Nowadays, most small business owners have already realized how important business continuity means to their businesses. The problem to them now is how to choose a reliable yet affordable backup solution to help achieve their business continuity goal. Samuel Chan, the Senior Product Development Director of CloudBacko, stated 5 important steps below that businesses of any sizes need to follow in order to ensure their business continuity.
1. Decide what data are mission critical
The first and the most important step for business continuity planning is to determine what data are critical to your business that you can’t afford to loose. All business owners should have already known that the data on their servers are the lifeblood of their businesses. However, few of them would realize that most of their employees would have kept their working files on their local hard drives that won’t be copied to the company’s servers. Those data are also important and it’ll be a real headache when they’re lost because of file corruption or accidental deletion. Thus, when selecting data to backup, besides the servers, you’ll also need to take care of data stored on the employees’ workstations.
2. Decide how frequent to backup the data
Once identified what data to keep, the next consideration will be how frequent to back them up, i.e. setting up the backup schedule. It really depends on how frequent the data will be changed, and how much you can afford to loose. For example, you may want to turn on the continuous backup feature for backing up the design files that are being updated every minute. Your website database may need only need to backed up every hour. VM level backup for VMware or Hyper-V guest virtual machines may only need to be run twice a day.
3. Decide how long to keep the backup data
Okay, when backup schedule is defined, we then need to decide how long to keep the backup data. It depends on what versions of historical data you need to recover usually. For example, if you’re a webmaster and always need to recover old website htmls of the past week, you may want to keep a daily backup copy for one week. For data older than one week, you may just need to keep one backup version every month. This is called a “Retention Policy”. You may need to define different retention policies for different data sets.
4. Decide where to keep the backup data
Although people might already know that keeping multiple copies of backup at different locations is essential, most of them would actually just keep one copy of backup in the office and that’s it. This is definitely not safe enough. When a disaster strikes, all your data will be gone and your business continuity will be interrupted. Our professional suggestion is to keep at least two backups. One in your office for fast daily recovery, and another offsite for disaster recovery. A couple of years ago, backing up data offsite to datacenter was expensive to small businesses that hindered businesses from having offsite backup. However, thanks for the strong competition, the pricing of cloud storage becomes really affordable recently. For example, it’s only around $0.03 per GB per month for backing up data to Google Cloud Storage, Amazon S3, or Microsoft Azure. If you still think it’s expensive, our CloudBacko backup solution even allows to you to pool mulitple free cloud storage such as Google Drive and OneDrive into one big space so that you can essentially have unlimited offsite storage for free. There’s no more excuse not to have offsite backup anymore. If you worry about the safety issue, CloudBacko will keep you a peace of mind by encrypting all the filenames and contents of your data locally before uploading to the cloud, which thus ensures the data stored on the cloud will not be readable or openable by anyone.
5. Define backup policies for all departments and train all the staff
We need to go through the above steps for all the departments so that each department or each level of employee has a backup policy customized for their needs. Then, all the staff need to know how to recover their backed up data when needed. Although with CloudBacko, it’s really intuitive and easy to use, you still need to make sure all of them know how to use it.
6. Perform data integrity check and review periodically
Once backup policies are executed, you’ll need to ensure the recoverability of your backed up data by running recovery drill test periodically, say twice a year. You can either perform a real recovery for all your backed up data, or rely on the built in data integrity check feature provided by your backup software if available. Besides, a periodic review of the backup policies for all departments is required so as to fine-tune the details of the first 4 steps.
By performing all these steps, your business continuity will be pretty much guaranteed. Our CloudBacko local and cloud backup software lets you perform all these steps easily. Install and backup with CloudBacko now before your business continuity is interrupted by data loss.