Time to check backups!
Time to check your backups
We have a professional obligation to remind you from time to time to check your backups.
If you manage your own backups, if your have your documents saved on an external hard drive, be aware external hard drives have a limited shelf life. We recommend to replace every one-two years. Have one copy of critical business files backed up on-site and at another location.
If we host your online backups, please make sure that your backup account is within its storage allocation. That is, if you pay for a 10GB account, make sure it is under 10GB. Also, talk to us about what is backed up, is the backup set including all of your critical data? We also should do a test recovery at least once every 12 months, just call us to arrange a time. Do you have a disaster recovery plan for if you have a server failure onsite?
Our recommendation is for regular backup and recovery testing, as well as a disaster recovery plans for larger organisations. It is one thing to monitor your backups, you read your emailed backup report every morning, but you have to test them.
The easiest way to test them is to have a sub-folder within the critical folder. Within this sub-folder, you have a text document titled today's date. The next day when you go into the office, mount the recovery drive or backup drive. Browse to the critical folder, and find the text document you created the day before, and check it is there and readable. Also check the other contents of your critical folder to make sure they are there. This is obviously a light recovery test.
A more thorough recovery test is to actually test a disaster recovery. If it is a disaster recovery of a SQL server for example, you could do the following steps as part of disaster recovery testing:
You would have a pre-existing machine setup with SQL Management Studio setup and configured. You would then recover your databases, and the tables and import them into the working Management Studio on the spare machine. Once all working, you can test and check the records to make sure they are all there and up to date.