Backups are something that is so important in any system that one should look carefully at not just the backup solution they are using, but the restore solution they’re going to have.
Here are my recommendations and views on Backups.
1. Don’t assume that just because you bought a backup package that it just “works” because the backup says, “successfully completed”.
2. Test your restores regularly. I test my restores once a month. How do I do it? Simply, I have everything in the cloud so my restores happen VERY quickly.
3. I don’t use just one backup system, but rather multiple backups systems.
4. I prepare a backup USB drive or CD and have it ready to go sitting on a shelf or even on my keychain and sometimes I keep an extra in my safe and in my briefcase.
So you bought a shiny new backup solution and you installed it, set up the schedule, and even went so far as to actually go through the first grueling backup. (Slow, isn’t it?)
This is why I bought my Promise R4/R6 array running thunderbolt. I do Full Backups EVERY night and at 1 GB per second (That’s Gigabyte not Gigabit.. It was NOT a typo).. I backup my entire SSD in a little under an hour. It’s impressive enough. 🙂 So my backups before the promise took 8-12 hours and now, I’m at under an hour. For me, Time is money. As I’m sure it is for you.
**Note: Did you know you can capitalize the cost of the Promise or any equipment over 3 years? Just a thought.
So getting back to the place where you need to be.. Restore preparation.
I like using Acronis, because it gives you a multitude of options. It’s never failed me and you can do a Bare Metal Restore. That’s a huge deal. Boot off the CD or USB, do the bare metal restore and you’re up and running in less than an hour.
I also have hourly backups of the actual data changes to S3. This allows me to restore the latest data and my system is up and running in less than an hour with less than 1 hour of data loss.
Does that sound like it’s worth it to you? I know it’s worth it to me.
The problem with full restore + differentials is it takes a while. Differentials in my experience have a tendency to mess things up more.. Which is why I prefer to just do full restores. Disk space is cheap.
So as for my 3 backup solutions, (I don’t like to lose data AT ALL).
2. Amazon S3
It’s funny, but my SSD in my machine is the bottleneck in the whole process, not the CPU. Simply, the SSD just can’t keep up with the Thunderbolt Interface. How many people can say that? Even in their enterprise? VERY FEW.
The other question you ask yourself or should ask yourself is why would you want to have more than backup solution? Simply one word; Redundancy.
If you’re running an enterprise Infrastructure, you have redundancy in everything else, but yet everyone overlooks the backups. Can you explain why? I have no idea, but for some odd reason, people seem to place a low value on backups vs. the rest of their infrastructure.
So Do yourself a favor. Implement multiple backup solutions. Remember, it’s not the hardware, it’s the downtime and the data that is the affector in your business.
This is why All of my servers are built on extremely scalable Infrastructures in the cloud. Dedicated machines are just simply not the way to go these days. For my clients, how much downtime do they have over the past 5 years? ZERO.
How much data have they lost? ZERO.
Why? It’s the architecture and attention to redundancy I take to everything in the whole playing field.
This is yet another reason why you need an external IT audit frequently.