For years you've been hearing about the importance of data backup - 'Just ensure your data is backed up and everything will be fine...' Well... that's not quite the case - data backup alone is not enough.
For one thing you have much more data than you used to and most likely your data is more important than ever before. Viruses, systems failures and disasters are always looming, meaning the risk of losing your data has never been higher.
What you need... a Business Continuity solution that ensures your backed up data is:
This means when a disaster occurs and someday one will, you'll be back up and running in no time and your data will be usable and intact.
However not all Business Continuity solutions are created equal, so we’ve listed some of the things you should look for:
1. Make sure your data backups are image based
While a file-based backup handles file backups (slowly) - one file and folder at a time, image based backups take a picture of entire machines. Image based backups happen so quickly and seamlessly users won't even notice its happening and restores are fast - taking seconds not hours or days.
2. Ensure backups are stored both locally and securely in the cloud
This allows you to conveniently pull backups from an onsite device. But, let's say your office gets flooded - there goes your local backups. Having your apps, files and systems in the cloud saves you and your business. Some providers enable you to open and use your systems directly from the cloud.
3. Ensure your backed up data is tested for validity
For peace of mind you want to know your backed up data is tested for validity. A good continuity solution examines each backup automatically to ensure everything checks out. Some solutions even send screenshots of your backup verification via email.
4. Ensure your solution will grow with your business
Finally, you want to ensure your backup solution can be easily upgraded as your business grows. Don't get stuck with an expensive upgrade that requires you to lose all your backups and start over.
So while having your data backed up is a solid starting point having a Business Continutity plan will ensure your data backup is usable, non-corrupted, virus-free and quickly recoverable taking just hours, not days- Or worse not at all.
You might also like this related article, How much does your downtime affect your business?