As I see it, there are 10 best practices that can make the difference between backups that really do keep you in business and backups that seem to work okay — until you actually try to use them. Here are the first two:
#1 Understand your data so you can decide what needs to be backed up and how often.
Base your decisions on the cost of loss, which you can get a sense of by noting the types of data your business relies on — emails, spreadsheets, databases, line-of-business apps, etc. — and determining the impact of losing that information for good and having to recreate it (if you can). Add in the cost of unhappy customers and potential regulatory/compliance violations — and do the math.
#2 Know your recovery requirements so you can prioritize which data needs to be restored first.
Backing up your data does you no good if you can’t restore the business operations relying on that data. How long can you function without customer apps and data? That’s the length of your recovery window. What about payroll? Inventory? Email?
Once you figure out how long you can be without the data and apps driving key functions, you can determine how quickly these must be recovered. A dependable backup/recovery advisor can help you find the right balance between recovery and cost.
Next time: Backup/recovery best practices #3, #4, and #5