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Make backups your new year’s resolution

Let’s look at the typical responsible organization and how it manages the process of creating backups for Mission critical systems.

The first step typically is to identify the systems that require a database or operating system backup. Then with the appropriate stakeholders or, via following established policy, the frequency of the backup process is defined and the destination for the backup data is established. Then the backup program is placed into operation and appropriate checks are done to validate the integrity of the data on the backups. For most organizations, this is where the backup process is considered implemented. But for some unfortunate organizations, they learn firsthand that a critical step is missing.

That critical step is defined by two questions; how quickly do you need to access your backed up data, and do you know how to restore the critical system from its most recent backup copy?

Local data backups are readily available whilst cloud-based backups can take hours or days depending on the size of the data being retrieved. IT departments are often very savvy and capable in common operating systems or applications but when specialized software applications are in use, it is likely they may struggle in restoring from a backup. If at all possible, this process should be rehearsed especially, as personnel in the IT department changeover. For critical non-familiar systems, partnerships with the supporting vendor should be in place and they should have provisions for support in the event of backup restoration.

When we say make backups your New Year’s resolution, perhaps we should say make restoring from backups a practiced and known process in this coming year and beyond.