How do you know that your backups are working properly? You don’t want to have some critical piece of hardware go down only to find out that, when you go to restore it, your backup software hasn’t been working for months.
Unfortunately, this is a problem that many business owners face all too often. The wrong time to test your backup and disaster continuity plans is when the network goes down.
Testing Your Backups
Backups are one of those things that many companies take for granted. Backups don’t often need any sort of interaction and they run during off hours. This means that they can be overlooked easily. This should not be the case.
The critical nature of your backups means that you should be testing them regularly and looking for certain key factors about the restore.
Does the Restore Process Work?
At least once a month (more if you can spare the staff and time), you should spot check your backups by attempting to restore one to a test machine. You should be able to restore the backup from both local hardware and the cloud.
Run through the process as if you were actually following the steps in your disaster recovery plan (more on that later). See if the backup restores fully, the dates of the files on the newly restored machine are correct and that all critical files have been recovered.
Check Your Backup Logs
If something goes wrong with a backup, your software is going to tell you. Regularly read through the logs (or set up a script to parse for errors and alerts) to see if anything is happening that is out of the ordinary.
Also verify that the backups are running at the intervals you expect. You should have your backups set to run on regular intervals and to prevent large amounts of rework in the case of a disaster.
Ensure That Your Disaster Continuity Plan Fits Your Backups
Along with a backup strategy, you should have a plan for ensuring the least amount of downtime for your business when disaster strikes. The most important parts of a disaster continuity plan are minimizing downtime and making sure that there is as much continuity of services as possible. Here are some things to include on your continuity plan:
- A call list for who to notify when disaster strikes
- A script for whomever is going to be implementing the plan that includes a bulleted list
- Defined roles for the disaster recovery team so that work can happen quickly and seamlessly
- Numbers for 24-hour suppliers in case hardware is needed
- A list of all active applications that should be used
- Appropriate diagrams
- Contact lists for vendor support lines, should your team encounter trouble
- The date of the last time the plan was tested
Now Test Your Whole Recovery Plan
So now that you know your backups are working, it is time to test your whole disaster recovery plan.
Don’t Go It Alone for Disaster Recovery and IT Support in Stamford
Make the most of IT support in Stamford and let U.S. Computer Connection help you with your disaster continuity and backup plans.