The 5 Rules of Backups

Backups are essential to your business, as we have already established. If you haven’t established a proper backup strategy or a disaster recovery plan, you may be setting yourself up for a major loss. 

Backups are one of those things that many people have a hard time justifying the cost to set them up properly. The return on investment is basically nonexistent, unless you actually need to use your backup, and then the ROI could be invaluable!

Backup plans come in all shapes and sizes, and should be customized to your business and goals you have set. However, any backup plan you create should follow these 5 very specific rules.

Backup frequently

One of the biggest benefits of having frequent backups is the ability to correct mistakes. Many help desk requests that come in are related to accidental deletion or a user just saved over an original file or template. Being able to quickly restore these files and correct the mistake made is a great way to make sure an entire day of work isn’t lost.

Follow the rule of three

Each piece of data should have 3 copies. The original file, the backup copy and a backup of the backup. Hopefully the 3 copies will be in 3 separate places. If the backup is stored on the same drive as the original, and the drive fails, both copies would be lost forever. 

Protect your backups

Since your backups are so important to your business, it is also extremely important to keep them protected. In the event of a ransomware attack, you want to know that your backups will be able to safely restore your files. If your backup files get encrypted as well, then you may end up paying a significant fee to get your data back. Which really only works about half the time anyway. 

Make sure you have enough space

As you back up your systems, there is nothing worse than running out of space and having your backups start to fail. Most backup programs will compress the data, so a good rule of thumb is to have 3 times the amount of space that your data currently occupies. This will give you enough space for several sets of backups to retain some historical data, and still give you 20% free space to allow the programs to run flawlessly. 

Test your backups

You might be backing up your files, and backing up your backups, but have you tested a restoration lately? Are you positive your backups are functioning properly? The only real way to know if you have your backups setup right is to test them on a regular basis. Even if you just test restoring one file from time to time, that should be enough to know that your backup is working.

We hope that you never need to use your backup and disaster recovery plan. We live in the real world where humans make mistakes, and no one is completely immune to natural disasters. If you follow these rules, your backups will be there for you when you need to use them. We hope you never have to though!