Text from an article Brian wrote for New Hampshire Business Review, published May 2011
If your technology assets are as valuable as you think they are, you owe to yourself and your customers to have a comprehensive data backup and restoration system in place. Apply the following five criteria in selecting any backup and recovery system:
1. Ease of Use – Most small and medium sized businesses (SMB) lack the time and skill set to pull out a manual every time they need to check on whether a backup is happening. Further, when disaster does strike (which it will) your technology people must be able to restore your data quickly so that you can continue to run your business. Make sure that vendors show you actual scenarios of test failures and recoveries before purchasing a product. Many products won’t actually pass the “Ease of Use” test and if they don’t, they should be quickly taken off the list.
2. Recoverability – Does the solution recover files, databases, mailboxes and whole systems? Most software and hardware solutions are quite affordable these days. You should be able to recover information such as individual files, company databases, system email boxes and the entire system state. When you recover the entire computer it should allow for what is called “bare metal” restores. This takes a snapshot image of all the data at a point in time and allows you to switch that image to a new computer in case of disaster. Sounds difficult, right? Not really. The image based technology has come a long way and is far easier to work with which fulfills criteria number one. (more…)