will copy everything on your local backup up to the Cloud. Solutions like AppAssure or Acronis are also nice because they will duplicate your snap-shot sets to an offsite server farm. Most solutions these days offer both a local and offsite solution in one package and you should definitely utilize that.
Note: If you have a 1 server office and only care about your files and want to know what the best backup solution is, our recommendation is CrashPlan. It has a simple interface, does both local and cloud backups and comes in at only $69 a year.
The final step to proper backups is making sure that you get reports that notify you of successes/failures. It’s imperative that you know the status of your backups.
These backup reports, however, may say everything is okay when everything is FAR FROM OKAY. Do test restores quarterly to truly make sure your backups solutions are working. It doesn’t take long and it makes all the difference in the world. Once you have a two-prong backup solution and have tested to ensure it works you can finally start sleeping easy because no disaster, outside of Skynet becoming self-aware, will be able knock out your data.
So let’s go through proper backup procedurs step by step:
- Get a local backup solution
- Get an offsite(cloud) backup solution (it’s okay if local and offsite are the same product)
- Setup notifications so that you know the status of your backups
- Test quarterly
- Sleep easy
“If a virus hits our server and destroys all or data, will we be able to get it back? Yes, we can get it back from the local backup or the cloud.
“If a lightening strike fries our server, what will happen?” We will request a copy of all our data from our cloud backup or can spin-up a virtual copy of the server from our backup box
“If someone broke into our office and walks out with our server, are we going to be okay?” Sure, alert the authorities and I will start the restore process
If you have any questions or would like to discuss this in more detail, feel free to send an email to info@LMEservices.com or call us at 847.309.6164