When everything works right, your backup process is invisible. Jobs automatically run to successful completion. The restore process is never as invisible as backups, because the restore process is never routine. The best you can hope for is to make the recovery process smooth. That means keeping an eye on your backup and recovery process before you need to do a restore and investigating the answers to these questions:
- How many backup and recovery tools are you using, and how do they work together? Most organizations are using more than one backup tool, with some systems reliant on legacy processes including backup to tape, while other backup to cloud. There are often tools dedicated to different aspects of the process, including pure backup and recovery, archiving, replication, and high availability. Processes grow in an ad-hoc fashion over the years, resulting in procedures that are overly complex without delivering the desired results.
- Are your backups really complete? Are they really usable? It's easy to omit adding new applications to the backup process in the rush to meet project deadlines. If you're relying on self-service recovery procedures, make sure the process is really easy enough for users to handle.
It's also easy to take a file-based approach to backups, which can result in inconsistent data when an application is recovered.
A final consideration is whether archived data can be used when it's restored; the more time that elapses between the backup and recovery, the more risk that the application expects data in a different format. It's possible that restoring older data can require restoring an older version of the application, too. You may also need older versions of backup and encryption software to access the older backed-up data.
- Can you restore systems rapidly enough to meet business requirements? The flip side of creating backups without requiring excessive downtime is the need to restore backups rapidly. That's a huge issue for systems that create and use big volumes of data 24x7. Know how long it will take to access data stored off-site, including the impact of network performance when recovering from backups in the cloud. If your tech team is unfamiliar with the recovery process, that will also cause delays in getting systems back up and running. Make your restores as granular as possible.
Review and Test Your Recovery Plan
Review your recovery plan periodically. Revisit basic questions such as what data you're protecting, where you're keeping it, and how long it is being kept for. Run a test to verify that you can access data—not just yesterday's data but also the historic, archived data.
Choose a modern backup solution like NetBackup that offers cloud integration and granular recovery options that let you restore elements as small as an email. Then ensure that your backup and recovery process is solid with Managed NetBackup services from dcVAST. Our expert team will configure and optimize your NetBackup installation to ensure efficient, effective protection of your important data. Monitoring guarantees that backup failures are detected and corrected. When you need to recover data, our team is available to support this critical operation 24x7. Contact us to learn more about why you should use NetBackup to ensure a smooth data recovery process.