Do you test your backup?

Your business data is one of the most valuable if not the most valuable asset you possess. Everything else can be replaced, from staff members, to desks and computers. Even your premises can be replaced if necessary. But what would happen if you lost all of your data?

Most companies have some form of backup system to ensure that this can’t happen, and a process in place to back up their data on a regular basis. Although a great deal of care is taken to ensure successful backups, such as backup monitoring and backup verification, how can you be sure of the integrity of data you’ve backed up if and when you may need it?

Every good backup and recovery plan should also include a process for testing the backup. Ultimately, the test process will confirm the validity and availability of your data and helps you verify your backup and restore procedure as well as your recovery timescales. This is the reason why even in case of on line or cloud backup systems which protect you against lost or damaged media, it is still highly recommended to test your backup.

At the highest end, larger companies, in line with their regulatory requirements, are required to carry out regular Disaster Recovery (DR) procedure. Such companies would have detailed processes as well as dedicated environments to carry out their test restores. But a full DR exercise is very costly and resource intensive and therefore out of reach of most SMEs.

So, how would an SME go about testing their backup?
• Prepare a temporary test environment
• Retrieve backup media and restore your data to the temporary test environment
• After restore, check the integrity of data and the availability of required services (email, line-of-business applications, etc.)
• Randomly choose files in different locations on your test system and compare them to those on your live system
• Randomly choose files on your test system and open them with their corresponding applications.

And how often?
This depends on you and your business requirements. The more you test your system the more confidence you will have in your process and the less risk of unexpected surprises. We recommend that you carry out at least one Test Restore per annum.

We can do all this for you and more
At Entegraty we have put together an environment dedicated to carrying out, anything from a Test Restore to a full DR test. It enables us to offer our clients the ability to carry out test restores efficiently and speedily and with minimum involvement.

Having a program of effective Test restores will give you the confidence that your backups are working perfectly and that in the event of an unexpected crisis, you won’t be left with a disaster! Why not talk to us about how we can protect your business data?

Contact us at our Leicester office on 01455 851858 or by email at support@entegraty.com.