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The Importance of Network Data Backups & Disaster Recovery

As an IT Service Provider, one of the most important things we talk to our customers about is Network Data Backup & Disaster Recovery.  Why?  Because your company’s data is the heart of your business.  Without your data, your company would not function properly.

What is a Network Data Backup? To put it simply, it is a physical or digital copy of the data stored on your network. How detailed the backup is depends on what data is backed up and how frequently the backups are done.

A Network Data Backup & Disaster Recovery Plan are critical for any business.  Files are accidentally deleted, computers crash, and data can become corrupt and/or encrypted due to a virus on the network.  In some cases, natural disaster like floods, fires, tornadoes, etc. can ruin an office.  In all of these cases, having a backup of your network’s data and a recovery plan in place can drastically reduce down time and loss of revenue for a company.

Here are a few things to consider when creating your plan:

How important is the data and what type of information does the data contain? Determining the importance of the data and the type of information the data contains will help decide what data to back up and how frequently.  System critical data will require a more elaborate plan than daily user files will.

How frequently does the data change? This will affect how often you want to back up the data. If the data changes daily, you will want to backup that data daily.

What is your desired turnaround time for recovery? Depending on how important the data is will determine how quickly you need to recover it.  System critical data will require a quicker recovery time than less important data like daily user files.

Who is responsible for the backup and recovery plan?  Typically, one person is designated the primary contact for your company’s backup and recovery plan and is responsible for performing the actual backup and recovery of data.

Is the right equipment in place to perform backups? Several backup devices and set of backup media may be required to perform timely backups. Tape drives, optical drives, and removable disk drives are different examples of hardware the may be used. Generally, tape drives are less expensive but are slower than other types of drives.

What is the best time of day to schedule backups? A good rule of thumb to follow when scheduling your backups is when the system is at its lowest usage or off-peak hours.

Where do you store your backups? Always store your a copy of your backups off-site in case of natural disasters. Another good rule of thumb is to also store copies of your software off-site in case you need to install them to reestablish operational systems.

Your IT Department or IT Provider can direct you in determining what to backup and how often to do it.  They can also recommend the technique an device/media that best fits your company’s needs.

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