Are you the person in your company responsible for the daily backup? If so this post is aimed at you.
Do you occasionally forget to change the backup tape? Come on now, be honest, you’re amongst friends here. You’re only human after all and sometimes when work gets really busy you forget to do it.
What about when you’re off sick or on holiday? Dave from accounts is meant to take over the job but do you think he always remembers? There’s no getting around it – some days the data just isn’t getting backed up.
Assuming that last night’s backup took place, where do you keep the tape? Raise your hand if it’s one of the following:
Your desk drawer
The boot or glove box in your car
Your laptop bag
A pile on top of the tape drive along with all the other tapes from this week
The bookcase in accounts next to Dave’s desk – you know the one that partially blocks the fire escape.
Ideally a courier would arrive daily (or weekly at least) and whisk the tape off to a military grade secure facility – the kind of place Tom Cruise might attempt to break into during a Mission Impossible movie. You did explain this to the management and at the time they all nodded in agreement but once the quotes came in it was quickly dropped in an effort to contain overheads. In any case that secure facility would probably turn out to be a very ordinary warehouse on an industrial estate in Bedford – Tom Cruise wouldn’t even give it a second glance.
When was the last time anyone tested the tapes to see if the data can actually be recovered successfully? Unfortunately backing up is pretty pointless unless you can also recover the data and it might not be until there is a real crisis that you discover that there’s a problem. After all tapes have moving parts and they wear out after too many uses.
You know that you should schedule regular tests for data recovery – it was meant to be part of the DR plan. Perhaps you could start doing it next month once you’ve sorted out the dodgy mail server and upgraded the wireless network….and don’t forget Dave keeps complaining about the old printer in accounts….but you should definitely have time after that….
Did you implement the tape backup kit yourself or did you inherit it from you’re predecessor with no real explanation about what data is being backed up and why? If you did set it all up yourself when was the last time you checked back with all the other departments and made sure that you are still backing up the right files? Maybe accounts have started storing data in a new folder that didn’t exist when the backup was last configured and Dave forgot to mention it to you (frankly, that’d be typical of him).
Don’t forget that the actual amount of data that you need to backup tends to grow steadily over time but the capacity of the tapes and the length of overnight backup window stay the same - so once you’ve added all the new data to the backup job then may find that you’re out of space or time.
Sorry for bombarding you with all these questions – I know you’re just trying to do your best under the weight of mounting expectations and shrinking budgets. The point of this is really to say that there is a better way of doing things by using a remote server backup service which, conveniently, we have recently launched at Timico. The benefits to you could be pretty compelling – just consider the following…
You wouldn’t have to change any tapes – you just tell the software how many daily, weekly and monthly copies of the data you want to keep and for how long.
You wouldn’t have to worry about sending backups off-site. All the data is automatically kept off-site in our tier 3+ data centre
You could test data recovery quickly and easily via the software’s web interface. You can just pick individual files and folders rather than waiting hours for the complete contents of a tape to be restored.
The software makes it easy to see what’s being backed up but if there is something that’s been forgotten you can quickly create a new job. You could even give Dave from accounts the responsibility to manage his own backups.
So if you’re planning your escape from the planet of the tapes then have a chat to us – we might be able to offer you an easy way out.