Servers Crash? You Need Data Backup And Recovery Service

by | Jan 4, 2017

What you need to know about data backup and recovery service, but are afraid to ask.

You’ve got a long weekend coming up and you’re finishing up some last minute paperwork, and then a notice pops up on your phone. The company’s servers have crashed. Now no one is able to get any work done, and nothing is working how it should. Even though the day-to-day process is fine, you know that long weekend just went out the window if you can’t get it back up and running and the data recovered before end-of-day.

It’ll be okay though, right? You’ve planned for this and you just need to get your team working with the backed up data that you’ve had storing since the company’s inception. Simple enough.

At least until you realize that backed up data isn’t the same as recovering that data when your server has crashed. Hopefully at the same time you were setting up plans for data backup, you also followed our three step plan for data recovery, in case of an event like this.

One. You had restoration in mind when you developed your backup systems.

If you start at the end and work your way backwards, you’re less likely to miss flaws in a plan. Data backup is not always the same as data recovery. When you’re looking at backup, the goal of a program or company is not to recover from a backup copy, but to back up all of your data as quickly as possible. Some systems will break down your data in such a fashion that it’s like a puzzle. It makes it faster to back up, and thus reach the end goal. However, if the system isn’t designed to be part of a data recovery process, you might as well not be backing up at all. You’ll end up with a puzzle with millions of pieces, and you’ll be stuck trying to figure out how to put them back together. Ensure that, whether you handle your backups yourself or outsource, your backup data is handled with the intent of being able to recover from this data. A data backup and recovery service that focuses on not one or the other, but both, is one option to circumvent this problem.

Two. You chose the right people, tools, and processes for the job.

Let’s go back to our initial catastrophe, and imagine the majority of your IT team is off already on their vacations when the servers crash. Your Oracle guy is already out of state, your Windows guy can’t come in, and half of the programs in your last backup are outdated or based on an older operating system. Trying to get everything running at this point is going to be a scramble – and that scramble will mostly be comprised of grabbing the nearest team members, regardless of whether they are able to handle the job. When you’re putting together a data recovery plan, you need to make sure that you have the right people, as well as a backup team in case they can’t be reached. On top of that, you need to make sure they have access to the tools and processes they need as soon as you need them. Data backup and recovery services like Datto are capable of identifying file and application changes between any two backup points. Tools like this make it easier to find where things went wrong and identify the best way to correct them.

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Three. You check the backup system regularly.

Now imagine you’ve planned the systems from the ground up with recovery in mind. You’ve got a team that knows their roles in the event of a crash, and they have all the tools and processes they need. . . but no one has checked that the backup was working properly in a long while. More accurately, you’re not certain anyone has checked that the backups were working – ever. A real world example of this happening was a server crash that occurred in New Orleans in 2010.

Since the backup process hadn’t been checked for accuracy in some time, they had no idea of the havoc that was happening. The program that was used for backups had been automatically updated recently, and although the program sent a message that it had been correctly installed, there was a fatal flaw. When the servers crashed, they went to restore from their backups, only to find the program hadn’t been sending good data since July. The nightly backup was being sent in garbled text and was unusable for recovery. Even worse was that all records dating back to 1980 were being lost in monthly purges.

As with all plans, whether for the digital or the physical worlds, regular checks are key. In the case of your backup data, it’s very important to make sure that everything is being sent and stored correctly in the event of data loss.

Sometimes the unthinkable happens, and you lose data. Having the right business continuity solution can make the difference between a few minutes of downtime, and days or weeks. If you’re interested in learning more about data backup and recovery service, how they differ, or data backup and recovery as a service and how we can help you secure your data, please contact us today.

Dale Shulmistra is a Business Continuity Specialist at Invenio IT, responsible for shaping the company’s technology initiatives -- selecting, designing, implementing & supporting business continuity solutions to bolster client operational efficiencies and eliminate downtime.