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26 Jun 2018

How Many Backups Are Needed to Secure Business Continuity and Data Availability?

Technology is a crucial component in the day-to-day operations of every business. For many leaders, a disaster recovery plan is essential to ensure business continuity and data availability in the event of inevitable IT disasters such as hardware failures and cyber-attacks.

Traditionally, at the heart of any disaster recovery plan is backup storage. By creating copies of a data backup, IT departments are able to add an extra layer of protection from a data disaster, deletion or corruption. There are multiple scenarios where critical data can easily be lost, and it’s your responsibility to protect against every eventuality.

What can happen?

The loss of information could happen for many reasons:

● Human error — data deletion, modification or overwritting by accident or negligence.

● Location-related — leaving a device on a train, theft, fire, flood, or earthquake.

● File corruption — virus or ransomware infection or software error corrupts data

● Hardware failure — hard drive, CPU or controller failure

When a storage backup is created, the backup data is typically kept on a device or server; and is stored on local or remote storage. These backups can also be stored on a hard disk or a pen drive. The question that businesses are increasingly asking, is how many copies do they need to protect their company data?

The 3–2–1 Approach Protecting Company Data

Creating multiple copies protects your business from losing any critical data. The 3–2–1 backup rule is an effective strategy that instantly removes any single point of failure. The belts and braces approach ensures that you can overcome nearly any failure scenario without any drama.

Keep at least three copies of your data

One backup is a step in the right direction, but it won’t protect you from every eventuality. It is advised to have the original copy and at least two backups to fully protect your data.

Keep the backups on two different storage types

A combination of cloud services such as Dropbox and physical backup on devices like pen drives and external hard disks will protect your company from any single point of failure.

Keep at least one copy of your data offsite

Having two backup copies of your critical data on two separate storage types will protect against most scenarios. But, local disasters such as a fire or flood could potentially wipe out both backups. Always ensure at least one backup is stored offsite, this can be in a physical location or in the cloud.

There are four types of backups

The Full System Backup: Restore any computer to one point in time, and that includes all the data, applications and even the operating system by creating an exact image of the computer.

Differential Backup: A differential image stores the changes that have been made to the imaged file system since the last full image. Subsequent differentials can be taken, but only one differential and the full are required in order to fully restore the system.

Incremental Backup: The main difference with incremental images is that they only store file system changes since the last image, either full, differential or incremental. The resultant backup set therefore consists of a full image and a number of incremental images which must all be present in order to restore the system correctly. You can pick an Incremental to restore, Macrium Reflect will find the Full that it was based on (and any Incrementals in the “Chain” between the Full and the selected Incremental) and restore to the point-in-time that the chosen Incremental was made.

File and Folder Backup: a space-saving way to backup your working files, personal files and precious data. You can backup your Documents folder and save the backup as an XML file for easy re-running and scheduling. When you restore a file and folder backup, you can restore files to their original folder or restore the folder structure and selected files to a place of your choosing. Alternatively, if you want to restore individual files without their folder structure, you can mount the backup file as a drive, browse them using Windows Explorer and copy/paste them back to their original folder.

It’s not a case of if your company will be affected by hardware failures and cyber-attacks but when. However, it has never been easier to implement a disaster recovery plan that provides business continuity and data availability in the event of any IT disaster.

You can download a 30-Day Trial of Macrium Reflect Home, Workstation, Server, Server Plus, or Site Manager.

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