Data backup can be a time consuming and inconvenient process. There is (rightly) lots of talk about how to execute the backup process, but much less time talking about when it should be done.
Companies should be backing up their data when they are finished with their normal, everyday operations. Why? The reason you are backing up in the first place is to ensure you have a complete copy of the most up-to-date information in the event of a disaster. If you’re making this copy before you’ve finished making the changes, the copy you have is obsolete upon its very creation. Making reports and indexing need to happen to your database prior to the backup so the complete changes are reflected on the snapshot. It’s like saving your word file before you finish writing, and losing all the subsequent changes (R.I.P. an uncomfortably large number of my college essays). Anyone who’s restored something that wasn’t in the state they thought it was will tell you – planning your backup window is important.
Related to this is the second point: sometimes you have too much backup and not enough time. The story is, unfortunately, not unique. 20 hours of operations and 6 hours of backup. How do you manage that? Probably by doing some low order maintenance in the middle of the day. This causes the aforementioned trouble of not backing up the most up-to-date version of your data. In the world of big data sets, that can be really troubling. Having your backup running in the day could also mean taking a performance hit for your other functions as well. Using a backup system that removes redundancies can help speed up the backup time. If you’re only backing up the delta from yesterday’s file, you’re not processing as many large chunks of data, making the whole process much more efficient.
If you’re outsourcing your backup and recovery solution to a hosting provider, it’s important to ensure you have the ability to choose your backup window. Not all companies work the same way, and it isn’t effective for a hosting provider to assume they do. Companies in Hawaii will likely want a different window for their backups than a company in Massachusetts; a company with most of their processing happening in the middle of the night will probably want their backup at another company’s peak traffic period. The choice should be yours based on when its best for your business. Period.
Interested in more backup and recovery related info? Online Tech is hosting Indianapolis and Metro Detroit Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery workshops in the next two months, and we’d love to have you join us. Register now and get the opportunity for one-on-one consultations with our experts!