Back in 1980, when I was selling TRS-80’s at a Radio Shack/Tandy Computer Center, we sold a cassette tape deck specifically designed to copy data and programs created on the Model 1 computer. You’re probably asking yourself, “How old is this guy?” Back then, this was a great way to recover your information should something go wrong with the copy on your computer.
Since those days, technology has changed dramatically, but the importance of backing up your programs and data has become even more critical.
Back then, you weren’t concerned about malicious activity, and hackers weren’t a concern. For the most part, sensitive data was safe and secure from theft. Today, however, full system backups are an absolute necessity.
Most firms in the business of supporting IT systems offer these services through a Managed Service Plan (MSP). Invariably, those MSP offerings include data backup. With that said, not all MSP’s provide the same level and quality of backup. Here is a list of the features that your backup should include:
- The backup should provide a copy of all of your data, your applications, operating system, user authentication files and all security patches and updates
- The backup files should be located on a local device to facilitate file restores quickly and efficiently
- The files should also be saved in the cloud off-site, ie. at a location outside of your office.
- In the case of a major disaster, the cloud location should have the ability to run your systems remotely within a short period of time while you rebuild or restore your local systems.
- These remote cloud capabilities to stand in for your local systems should be tested annually to confirm their readiness to provide support in a disaster recovery.
- These readiness tests should be fully documented, and those documents presented to you after each test. This documentation should also include the actual time it took to start up each application
A good MSP provider shares the responsibility for keeping your systems running smoothly with you and your team. It’s imperative that part of your plan includes a comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery backup plan. If you would like more information about what this might look like for your company, contact us!
Authored by Donald Nokes