An essential part of keeping your business up and running is ensuring that your critical data is backed up regularly. This article has tips on what to back up, how to devise a backup strategy and how to choose a backup solution, local and remote.
What to back up
Firstly put together a list of what assets need to be backed up before jumping into backup solutions.
Backing up your business computer can sometimes be more complicated than it sounds. You will need to know the exact location of the data you are planning to back up. While most Windows users keep data in their documents folder many will also store files and folder on the desktop, which you will need to back-up as well. Be sure to back up any special database or financial software package which may store files in program directories. Make sure to find out if your programs allow you to back up configurations or settings. Lastly be sure you know how your email is set up and where your sent and received messages, calendar and contact information is stored.
If you have a large bookmark collection in your browser, you should back that up as well. You can regularly export your bookmark file from within the program, or point to the bookmark file itself in your backup software. You will be able to check the applications help tool or consult the web for details.
In addition to regular backups, it is good practice to back up your server in full before every major update, so you have a way to recover its entire hard drive. A proper server should be running a server-class operating system. If your company is using an in-house email server, it is important that it is part of your backup solution. If hosting your own email, many email servers include their dedicated backup utilities; you can check the user’s manual for more info. If mail is stored locally, the mail folder must be backed up. Mail file locations vary by program, so be sure you know yours.
If one or more of your employees work from home, this data should be included in your backup strategy.
Most remote backup servers allow you to install a client on a home computer and to nominate specific folders on that computer to be backed-up. A simpler alternative requires that all work performed at home to be saved to a work computer or shared storage solution.
Refer to your mobile device’s manual for backup instructions including saving contact lists and other critical data you might be storing.
You can retrieve files from cloud storage using mobile devices. However, when dealing with sensitive files encryption is highly recommended.
If your website is hosted off-site, make sure to ask your web hosting provider how often it backs up your website data and how recovery works if an accident occurs. If you are hosting on premises, then it would be backed-up like any other server.
Benefits of a Cloud Backup Solution
Cloud solutions are arguably more immune to disaster than other tech solutions because they are not physically located in the same place s your company. If a disaster strikes your region, city or even just your office, there will be no impact on your cloud storage. You should still make sure that you have planned for how you will access and use data in the event of a disaster.
If you have any further questions about backup solutions, our team here at Blue Sky IT Consulting will be happy to help.