Prevent an IT Disaster from Becoming a Business Disaster

All the preparation in the world can’t prevent all system outages and data loss. However, preparation on how you will respond, is a different story.

It’s inevitable that at some point something will go wrong. Mother Nature could wreak havoc with floods, tornadoes or a roof collapse due to snow load. Humans will be, well humans, and make errors, accidentally deleting critical data, downloading files that introduce malware, or simply not being available when disaster strikes. Power can be interrupted or surge. And the list goes on.

Limiting, or even better, eliminating the impact an IT disaster has on business operations is the result of having a well-conceived backup plan.

How good is your backup plan? Here are 7 Practices to Avoid

Depending on your business model, a disruption of just a few short minutes could be disastrous and cost thousands in lost revenue or productivity.

Checking any of the boxes in our data backup checklist indicates that your operations could be at risk should something go wrong.

  • Backup is located on premise. For businesses operating from a single office or headquarters location, this is a bad idea for a lot of reasons – fire, flood, power outage, tornado, and sabotage by a disgruntled employee among them. Or it could be something as mundane as a leaky fire sprinkler head located directly above your servers. For organizations operating from multiple sites, maintaining backup across company locations can still be risky. You eliminate infrastructure issues, like the leaky pipe, with redundancy. But maintaining backup and production within the same environment introduces additional problems, leading to the next topic.
  • Production and backup are on the same environment. Your SAN is the right environment for running production. Snapshots are great for reverting an environment back in time. But what happens when your SAN fails and your production data, snapshots, and backups reside on that SAN?  Ransomware typically finds access to servers and data across your LAN and are time based. Maintaining a copy of backups outside of your network with a retention schedule effective enough to ensure you won’t be down long, or at all, in case of a ransomware attack is your best defense. Same with immutable copies.
  • No regular testing of backups. Testing is a critical and often overlooked component of a backup strategy. It’s easy to set and forget a backup schedule and assume that it’s functioning as planned. But just when you need it, you find that files weren’t writing correctly. In one recent case, a future client told us of having a system failure, going to retrieve their backup data and finding that all data generated in the seven months since last accessing their backed-up files was gone.
  • Backup and recovery depend on a single individual. The average tenure of a network administrator is about two years. People move on, go on vacation, get sick, have emergencies. Or, in the case of a natural disaster, the individual or team responsible may not be able to travel to or gain access to essential sites. So to prepare for the worst, be sure to have multiple people on your backup list.
  • Hardware is old. It ages. It fails. And replacing it is expensive. If CapEx budget allocations lag behind your schedule for upgrading hardware, you may be at risk.
  • Backup software isn’t updated to the latest version. Outdated versions and missed patches can seriously compromise a backup plan. Falling behind on maintenance can put your business in a tailspin, making it difficult or impossible to recover lost data.
  • You don’t utilize backup-as-a-service (BaaS). Implementing a quality BaaS solution eliminates the six concerns above. It supports a multi-tier backup plan of offsite backup separate from your production environment and with immutable copies.

With LightEdge’s BaaS solution, you get a powerful system backed by whole teams of trained technicians available 24/7/365.  Go here, if you’d like to learn more about how LightEdge’s Backup-as-a-Service solution can provide secure, reliable protection for your critical data assets.