Ever hear the saying “I drive a car to get to get from point A to point B”? It’s almost never true. The truth is that we factor all kinds of decisions into our vehicle purchases.
- Safety – we’ll be packing our families into those vehicles. We want to do better than ‘hopefully survive’ in an accident.
- Reliability – we want to ensure that our vehicle is going to work for us consistently, and not break down leaving us stranded in the middle of nowhere
- Comfort/Options – we generally want better than the bare minimum for ourselves, and getting from point A to point B is a bare minimum. We need heating, windows that open, windshield wipers, and more. Some of us want power windows, heated seats, GPS, and airbags.
Time and time again, I hear smart business owners talk about their backup systems with a ‘point A to point B’ mentality because nobody has told them about what a good backup system should be doing for their business. Too many businesses are operating with the bare minimum and believe that they are protected from failure because they ‘have a backup’, and that’s just simply not the case the majority of the time. What does ‘having a backup’ mean exactly? It can mean a great deal of things, just as ‘having a vehicle’ can mean the difference between life and death or being stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Here are a few of the key considerations when looking at backup systems:
- Recoverability – What happens when you delete a file that you’ve been working on all morning? What happens when your server hardware fails completely? How long is your business down for in a real disaster like an earthquake? Is your data protected in an offsite location somewhere?
- How often does the backup fail? How much do I have to pay my IT company to monitor and resolve issues with my backup system? How much risk do I take on by having a backup system that fails even a small percentage of the time?
- Granularity – What happens if a file was deleted three weeks ago and nobody noticed until today? Can it still be recovered? How far back can you restore from?
- Retention – What about archiving? What about data from six months ago? Or a year ago?
- What about the backup window? Is data being backed up continuously, or does it backup overnight? Does the server slow down while the backups are running? Is employee productivity lost because the server is running slowly?
So do you know the answer to some or all of these questions? If not, I suggest calling your IT provider and asking them sooner rather than later. Ultimately, a business protects the lives and health of the families it employs and the businesses it serves. So there are a lot of reasons why it is critically important to invest in a backup system that is capable of protecting that business properly. Unfortunately, there are a lot of businesses out there with a ‘point A to point B’ backup system. If you’re concerned that you might be one of them we would love to help you fix this problem.