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Best Practices & Helpful Tips for Backup Planning

Can you afford to lose data or have unexpected downtime? Here are the best practices for planning a backup strategy that keeps your data safe.

No one likes to think about losing data, but it happens. That’s why planning a backup strategy that fits your company’s needs is so important. Here are the best practices for data backup planning, including how your team can play a role in making sure your data is protected.

Why do I need a backup?

Your organization depends on its data, and regular backups provide insurance against data loss. Planning your backups to cover for more than just accidental deletion protects your business so you can always have the tools and information you need when you need it—no matter what happens.

Here are a few other ways that your files, servers, and devices are vulnerable:

  • Cyber-threats & data theft
  • Power outages
  • Hardware/software failures
  • Theft of equipment
  • Acts of nature
  • Fire
How do I back up data?

Your backup creates a copy of your data and makes it recoverable when needed. It should be automatic. You don’t want to rely on a human to remember to do it.

While there are many tools available to help you with this, there are two main types of backups: file and image-level.

  • File-level backups backup each file.
  • Image-based backups take a snapshot of the entire system.

The way you backup will impact how you recover.

  • File-level = files
  • Image-level = files + applications + operating system & configurations
Planning Backups for Devices

File backups work great for backing up files and folders on your computers. Focusing only on the files means low storage needs and fast recovery. Especially with a distributed workforce, it’s a cost-effective solution for keeping your data protected.

Planning Backups for Servers

Servers and complex computer systems need a more complete option for backup. Image backups capture everything so you can quickly restore the entire system, not just its data. If something happens, and you only have files, it would take days to build, configure, and get going again.

How often do I back up data?

Your backups’ frequency establishes how far back you can restore and, therefore, how much data you could lose.

Backups can occur every 15 minutes, four times a day, once per day, once a week, etc. The goal is to back up enough to minimize data loss during the recovery process, so planning the frequency around how your team works with the data is important.

If you only perform a backup once a week, can your organization afford to lose a week’s worth of data?

How do I know if the backups are working?

Having backups is only part of the protection. It’s important to make sure the backups are working so that any data you may need to recover is available. .

An error in the backup process can affect the integrity of the entire backup. Monitoring the progress of the backups will help you prevent that from happening.  It alerts you to potential problems and, therefore, you can resolve them in near real-time.

Testing is another critical step. Whether you’re backing up a file or your server, performing a regular test restore gives you peace of mind that what’s being backed up will be accessible.

Can my team play a role in backups?

Yes! Data needs to be stored in the correct place. Of course, it’s best to have a backup that covers where your users store data. So if it’s on the computer itself, back up the computer.

However, you can make a big impact (and save on cost) by communicating what data is backed up and where it is okay for users to store important company data.

Best Practices & Helpful Tips for Planning Your Backup Strategy

By following best practices for backup and recovery, you can better protect your daily operations.

Knowing why, how, and when to back up data will help you define and execute a proven process and feel confident in the protection of your digital assets.

Different systems and data will have varied needs. Your backup plan should match these needs.

Why not get started backing up your data right now? Contact WorkSmart today to speak with an expert!

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