In a digital age, the importance of information and data cannot be underestimated. The world runs on data, which must be why it feels like the world stops spinning when you encounter a problem regarding your files. Nothing is worse than having a computer or hardware malfunction and losing your files, especially if it’s before a critical deadline. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent and solve such problems. This is where backups and data disaster recovery come in.
A backup is a copy of all your files. Think of it as a picture, an image that holds all the same information as you have stored in your local computer. A backup is an easy way to prevent data loss problems because if ever you get into a problem with your computer, you can always go back to your backup and retrieve the files you’d need from there. There are different kinds of backups and it is best if you can find one that suits you the most.
A full backup is a complete copy of everything you have in your computer at a certain time point. Datasite Colo explains that people would go for a full backup as their first form of backup, but they might opt for a different kind of backup for succeeding backups.
Another kind of backup is the differential backup. This type of backup requires an initial full backup. Afterwards, it only backs up whatever has changed. This is advantageous in the sense that it saves time and space by only backing up files that have been created or modified, while maintaining the files that have been left untouched since the first full backup.
A mirror backup is a kind of backup that automatically copies all your files into a backup in real time. Compared to the different backups that are either scheduled or actively done, mirror backups just happen automatically. While this has certain advantages, it has disadvantages as well. Backups are often useful in the event of accidental deletion of files. Unfortunately, deleted files are automatically deleted in mirror backups as well.
Aside from the different kinds of backups, where those backups are stored is also important to consider. An easy location to have a backup is online, or in the cloud. Having an online backup is advantageous in the sense that it can be accessed pretty conveniently with internet connection. While beneficial, this can also prove to make data vulnerable.
Another option where the backup can be stored is in local media storage. This refers to hard drives. While less convenient to access and use than cloud storage, this is more secure and these backups can be placed in different geographic locations for further security.
Data Disaster Recovery
While backups are a form of protection to safeguard your files and data, data disaster recovery is more characterized as a strategic plan for events of crises. These unfortunate, but possible, events can range from cyber attacks to actual disasters that may leave your digital footprint either lost or vulnerable. A data disaster recovery plan makes sure that an organization would have the necessary resources to be able to remain functional.
A data disaster recovery plan is related to backups in a way since any plan will require backups in one way or another. A common data disaster recovery plan may suggest having three forms of backups – this is called the 3-2-1 rule. This rule suggests having three backups, on two kinds of storage media, and have at least one of the copies off-site. Having an off-site backup is important for natural disasters so that even if the physical location of the organization is affected, a copy of all the necessary files is somewhere else.
While having backups should be the first step in the data disaster recovery plan, part of the plan is the frequency of updating these backups. Ideally, real time backups would be the best but realistically, these are quite resource-intensive. The frequency of the backups should relate to how much information can a business afford to lose. This means backups can be done monthly, weekly, or daily.
Last thing about backups is to have a regular inspection of the backups. Regular inspections can be done less frequently as the backups themselves, but they should be done regularly enough. These inspections just have to make sure that the backups are correct and error-free. The backups are only as valuable as the data they hold and having an error-prone backup just might be as worthless as having no backup at all.
Aside from having backups in place, another part of a data disaster recovery plan is to have sufficient data security. This relates to the protection of files against cyber attacks and hackers. This is especially important as businesses rely on files for operation and a simple cyber attack can really put a business on their knees. For security, there are specialists that should be acquired that are skilled in protecting networks and data specifically.
The last step of a data disaster recovery plan is to be prepared when all else fails. No matter how many backups one can have, it is always possible that everything you’ve set will fail. In the unfortunate event that your data is indeed lost, you should have a procedure to follow to recover the lost data. Data recovery would include going back to original backups. However, there are also services that specifically perform data recovery from problematic hardware.
These specialists can take broken hard drives and storage media and retrieve as much data as they can. Unfortunately, this process cannot guarantee retrieving all the files, but when all else fails, it’s better than nothing.
While the difference between a backup and a data disaster recovery plan may be subtle yet distinct, the two are indeed interrelated and highly recommended for businesses to secure their important information. These may seem trivial, especially for the less tech savvy individuals, but having these on hand can really put your mind at ease having one less thing to worry about.