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Your Annual Backup Checklist

Posted by Ron McMahon Categories: Backup, data, Uncategorized

Annual Backup Checklist

The arrival of a new year is the perfect time to make sure that your data back-up practice is adequate.

It is a well-known paradigm that the farther away you are in time and space from the creation point of data is directly related to the cost to replicate it. The greater the distance, the higher the cost and the lower the likely accuracy you will have should you have to attempt to recreate it. This is why having a reliable backup of your data is so very important. With so much of our work and personal lives now entirely digital, making sure that you can easily and effectively recover any data that goes missing from where you keep it is more important than ever.

Here’s a check-list to consider as you ponder your organization’s data backup plan…

You DO have a backup plan, right? If not, ANY action is better than complete inaction…

  • Take an inventory of everything that holds data that you don’t want to lose. Chances are, you’ve got a lot of data sitting in a lot of things that are not likely being automatically backed up.I’d also recommend that you consider creating a document that is manual backup documentation of what online services you use, including account names, URLs, passwords and billing / renewal information.
    • I’d check your network equipment (routers, switches, wifi access points, etc.).
    • USB key drives, SD and other memory cards for cameras and other devices.
    • New forms of computers such as tablet computers, cell phones, smart phones and Chromebooks.
    • Printers, fax machines, self-managed security systems (they each have configuration data).
    • Of course, your typical computing infrastructure including servers, desktops and laptops and network attached storage devices.

Now that you have a full inventory of what you don’t want to lose, it is time to consider HOW you want to back all that up…

  • For a few of the items above, a manual recording of settings in a Word document will suffice. It may seem like a pain, but again should you find your fax machine and network printers under water in the morning, how long will it take you to manually regenerate all of their settings and stored information?
  • Other systems such as Apple iPads and chromebooks promise to automate the backup process. This is a wonderful promise that one would hope is never betrayed, but just like we did during the Cold-War…”Trust but Verify” (more on that later…)
  • If you have a backup process in place today (good for you) chances are that you’re already covering your primary computing equipment. One question here is; have you really ever tried a partial and a full recovery? Even the most expensive backup solution has no value if it fails to recover your data in a crisis. 
  • Verify if there are any legal or regulatory restrictions on what or where you can store your data. Yes, the NSA and CSEC in Canada probably already have full copies of most your data (sorry, they can’t be relied on as a backup medium) but there may be regulatory reasons why you can’t use an American-based cloud backup service. The last thing you need is to risk your organization by being careful.

What this all comes down to is taking the time to regularly ensure that you are backing up all of the information and data that you wouldn’t want to permanently lose. This brief article hasn’t tried to recommend any specific hardware or process software or websites to use as each organization is unique.

Give us a call at singlePOINT and we will be happy to work with you to ensure that the data you want protected from loss is.

Ron McMahon About Ron McMahon
singlePOINT is your source for independent, professional IT analysis, advice and services. With over 30 years of IT industry experience in support of both small and Fortune-500 clients, we know what to look for and have the experience that your organization can benefit from.

Ron McMahon

singlePOINT is your source for independent, professional IT analysis, advice and services. With over 30 years of IT industry experience in support of both small and Fortune-500 clients, we know what to look for and have the experience that your organization can benefit from.

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