Fires, floods and other unexpected disasters can destroy valuable data and make a recovery virtually impossible. Backups help restore important data by creating a copy of computer data and storing it safely where it can be accessed after a data loss event. A data backup company can help businesses choose a backup system that meets their unique needs and budget. Before selecting a data backup solution, here are some questions to ask a data backup company.
1. Is the Data Backup System Built for Business Continuity?
Business continuity refers to the advanced preparation and planning that a company undertakes to ensure that it can perform critical business functions during an emergency event. Data backup is a critical component of business continuity as organizations require data to operate.
A good data backup system is built for business continuity, allowing the company to recover after a catastrophic event quickly. A free app or other limited-functionality backup product will likely not be sufficient. Ask the data backup company how their backup solution supports business continuity.
2. How Quickly Can a Backup System Restore Lost Data?
Every minute of downtime can have a significant impact on a business’s bottom line. According to Gartner, the average cost of downtime is $140,000 per hour on the low end and $540,000 per hour on the high end. Choose a data backup system that can restore data in a time-frame that minimizes revenue loss.
3. What Type of Data Can Be Backed Up?
Businesses often rely on data backup systems to back up a wide range of data types, such as word processing documents, databases, spreadsheets and customer data.
Some data backup systems can only back up certain files, leaving the organization vulnerable to data loss.
It is important to look for data backup solutions that can back up everything, such as files, operating systems and application data. Missing or lost data can make it difficult to restart or continue operations after a disaster.
4. Is the Data Backup Solution Manual or Automated?
Data backup solutions can be manual, automated or have aspects of both. While having a manual backup process is better than having no backup system, this option does come with certain downsides.
Manual backup solutions require a person to perform manual processes, such as rotating external hard drives or changing tapes.
If this person overlooks this task or is out of the office for an extended period of time, the backup source may be compromised. Ideally, a business wants an automated backup.
5. How Often Can Data Backups Be Performed?
How fast an organization can recover following a disaster is dependent on when their last backup was performed.
If a backup has not been performed for many hours, days or even weeks, a business will likely lose a lot of valuable data. When choosing a data backup system, ask the company how often data backups can be performed.
6. Does the Backup System Provide Full Protection?
Not all modern backup solutions work well with outdated systems.
It is important to consider if the data backup solution being considered is able to provide full protection or if there will be gaps in coverage. If a backup system cannot back up an entire server, the business may be missing critical data that ultimately cost them money.
7. Can Data Backups Be Virtualized?
Another question to ask a data backup company is whether data backups can be virtualized.
A virtualized backup allows a business to recover a backup as a virtual machine, typically in seconds. This enables an organization to minimize downtime and data loss after a disaster.
Backups that contain an entire operating system are ideal as they allow a business to continue its normal operations in a virtual environment.
8. Where are the Data Backups Stored?
Where data backups are stored plays a major role in how fast a business can recover after a catastrophe. Some businesses store their backup systems on-site at their business location, which can be risky if the local infrastructure is destroyed.
Storing data on the cloud can be practical if the business can restore the data quickly and control how the data is handled. However, the best configuration is often a hybrid cloud backup that provides businesses with the best of both options.
Speak with an Experienced Managed IT Service Provider
Every business requires a data backup and recovery plan. However, not all backup systems are made equal.
When looking for a data backup solution, be sure to ask the backup company many questions to ensure that the system chosen is right for the business’s unique requirements.
To learn more about data backup solutions or to speak with a professional managed IT services provider, reach out to the experts at SeaGlass Technology.