Businesses generate large amounts of data and data files are changing throughout the workday. Data can be lost, corrupted, compromised or stolen through hardware failure, human error, hacking and malware. Loss or corruption of data could result in significant business disruption.
Data backup and recovery should be an integral part of the information technology disaster recovery plan. Developing a data backup strategy begins with identifying what data to backup, selecting and implementing hardware and software backup procedures, scheduling and conducting backups and periodically validating that data has been accurately backed up.
Developing the Data Backup Plan
Identify data on network servers, desktop computers, laptop computers and wireless devices that needs to be backed up along with other hard copy records and information. The plan should include regularly scheduled backups from wireless devices, laptop computers and desktop computers to a network server. Data on the server can then be backed up. Backing up hard copy vital records can be accomplished by scanning paper records into digital formats and allowing them to be backed up along with other digital data. Data should be backed up as frequently as necessary to ensure that, if data is lost, it is not unacceptable to the business.
Options for Data Backup
Digital drive images, using roaming profiles or folder redirection, and low cost Network Area Storage have become common. With many options in creating a "backup" the larger question becomes where and how do I store this data? The options come down to on-site or off-site for the where and the how will normally be dictated by the where. If you would choose to store your backup data on-site a dedicated server with a high RAID configuration, maybe RAID 5 or RAID 10, would be a good option if you needed access to the data easily. A read-only type of media may be a good option if you do not need access to the data and it needs to remain unchanged. I would not recommend relying on an on-site only method to secure any critical data. Using an off-site backup solution offers many advantages. The frequency of backups are consistent and often, the use of encryption increases the security of the backups, and a secure and dedicated site will be used instead of a closet corner.