You’re probably running regular data backups and have a sense of security that your business critical data is safe from failure. There’s an old saying, “Your data is only as good as your last backup.” But that’s only half of the story. The other half is: “Your backups are only as good as your last restore.” You’re already on top of the game by backing up your data, but you need to do more. You need to test your backups.
If you aren’t testing your backups, you’re not alone. According to an article in CIO Magazine, a survey reported that 59% of SMBs were backing up their data, but only 32% were testing their restore processes at least once a month.
The ultimate test for any backup is to restore it. Only then will you know if you’re backup system is performing properly, and user errors haven’t been introduced that might skip important data.
Benefits of Testing the Plan
- Go through your checklist periodically confirming steps are still valid, noticing any areas that can be improved
- Perform a full restore simulation
A full restore simulation will stress your backup plan. It will also let you know who is needed, how long you can expect a restore to take, which systems are affected and if all data is accessible and on hand.
Why do backups fail?
Even if you have a great restore process in place, sometimes things can still go wrong. Knowing what they are can you help you head off additional problems. Here are a few reasons why backups fail:
- The full backup is corrupt because something in the system corrupted it.
- Backups create a chain, and when something in that chain is corrupted, a restore cannot continue past that point in the chain.
- The backups worked, but the data contained corruption before it was backed up.
Validating backups on a set schedule can minimize unexpected disasters.
We know that there’s always an excuse not to perform restores to validate your backups: limited time, no formalized process for it, not enough disk space, etc. But making sure your backup is good to go in case of emergency can mean life or death for your business. We can’t stress its importance enough.
Are you ready to integrate backup testing into your process?
Testing your backups can be the difference between doing down and coming back up or simply going down for the count. Don’t go into this process blindly.
Having an experienced IT team on your side to help you through the backup restore process on a regular basis greatly increases your chances of minimal downtime with a successful outcome. Don’t hesitate to contact us here at Fluid IT Services – we can help you create a backup testing process that works for your business.