Data backup and recovery is all about solving three potential problems for businesses and organisations:
- Computer/operating system crashes.
Data backup and recovery are extremely important components of running a business successfully. Businesses need to be prepared for the worst by putting data backup systems in place. You do this by using an offsite server or separate drives capable of storing huge amounts of data. Without these in place, data recovery is very difficult. If something went horribly wrong, you could lose an enormous amount of information.
What is data backup and recovery?
Data backup and recovery is the practice of having a backup storage of your data. This means that, in the event of data loss for any reason, you can recover it from the backup storage device. It is an ongoing practice by which you copy and archive computer data so that it is accessible if you need it. The only way to recover data from an earlier time is if it has been backed up on a reliable devic.
Data backup is one approach to disaster recovery. It is an essential component of any sensible disaster recovery strategy. But it’s important to bear in mind that it will not always restore all of your business settings and operating systems. Things like database servers and computer clusters may require extra forms of data recovery since backup and recovery may not be enough to fully reconstitute them.
Cloud storage is a useful resource for backing up data. It eliminates the need for investing in lots of external storage and disk space on-site. You can even set up mobile devices with cloud technologies to facilitate automatic data recovery.
Why is backup and recovery important?
Data is an essential resource for all organisations. A robust backup and recovery plan provides a blueprint for those responsible for being proactive in the event of a disaster scenario. They need to know what each person’s role is and the sequence of processes that will restore operational functionality. Plans should improve people and processes so that everyone knows what to do.
If the data you need to operate your business becomes unavailable for any length of time, it will cause big problems. Customers will be unhappy. Employees will be too. In some cases, like in the event of a cyber attack, it could be enough of a problem to completely destroy your business. Thus, effective backup and recovery of your critical data are essential for the security and success of your business.
What is the difference between backup and recovery?
There is a fundamental difference between data backup and data recovery. Essentially, data backup is a copy of data that can be brought up when a database failure occurs for any reason. Recovery, meanwhile, is the process of restoring your main database to its functional state when such a failure occurs.
To create a backup, you need to make a representative copy of the original information. This must include essential elements that make the database work – think things like control files and data files. Unexpected database failures happen for all manner of reasons, and you can never really know when they might occur. This is why a full backup of the database is needed.
Types of Data Backups
- Physical Backup: A direct clone of the physical database is made. This is the foundation of data recovery.
- Logical Backup: Contains logical data from the database. This includes procedures, tables, functions, views and more. These are not useful by themselves because they only provide structural data.
- Recovery: Restores your database when it fails. It enables you to restore your database to a functional state when something goes wrong. Log-based recovery can be sufficient to recover a database as well, but it is wise to not rely only on this method. Having a full backup provides an extra layer of assurance.
What is a disaster recovery plan?
In relation to business data, a disaster is when something catastrophic occurs that has a negative impact on your data. It may be a natural disaster like a storm damaging a data centre. Or it could be a man-made disaster, such as a ransomware attack on your systems.
A disaster recovery plan is a comprehensive strategy your organisation must implement to restore data in the event of one of these disasters. Increasingly, organisations are taking steps to make complete backups of their entire environments. This can be done through on-premises infrastructure or via the cloud. The goal is to ensure all the critical data can be restored swiftly in the event of a catastrophe.
As mentioned, the plan should provide detailed instructions of what needs to be done and who needs to do it. It should also incorporate the measures used to back up data and the processes by which it will be restored. The more detail, the better.
Types of Data Backup
- Full Backups. Think of this as having a spare tyre pumped up and ready to go. It’s there in case you need it. Full backups connect an external data storage resource to your systems, then you copy all of that data over. It can be a large undertaking, but more modern data management solutions require fewer full backups.
- Incremental Backups. Using the spare tyre analogy, this is more like adding a little bit of air to the spare tyre each time you visit a service station. You start with a full backup, then you add only the new data that has arrived since the last incremental was performed.
- Differential Backups. These add more data, just like incremental backups, but their starting point is always the last full backup. So each differential backup will copy all new data since the last time you did a full backup, regardless of whether another differential or incremental backup has been done since then.
Backup and recovery are important for general operations and disaster recovery. Both should be incorporated into your business plans. This will equip you with a layer of protection against unplanned losses, forming part of your wider security plan. Don’t let worst-case scenarios catch you with your guard down. The consequences for your business could be devastating.
Why choose Eventura as your backup and recovery and cybersecurity partner?
With over 20 years experience in cybersecurity, backup and recovery, we know our stuff. Our team of experts can complete a full review of your business and identify any areas of weakness, which could leave you vulnerable to loss of data through cyberattacks or other unforeseen events.
We were even mentioned in the Governments National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) Annual Review 2020 when we were chosen to test their “Exercise in a Box” designed to help small businesses prepare and respond to cyberthreats. You can read the article here.
There is a common misconception that cyberattacks and large data losses don’t happen to SMEs but this couldn’t be further from the truth. With our expert knowledge, we can help you protect your business’s future from the ever increasing challenges surrounding data loss and breaches.
If you would like to speak to one of our experts, you can request a free call back here.