12-04-14 | Blog Post

Offsite backup and recovery questions to ask your business

Blog Posts

Offsite backup and recoveryWaking up in a cold sweat worrying about the chaos that will ensue when mission critical IT systems go down?

Resolved to make 2015 the year to sleep better about your offsite backup and recovery plan?

These questions taken from our offsite backup and recovery buying guide will give you a head start. Read the full guide for more details, as well as a list of questions to ask potential offsite backup and recovery partners.

Get a head start within your own organization to understand the business needs and restrictions you need to work within before spending time interview backup and recovery partners. It will save you time, frustration, and even some money in the long run!

Server environment

  • How many total servers to you have to protect?
  • How many different operating systems do you have to protect?
  • What operating systems are your applications running on?
  • Selection of offsite backup and recovery data center

Physical location

  • What risks should we consider about various geographic regions?
  • What geographic regions will we consider for offsite backup and recovery?
  • What geographic regions will we avoid for offsite backup and recovery?


  • Will we require encryption on our offsite backup?
  • Will we require two-factor authentication to access our offsite backup?
  • What other security controls do we expect to be in place?


  • What is our organization’s risk tolerance with respect to the data we plan to store offsite?
  • Are we under any regulatory obligations to prove specific physical, technical, or administrative safeguards?
  • If yes to the above, what criteria does our offsite backup and recovery need to satisfy?

Getting data offsite the first time

  • How much total data needs to be protected with offsite backup and recovery?
  • Do you currently have the means to transmit your total volume of data digitally in an acceptable period of time for an acceptable cost?

Getting newly generated data offsite each day

  • How much new data will be generated daily by those applications that will be protected by offsite backup and recovery?
  • What are your current connection speeds?
  • How long do you estimate it will take to transmit the new data each day, assuming no compression or deduplication is involved?
  • How often will new data be updated, every five minutes, every hour, or once each day?

Managing offsite backup and recovery

  • In your own organization, who will be in charge of overseeing offsite backup and recovery or at least being the primary point of contact?
  • What is their level of technical experience (call for help, point and click, junior administrator, senior administrator)?
  • How much time does your primary backup and recovery resource have allocated each day to managing offsite backup and recovery requests?
  • In an emergency situation, will that resource be able to focus exclusively on recovering systems from offsite backup and recovery, or will they be needed elsewhere?
  • Will we need to recover single files, entire servers, or both?

Annual recovery testing

  • Who from your organization will be involved in annual recovery testing?
  • Who will document our recovery plan?
  • Can your business commit to annual disaster recovery testing of your offsite backup?

Restoring data from offsite backup

  • Do we anticipate needing to restore single files?
  • Do we have the internal resources to restore or rebuild a server ourselves?
  • If yes to the above, will they be available to do this during an emergency situation or will their priorities be elsewhere?
  • What is our tolerance for restoration failure.
  • Do we plan to purchase and maintain infrastructure ourselves to restore to if needed?

Good luck on your journey to more resilient recovery options!

More IT disaster recovery resources:

Offsite backup and recovery buying guide

Recorded webinar: Tranforming your offsite backup into a real recovery option

Recorded webinar: Lessons learned from the disaster recovery trenches

Indianapolis Disaster Recovery Workshop January 22, 2015

Metro Detroit Disaster Recovery Worksohp February 19, 2015

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