When Was The Last Time You Did a Restore?

-Thanks to our partners at Asigra for featuring this article in their November 2011 corporate newsletter –

Working in the backup, recovery and restore industry, I’ve come to the sad realization that many organizations, both big or small, feel adequately secure having any sort of backup solution on hand – then something happens and they try and restore their data.

In the last little while, I’ve come across several business owners who thought that they had a great backup and recovery process in place for their organization – that in the event of a data loss, they could easily and seamlessly restore their data. I use the word “thought” as they recently found out that although they did indeed have a backup process in place, the backups were either 1) failing 2) not providing sufficient protection for all their data or 3) they simply couldn’t restore the data they needed.

Despite what these owners thought, their backup and recovery process wasn’t protecting them. Unfortunately, they found out the hard way that it is not about the backup – it’s all about the recovery. Although painful, this did identify a need for a better data protection strategy and created an opportunity for Datotel to speak with them about a cloud backup and recovery solution with the proven ability to recover. This kind of data loss event didn’t happen again. They now realize that it isn’t about the backup…it’s about the ability to recover that’s vital!

One of the leading mistakes an organization makes is considering recovery as part of their backup plan. This type of thinking is backwards. Backup should actually be treated as part of a bigger disaster recovery plan.

The most granular way to describe data recovery is the process of retrieving lost data from damaged, failed, corrupted or inaccessible secondary storage media when, for some reason, it cannot be accessed in the conventional way. Fortunately, thanks to data recovery technology, in most instances, data loss can be recovered… with the right tools.

There are many technical solutions from tape to cloud-based backup with pros and cons to each; but any backup and recovery solution is no good if it isn’t adequately maintained or checked on a regular basis. Organizations change over time, and whether you’re conducting backup and recovery yourself, or relying on an outside resource, the backup and recovery process needs to adapt to meet those changing needs. Data backup is an insurance plan, and with any insurance plan, you are looking to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. But it isn’t enough to just have an insurance plan; you need a recovery plan as well. Unfortunately, many people are not that concerned about the recovery plan until it is too late. The focus has always been on data backup instead of on the reason WHY to backup data – to recover and restore the data when needed.

Without ensuring you can successfully restore your data with your current backup solution, you are essentially ignoring the risks involved with data loss, instead of mitigating it. Organizations that play with fire eventually get burned. According to IDC, 6% of all PCs will suffer an episode of data loss in any given year. That translates to 4.6 million data loss episodes. Don’t be one of the ones that can’t recover. To ensure you can recover, ask yourself the following:

– Can you ensure data integrity by checking for corrupt data?
– Can you run a restore simulation to ensure data restorability?
– When was the last time you verified that all aspects of your data protection are in place and being met?

If it has been a while, maybe today would be a good day to try a restore, before you find yourself in a tight spot.

Thanks for reading,
David

@ddbrown

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