Backups Backups backups

Backups Backups backups

I think one of the best quotes I’ve heard comes from Kalen Krueger, “The most important thing that will happen on your network today is your backup”.  Backups are something that are hugely important and at times are the most neglected and overlooked aspect of IT.

There are several myths about backups that need to dispelled, and here are some examples:

“I don’t need to backup my data, I paid to have RAID”.  We’ve heard this several times, and while there is value in RAID, it is NOT a backup solution, it is a redundancy solution.  You need both!

“I don’t need to backup everything, I just need to backup my data files”. While this is technically correct, it can be a very expensive mistake people often make.  If you only back up data files, when we are having to restore from back up how long will it take to rebuild your system?  Image backups are the best way to protect your investment in setting up your systems, so they run exactly the way you want/need them to.

“I have backup two drives we swap every day so we’re good”.  This is something we see all the time and it very dangerous.  If you have two drives, you are swapping out every day you have a recovery window of one day.  What happens if you need to recover a file from 3 days ago?  What happens it you have a failed backup?  We recommend that you have a recover window of 3 months and you use a grandfather rotation (daily, weekly, monthly) scheme.

“I don’t need to backup locally because we backup to the cloud”.  For some clients this may be true, however for most people this may be a very bad idea.  First, most cloud providers charge you a fee to send the data to you.  So if you have to restore an entire server it might cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars.  Secondly if you do not have a local backup and an entire server goes down how long will it take to pull your data down from the cloud.  For one of our clients we looked at it and they had so much data it would take over a week to do a recovery!  Local copies are your best defense against having to pull massive amounts of data across the Internet.

“I want to verify my backups are good and we can restore quickly”.  My questions are what is your RTO and RPO?   If you do not know what your recovery point objective is, or your recovery time objective we can’t answer the question.  It is critical to know how quickly you can recover and how much data you will lose.  Is losing the last days’ worth of work acceptable?  Is losing a weeks’ worth of data acceptable?  Can you afford to be down for 2 days while you recover?  The answers to these types of questions will drive the solutions used, and the cost of your backup solution. 

Most clients start with, “I want to restore within 1 hour and I can’t lose any data”. That is fine, we can help you meet that SLA, however when they see the price to meet that SLA they tend to say things like “Well we can be down for 4 hours and we can lose data for a day”.  That will be a vastly different backup solution and the price will be drastically lower. Let one of our engineers help define the RTO and RPO for your backups, call us today to make an appointment.