Often enough I have consulted with clients about how they perform their business essential data backups. It seems that most software nowadays sends emails or alerts to the one in charge of monitoring such events.
The question comes to mind is, how do you know if your data is being backed up properly? I guess what I mean by this is, have you actually performed a restoration at any point to ensure your data is safe? Or better yet, have you even checked to make sure the proper data is being updated? Let’s expand on this for a second. Restoration checks require performing a restore function from the backup software of your choice, that typically duplicates the test folder or instance for review. Once this sometimes time consuming task has been concluded one can review the contents.
It’s not so much as what is contained inside the restoration, as whether the backup software performed the assembly process completely. Since this daunting task can take some time it’s best to perform at least a partial restoration to examine the contents for accuracy. The problem with this is, if done correctly takes routine diligence by the lucky person assigned the task. Hence automatic becomes semi-automatic backups.
Another frequent flaw some automated backup software exhibits has to do with issues of completeness. What it involves is the ability for the software to automatically include new files and folder contents to the existing backup schedule.
An example of this would be, Company ABC has designated a backup to be performed on a vital company shared folder in the d:\ drive called company files. The software is setup to back-up the contents of folder daily. In our initial discoveries we have found many cases that the designated folder is not properly being backing up. Newly added folders and files are not being automatically included in the backup jobs. Can you imagine the surprised look on our clients face after we reveal the fact they would have losses much of their newly created documents and files?
So to summarize: It’s not always enough to watch for summary emails that say the backup completed successfully is it?