The hard reality about running a business in this increasingly digital marketplace is that inevitably you’ll experience system failure of some sort. A server will go down, data will be breached, a natural disaster may happen and you may lose business-critical data as a result. In other words, it’s not a matter of “if,” but of “when.”
After such a failure happens, a disaster recovery plan usually gets started but eventually comes to a halt. Such a plan is budget intensive and extremely complicated to execute. Instead of designing a backup plan in-house, offloading a disaster recovery–based cloud backup tool may be a more realistic and effective option for your organization.
Let’s look at the best preparations to take when it comes to backing up business-critical data in the open cloud:
1. Schedule Regular Backups:
Your backup schedule can make or break your data retention plan. It’s crucial to schedule regular backups to ensure your data is regularly encrypted and protected in the cloud. Depending on the cloud backup service you use, scheduling can even be automated to meet your ongoing backup needs.
2. Think Smart about Cloud Data Backups:
It’s also important to consider the big picture of data backups. Most organizations simply focus on system-wide backups. Although that’s not a bad thing, only focusing on them overlooks certain vulnerabilities that plague every company’s data management plan. As an example, if your company relies on deployable applications for business, you may want to back up specific databases.
3. Test Backups Regularly:
Although no hard and fast rules have been established for testing backups in the cloud, as a general rule you should test them whenever there’s a major system or infrastructure change. Testing your backups on a regular basis is a good habit to start and will be well worth the time later on.
4. Check Data Restores for Errors:
Backing up data in the cloud isn’t just about protecting data. In fact, a cloud backup solution is only as good as its ability to restore data quickly and effectively. In addition to performing regular backup tests, regularly test the validity of the data restore to verify that minimal to zero errors occur in your data after restoration.
5. Ensure the Right Data is Backed Up:
Finally, it’s crucial to regularly check that the right data is being backed up. What’s the right data? Well, that all depends on the goals of your business. For instance, if your business goals involve protecting application databases, you’ll need to ensure these databases are encrypted, backed up and easily recovered in the event of a disaster to prevent instances of downtime.
Finding the Right Cloud Backup Solution
Unfortunately, the bulk of the responsibility for delivering quality backups and data restores rests on the shoulders of the cloud provider. Some cloud providers promise the world but can’t deliver. When shopping for cloud backup services, closely monitor the provider’s reputation in the market and if it has a solid track record of delivering quality backup solutions to a wide range of organizations. Other criteria should be considered as well, so take the time to make an informed decision. The effort you put into a backup and recovery plan for your cloud can pay off in avoiding stress and wasted time in the future.