7 Key Questions you must ask about Backups

The survival of your business may one day depend on the data backups you took to guard against IT equipment failure, Data loss or malicious Hacking.

Many businesses don’t realise their backups are inadequate until it’s too late. Ask yourself these questions – and answer honestly – to understand how well your business is protected.

It takes time to create and implement a backup and recovery plan and to help you understand Backups, you are welcome to Download your FREE copy of this eBook

You’ll need to figure out what data needs to be backed up, how often the data should be backed up, and more. To help you create a plan, consider the following questions:

1. Are you backing up ALL your data?
Keeping tabs on important data is becoming a real challenge for companies. The amount of data they create is growing and the number of devices available to store it on has rocketed too. You may have a shared drive where everyone is supposed to save everything, but what about individual laptops, tablet computers, smart phones, memory sticks and cloud storage services?
In particular, think about your financial data, your emails (including people’s inboxes and sent items), calendars and company contacts, plus key files and documents. It’s important to know where these items are, because otherwise you can’t be sure you’re backing them all up regularly and effectively.

2. How often is your data backed up?
The frequency of change to your data can affect your decision on how often the data should be backed up. For example, data that changes daily should be backed up daily.

3. What Backup Media will you use for storage?
Today, you can use Disk, Tape or Cloud or a combination of all three.  It will depend on your budget, your computer set-up, number of locations and your data communications.
Storing copies of backup tapes and disks off-site is essential to recovering your systems in the case of a natural disaster.

4. Who is responsible for the backup and recovery plan?
Ideally, someone should be a primary contact for the organization’s backup and recovery plan. This person might also be responsible for performing the actual backup and recovery of data.  Is your plan documented and updated on a frequent basis?

5. What’s the best time to schedule backups?
Scheduling backups when system use is as low as possible will speed the backup process. However, you can’t always schedule backups for off-peak hours. So you need to carefully plan when key system data is backed up.

6. Can you supplement backups with shadow copies?
Shadow copies are point-in-time copies of documents in shared folders. These point-in-time copies make recovering documents easy, because you can quickly go back to an older version in case a document is deleted or overwritten accidentally. You should use shadow copies in addition to standard backup—not to replace backup procedures.

7.  Do your backups actually work?
If you don’t test your backups regularly then you can’t be sure they’ll be any use in an emergency. The quickest option is to restore a random file every once in a while and make sure the backup files are usable. If backups are handled by your IT supplier, ask for evidence that they’re working properly , ideally in the form of a daily report verifying that the backup worked satisfactorily.

GDK Network Systems have partnered with Acronis, our data backup and storage experts for several years. Acronis have provided this educational eBook that discusses the value of your data, where and how to back it up, planned restores and the importance of having server images and simulating disaster recovery procedures. The last chapter lists 10 things you ever wanted to know about backup.

Let GDK also add one more option. GDK with the assistance of our Proactive Monitoring dashboard can report back by email to each of our customers on the success or otherwise of your backup as part of a daily or weekly health-check. Please see a sample of our dashboard report below.


You may also be interested in reading how GDK provide Manged On-Line Backup using Cloud Technology.

Please download the educational eBook and talk to us if you have any queries in relation to your existing backup system or the level of Proactive Monitoring that your IT configuration and company data deserves.  Send us your comments now.