Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Are you really backed up?

I had a meeting with a potential customer last week that was proud of their tape drive and mentioned that they carefully swapped the tapes every day and took a copy offsite. They wanted to have someone look over things and make sure they were safe.

We were all surprised when I looked through the settings on their backup software and discovered that they had been carefully backing up a handful of their programs (not the data) as well as a two year old copy of their accounting data. The two tapes in their rotation were both over two years old and had never been replaced.

I corrected the backup routine to include the current accounting data so their current data files would also be included on the tapes but they didn't want to spend any time or money to make sure that their data was being backed up consistently or replace the tapes that were past their recommended lifespan.

There is a calculation that shows the approximate cost of downtime to your company. Divide your yearly sales by 260 (work days per year) to see how much each day of downtime costs you. If your yearly sales are $1,000,000, each day of outage costs you nearly $4,000 in lost revenue. This calculation does not include the costs of a complete loss of your data however. Imagine trying to recover your company after a disaster with no record of your accounts receivable.

We don't believe that a backup is actually a valid backup until it's used to restore files. Even a test restore to bring back a handful of files is better than waiting until you have a failure to find out that you actually don't have a copy of your critical data.

If you are unsure of the reliability or completeness of your backups,
contact Internet Solver now for a free evaluation.