Sometimes the unexpected happens. Data gets corrupted, files are accidentally deleted, and hardware fails. Backups are like a fire extinguisher. You hope that you never need one, but if you do you had better hope that you have one, that it works, and that you know how to use it.
Most companies plan backups. Over the years we have found that is is actually the wrong approach.
Instead, we plan RECOVERIES, and then design a backup solution that supports the recovery.
While our solutions are custom-tailored to the needs of our clients, a typical strategy would be as follows:
- We install an external hard drive on the customer’s server.
- Daily backups of changed files are encrypted and copied onto the external hard drive as well as off-site to our data center via the Internet.
- Deleted files are kept for 30 days (retention period is configurable)
- Changed files are kept for 30 days (retention period is configurable)
- If data needs to be restored, the software looks first to the attached “staging” drive, and if not still there is downloaded from our data center.
- Once in our data center, the data is backed up to yet another drive array, just in case something would happen to the primary array.
This type of solution addresses most business needs:
- It is AUTOMATIC. No interaction with the customer staff is required. No changing of tapes, no taking drives home or rotating them into a bank deposit box.
- It is SECURE. All data is encrypted before it is copied to the backup drives or off-site. HIPAA and PCI compliant.
- Restoration is FAST. The data most likely needed is stored on a drive already attached to the server. We just need to decrypt it and copy it back.
- In the case of a catastrophic failure – Fire, Flood, stolen equipment, etc. – We can restore the data onto a hard drive right in our data center and either hand-deliver it back to you or courier it back. This option requires that you entrust us with your encryption keys, which we would of course store securely until they are needed.
As a result, every file typically exists in 4 places, and 3 of the 4 places are securely encrypted. A file that has been changed a dozen times in the last few weeks can still be restored to an earlier version, and that restoration can take place in minutes even if the file is hundreds of megabytes. Our systems monitor the backup status, and can take corrective action if necessary.
If you would like more information on how a system like this could work in your business, please contact us.