One of the worst things that could happen to you is, believing your data is backed up and it’s not. Let’s say you need to restore important data immediately after an accidental file deletion, or any type of data loss. You go to wherever location your backup is stored and proceed to restore the backup yourself. Unfortunately, the backup is corrupt and now you can’t restore your data because the backups were not properly tested. If, there was a monthly backup testing schedule, you most likely, would have avoided this problem. Always test your backups because backups are not infallible.
There is a handful of reliable, third-party enterprise backup software solutions that can automatically schedule backup testing for you. Afterwards you will receive an email that lets you know the test has succeeded. Those type of backup programs are not cheap. If you do not want to spend that kind of money for a paid version, then you can use free solutions or utilize a free trial to verify the proper solution for your needs. Unfortunately, you will have to manually test and restore your backups to make sure everything works successfully.
After you select the best backup solution for your needs, you will need to have objectives for when a disaster occurs. If you are the person in your organization or if there’s already policies in place – there are two things that you need to know about recovery.
The first thing is called the “Recovery Time Objective”. The “RTO” is basically saying that if a disaster occurs and your organization is down, the “RTO” is “How long will it take for you to get back up”? This would be your primary objective in-case of emergency. This could be something like “We can be down for 5 days”, but we must be up by the sixth day”. Or it could be something like 30 minutes. This is how much time your services could be down for.
The second objective is called the “Recovery Point Objective”, or “RPO”. Basically, this is how much data can you afford to lose? For example, let’s say the last backup you took was four hours ago. So, anything you did from within the past three hours is going to be lost if there is a disaster because the most recent backup occurred four hours ago. You must figure out is this acceptable for you? This is how your RPO is listed. You can be down for thirty minutes, and we can also only afford to lose thirty minutes of data. So, in so many words you will have to take incremental backups every thirty minutes. This is key in configuring your backup schedules as well.
When it comes to Disaster Restoration and Recovery. First, test to make sure that you can even recover your backups. Do this on a schedule that you plan weekly or at the least monthly. Also, determine what is the acceptable amount of downtime, or the acceptable amount of data loss. You will need to work with all the stakeholders to figure these things out if there is not a policy in place already.