Your computer backups and vital records are, by definition, critical to your recovery in the event of a disaster. So it is absolutely essential that they are accessible if they are ever needed in anger.
Some common practices, which could compromise the availability of these items, and therefore your ability to recover, include :
- Storing them onsite. Although a fire safe offers some protection, many incidents result in a denial of access for several days or even weeks. If you can’t get to them you can’t use them!
- Storing them offsite but too close to home. Offsite storage should at the very least be outside any potential emergency services cordon (which could be 500 metres or more), but preferably further
- Not removing backups from site in a timely manner. Typical causes include leaving the previous day’s tape in the drive until the next backup is started, backups remaining onsite for many hours until it is convenient for someone to transport them, or the people who move them not understanding the importance of their role
- Bringing backup tapes back onsite for day-to-day file recoveries. Disaster backups should mean just that – if backups are required for day-to-day operational problems then a second, onsite backup should be taken or a process developed to allow restores to be done without physically returning tapes to site.
To ensure availability of your backups and vital records they must be :
- Stored offsite;
- Taken offsite as soon as possible;
- Remain offsite until the retention period has expired.
When push comes to shove, if you don’t have your backups and vital records, how will you recover your business?