While production storage is increasing in capacity and declining in price, backup storage continues to be a costly proposition. That’s why it’s more important than ever to practice sound data backup policies.
Here are eight data backup best practices to keep your data safe:
1. Understand Your Backup Storage Needs
The first step in developing a sound data backup plan is to understand your storage needs. How much data do you need to backup? How often do you need to access that data? What is your budget for backup storage? Once you have a handle on your needs, you can develop a plan that meets them.
2. Determine Your Recovery Time Objective (RTO)
Your recovery time objective is the maximum amount of time you can afford to be without access to your data in the event of a disaster. For example, if you can only afford to be without your data for two days, then your RTO is 48 hours.
3. Implement a 3-2-1 Backup Strategy
One of the best ways to ensure your data is safe is to implement a 3-2-1 backup strategy. This strategy calls for three copies of your data: one primary copy and two backups. The primary copy should be stored on a production storage system, while the backups should be stored offsite and on a different type of storage system.
4. Use Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID)
RAID is a storage technology that combines multiple disks into a single logical unit. RAID provides increased storage capacity and improved performance by stripping data across multiple disks. It also provides redundancy by mirroring data across multiple disks.
5. Use Tape Backup
Tape backup is a tried-and-true method for backing up data. Tape drives are relatively inexpensive and can store large amounts of data. Tape backup is also portable, making it easy to transport backups offsite.
6. Test Your Backups Regularly
It’s important to test your backups regularly to ensure they are working properly. Backups should be tested at least once a month. Testing should include restoring data from backup to ensure that the data can be accessed and used.
7. Implement a Disaster Recovery Plan
A disaster recovery plan outlines the steps to be taken in the event of a disaster. The plan should include procedures for backing up data, restoring data from backup, and failover to alternate systems. The plan should be tested regularly to ensure it is working properly.
8. Use a Backup Service Provider
A backup service provider can provide an offsite location for backups, as well as provide additional features such as data encryption and compression. Backup service providers typically charge a monthly fee based on the amount of data to be backed up.
Now that you know the 8 data backup best practices, it’s time to put them into action. Implement these best practices and be sure your data is safe in the event of a disaster.