Data Backup Checklist – Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is an essential for any business, no one can predict things such as fires, earthquake, industrial disputes, power failure, viruses etc at any time, which can all cripple a business if you do not have a disaster recovery system in place. That is why it is important to have one for your data backup checklist.

• Test your backups often
Storage media such as tapes can get corrupted or erased. It is important to test your backups by doing a test restore (to a secondary location) to ensure your backup media is accessible and the data is in good shape. Do this with every tape back up on a periodic basis, such as once every 2 months.
• Keep your backup software updated
Software vendors often release software updates that fix certain problems with backup schedulers, data integrity and so on, so make sure you keep your software up to date. It’s normal for software vendors to release updates on a periodic basis. So make sure you’re always running the latest version.
• Replication of data
To an off-site location, which overcomes the need to restore the data (only the systems then need to be restored or synchronized). This generally makes use of storage area network (SAN) technology or Cloud based back up solutions.
• Be careful of storage
If you can, store your backup media off site or in a fireproof media safe. Don’t place backup tapes near monitors or uninterruptible power supplies Electromagnetic fields coming from computer monitors, uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) and even printers can corrupt data on backup tapes or erase it altogether.
• Password-protect your backup media
This can help keep the data from unauthorized access in the even of theft. Some backup software even supports encryption, so consider that, as well. It’ll take more time for the backup, but it will be more secure.
• Clean your tape drive
If you use a tape drive for backups, it’s imperative to run a cleaning tape in the drive once a month or as frequently as the drive manufacturer recommends. This will lengthen the life of the tape drive and tapes. Furthermore, it also improves the integrity of the data on the tape. If the head is dirty, the data on the tape, if at all, will be corrupt.
• Automate your backups
If your software supports it, automate your backups so you don’t have to worry about it every day.
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