Backup Solution and Disaster Recovery
The key to protecting your operating data is planning. There is no magic bullet that fit all operating environments with a single solution. The true approach to ensuring that our clients are always backing up current and relevant data that can easily be recovered at a cost effective price is analysis of all the steps within the operating process and to capture the data at the appropriate stage of that process.
On-Site vs. Off-Site Backup Scheme
The question of whether to use only on-site backup or off-site backup weighs heavily on all IT managers. To solve this equation, we employ a multi-stage process analysis that evaluates:
|✓Data Set Size|
|✓Data Set Location|
|✓Data Set Change Frequency|
|✓Potential for Internal/External Data Set Tempering|
|✓Data Set Use and Importance|
|✓Number of Data Set Users|
|✓Security Safeguards and System Internal Controls|
|✓Available Internet Bandwidth and Time of Availability|
After an in-depth analysis, our engineers provide clients with customized, cost-effective, and well balanced data redundancy / recovery solutions that allow them to benefit from multiple levels of redundancy. Clients benefit from the speed of on-site recovery and the safety of off-site storage.
The value added approach of managing the execution and the integrity of the backup can not be overstated. Automatic backups can not be trusted to ensure that the data can be recoverable.
It is a standard situation that during a backup cycle several important files will be skipped and not backed up. Usually this happens to files that are being used by running programs, such as database files. These happen to be the files that store the most current and the most important data. Hence, if these files are skipped, the major point of performing a backup is negated. Retaining multiple copies of backup files (known as Versioning) provides peace of mind; a properly planned versioning system will ensure that adequate copies of your data are recoverable throughout an appropriate span of time. If you need to recover a file as it existed 2 weeks ago, AND a month ago, versioning is the answer.
Tim changed Anita’s Excel spreadsheets 2 months ago. He made an honest mistake and did not notice that he changed the format of the fields from formulas to number values. While the numbers stayed the same for hundreds of cells in dozens of spreadsheets, the underlining formulas are no longer there. This went unnoticed for 2 months, because Anita did not attempt to change any calculations and the numbers stayed the same. Now that the next quarter is coming to a close, Anita goes to change the input cells, yet the formula fields, do not budge. Panic ensues as everyone realizes that the spreadsheet that took months to build is no longer useful. Since the backup scheme only kept 14 versions, this spreadsheet with the formulas is long gone.
This is a very common scenario and can easily be prevented with off-site backup versioning spread-out over an extended period of time.
While the backup technology is not new and has been around for decades, the basic integrity of the backups can easily be compromised due to the regular possibility of data corruption. It often happens that a backup exists and it even exists in the correct version. However, when the attempt to restore that backup is made, the data is either not there or the file is corrupt.
We assist our clients with regular test restores and data inspections that allow for a validation of the integrity of data. While this process can be a tedious one, it is nevertheless a critical step in ensuring predictable continuity of operations and proper preparedness for a disaster.
High Availability Backups
For clients whose operating requirements demand little down-time for “mission critical” data, we offer high availability backup schemes that synchronize the on-site with off-site backups. This allows for faster restores and the security of secured remote storage. This type of configuration is the preferred choice of corporate servers that require a maximum of a few hours of down-time.
There are situations where “mission critical” really means that. In scenarios where no down-time is acceptable, we deploy mirroring servers that continuously replicate the data and the operating environment of the main servers. This high end solution allows for the main servers to completely fail and the off-site replication servers would immediately takeover without any noticeable interruption.
The following backup targets can be set up for redundancy backups:
- File and Folder Backups
- Data Files Backups
- Database Backups
- Active Directory Backups
- Operating Environment Redundancy