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How to Plan: Protect your Data when Things Go Wrong

Published on 24 March 16

There’s no straightforward way to plan for disaster. There’s no way to guarantee stopping it from happening, but what you can do is to take steps to mitigate the damage when it does. It requires a well-thought out plan. Here are our top tips for protecting your data when disaster strikes.

Prioritize your Critical Data with an Assessment

Carry out an assessment to know which data is critical to running your business. The majority of your data may not important to your day to day operations and many recovery analysts say businesses should follow the 80/20 rule. This means that 20% of your data is mission critical or regularly used while 80% of the data is occasionally used. Once you have identified your most critical data, you can develop a Disaster Recovery Plan to restore this data first.

Understand how long it will take to get your Data Back

Whatever data recovery method you choose (cloud, disk or tape) understand that each comes with different timeframes in getting your data and applications back onto your systems. Bearing in mind that your business needs to regain functionality as soon as possible. You need to determine howlong you can afford for your operations to be down. Can you survive 24 hours? Or do you need to be up and running within minutes? There are different costs associated with different recovery times and methods, so find the right balance between cost and restoration time.

Get Cloud Back Up

Traditionally, backups are stored on hard drives either on or offsite. With cloud computing, all your company’s data can be backed up offsite on a regular basis. This means that your office locations can be affected by fire or flooding and all hardware destroyed, but your data remains intact. You can retrieve the data and recover to an alternate location and quickly get your infrastructure back online.

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Depending on your size, Cloud is all you Need

Typically, organizations would backup to tape and/or disk and rotate offsite. Smaller organizations may be able to backup to the cloud exclusively. Larger organizations will benefit from a mixture of onsite and cloud backups. This is due to the size of data and the speed of their Internet connection.

Perform a Disaster Test

Have a data recovery plan and test it. How long does it take to recover from a failure? Is the recovery time acceptable to your organization? Test your backup and recovery process. Make notes about the amount of data, the permissions and shares. As you recover data, make notes of any issues encountered during the process. Work through the issues and retest. The goal is to feel comfortable with the backup and recovery strategy for your organization. The key is to monitor and test frequently!

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