Why Data Backups Are Important To Business Continuity

Executive Summary

Managing data and data backups are one of the most important and complex IT challenges for businesses of all sizes. It is not just the increasing volume of data that creates challenges for businesses, and IT professionals, safe storage and quick retrieval of the data is of utmost importance to business too.

Careful planning and understanding the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) metrics aids business continuity when faced with an IT-related disaster. Furthermore, appreciating the importance of Data Backups, their storage medium, and the accessibility to off-site backups is vital.

Introduction

The accumulation of data represents a business’s most valuable asset. This data asset must be backed up, protected, stored, secured and made available to the business whenever required; be it to

• Address employee and customer issues or to
• Address increasing demands for regulatory compliance

Regardless of the backup system selected by a business, consider the two critical parameters;

• Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and
• Recovery Point Objective (RPO).

Business needs to ensure they define these objectives in line with their backup strategy, thereby ensuring a successful data backup and protection system. Let’s take a closer look at these two crucial parameters

Data_Backups

Recovery Time Objective

As defined by Roan Solutions, “(RTO) relates to the target time your business sets for the recovery of both IT systems and business processes in the event of a system disruption. The (RTO) is a calculation of how quickly a company needs to recover. Defining the (RTO) helps develop business continuity systems peculiar to a company’s unique needs and goals.”

Recovery Point Objective

The Recovery Point Objective relates to your business’s tolerance for data loss. The (RPO) refers to the time between data backups and the amount of potential data loss that may occur between backups. When establishing an (RPO), a business must define the volume of data they can afford to lose and continue operating successfully. Recovery Point Objective is crucial for determining one element of business continuity strategy – the frequency of backup.

Difference between RTO and RPO

The significant difference between these two metrics is their purpose. The (RTO) is usually large scale and looks at your whole business and systems involved. (RPO) focuses just on data and your business’s overall resilience to the loss of it.

While the purpose of (RTO) and (RPO) may be different, you should consider both metrics when developing an effective Business Continuity Plan (BCP).

Data Backup and Storage

Ensuring business continuity depends on data backups being readily available when critical data is accidentally lost. Additionally, the backup storage medium and storage location is as important as the actual backup.

What is Data Backup

Data Backups create copies of the live data in use, so that, if the storage medium such as a hard disk fails, data is retrievable from the backup copy. The backup is usually retained for a relatively short period and superseded with a new backup, as data changes. A good way to think of a backup is that it is a short-term insurance for data that changes often.

What is Data Storage

Data storage refers to safeguarding your information in a secure location, both onsite and offsite in a readily accessible way. If data is a business’s most crucial asset, then the storage it resides on must be just as important.

In the business world, data storage and backup are critical and essential business continuity. Data is the relevant information such as:

• Details about clients and employees.
• Details about the business’s finances.
• Particulars of current projects.

Current data trends place much importance on the IT infrastructure serving and storing the data. This infrastructure must be able to scale with growth and continue to provide higher levels of performance.

Importance of Data Backups

It is essential that you always back up your important information and have a plan for recovering from a system failure. An attacker could crash a computer’s operating system, or data may be corrupted or wiped out by a hardware problem. Computers can be lost, stolen, or destroyed in a fire or other catastrophe.

Backup data usually contains all immediate information related to business that should be kept on servers and backed up. It is important for businesses to understand the significance of data backup and implement an automated, comprehensive backup strategy. Limiting human intervention is advisable.

• Make sure your business can function normally, even if every computer crashes.
• Every business needs a data recovery contingency plan.

Conclusion

Careful planning and understanding the Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) metrics aids business continuity when faced with an IT-related disaster. Furthermore, appreciating the importance of Data Backups, their storage medium, and the accessibility to off-site backups is vital.

As we all know, data management and data backups is an important function in business. Get this wrong, and your business runs the risk of damaging their reputation and running the risk of financial losses. It is vital that management implements a structured DRP specifically designed to cater for data related losses.

We have posted articles focusing on backing up some of the products we support

How to do a command line backup of MS SQL Database
Backups and Disaster Recovery for BMC FootPrints
How to Backup and Restore BMC Track-It 11.x using TI.EXE

If you plan to improve or even set your (RTO) and (RPO), contact us today and we will assist you.

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