10 Backup Best Practices supplementing a disaster recovery and business continuity solution with the cloud

10 Backup best practices –  supplementing a disaster recovery and business continuity back-up solution with the cloud

Outsourcing TemplateBackup best practices are used by many CIOs who want to improve their ability to recover from system failures and data loss. This is especially true to protect themselves from natural like Sandy and man made disasters like a terrorist attack. Building a disaster recovery and business continuity infrastructure is cost prohibitive for many organizations, thus the cloud is a perfect solution.  The cloud can supplement an enterprises backup disaster recovery and business continuity backup solutions.

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That being the case here are 10 backup best practices.

  • Local back-up is the first line of defense. As Sandy proved when it comes to performing backup and recovery, the best performance will be delivered by using resources local (on-premise) to the systems and data being protected. However in an extended outage you need the cloud like Sandy if power is out and the data center is down a more extensive solution is required.
  • Know the systems and the dependencies when the data center is down. Local backup does not work when the data center is out of commission, then a cloud based backup is a necessary second line of defense. You should know which servers and data that organization’s day-to-day operations will need when the data center is down.  Make sure they are protected with a cloud backup and restore.
  • Go beyond traditional backup for disasters. Consider the ability to use replication technologies to provide continuous data protection locally and in the cloud, for critical systems. Replication, although a great complement, is never a replacement for backups. Even high availability software solutions can be used with a public cloud for automated and push-button failover for the most critical systems and applications.
  • Know what is required to restore data and back up to keep the business operating. Backing up the system and all the storage will protect everything on that OS instance, which is perfect for when you need to restore the entire environment using bare metal recovery scenarios. If you are protect- or even a single email—so think about what you might want to restore then make sure you are backing up in a manner to facilitate your goals.
  • Backup may not be enough. If a virtual server fails, all VMs on that server are at risk..
  • Minimize long-term backup cost. Maintaining long-term disk-based backups on a company’s resources can be very costly; maintaining long-term backups or archiving old or infrequently used files in the public cloud can be a great, cost effective alternative solution for many organizations.
  • Manage the security of cloud based data. Securing your organization’s data is a major verify the security used in the solution—for example, the physical security of the public cloud locations, encryption of data at rest on the storage, and logical separation of your organization’s data from other organizations using the same public cloud backup provider.
  • Run the recovery directly in the cloud. Look at options to run your systems in virtual environments in cloud virtual machine hosting solutions using the systems and data backed up in the public cloud. This approach allows your operations to be up and running again even without your own datacenter.
  • Have a unified backup and management. Most organizations that leverage a cloud for solution that supports a hybrid model and enables a single management approach.
  • Test the processes. The best solutions in the world will fail if you don’t know how to use them correctly—and if you don’t perform regular tests to ensure restore processes work and the data protected is valid. Get into the habit of performing regular tests.

Author: Victor Janulaitis

M. Victor Janulaitis is the CEO of Janco Associates. He has taught at the USC Graduate School of Business, been a guest lecturer at the UCLA's Anderson School of Business, a Graduate School at Harvard University, and several other universities in various programs.