By this point, all companies, no matter how big or how small, probably understand the logic behind taking data backups. What they may not understand is how to make them work effectively, while keeping costs down. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to what you need to know about data backup services in Elk Grove.
Everything hinges on effective data management
The better you manage your data, the easier and more affordable it will be for you to back it up and to restore from it if need be. This means that if you need to make improvements to your data backup process, you should start by looking at how you manage your data. Only once you are happy that your data management process is as good as it can be should you then move on to looking at the technicalities of your data management process.
Remember to keep the law in mind at all times
If you are holding sensitive data (and that includes sensitive data collected from your employees), you almost certainly have legal obligations regarding it. Some form of non-sensitive data, for example, financial data, will probably also be of interest to the law and will have to be treated appropriately.
Keep in mind that in the eyes of the law/regulators, you are responsible for what happens to your data, not any IT services vendors you use. This means that you are recommended to choose your IT services vendors very carefully and to ensure that you have a robust and enforceable service contract in place. In practical terms, the enforceability of a contract depends on your ability to get the other party into a courtroom. This is generally a whole lot easier if they are local to you.
As a minimum, you need to purge dormant data from your production systems
The whole point of a data backup is to restore access to your production data so you can go on working. Dormant data, literally by definition, is data that is not being actively used. This means it should either be deleted immediately or it should be archived until it must/can be deleted. Keeping expired data in your production system is guaranteed to slow down your data backup and recovery times and hence to increase costs, plus in the cloud, it can push up your storage costs.
You should aim to manage what data gets into your production systems
Practicing robust data hygiene has all kinds of benefits. For a start, the less data you hold, the less data you have to protect. This is particularly important for sensitive data but also applies to general data. For example, even if data is not legally considered sensitive (i.e. personal), you may still consider it confidential. As a bonus, holding less data will also help to reduce your data storage costs.
Similarly, enforcing robust data-entry practices to ensure both accuracy and standardization of data can go a long way not just to ensuring that your data is valid, but also to avoiding duplicates. This feeds into your goal of minimizing the data you hold.
management can still pay dividends
Even though the biggest gains in performance and cost-control are usually to be had by minimizing the quantity of data you back up, astute technical management can certainly pay dividends, especially if you are working in the cloud.
Most of the details in your data backup process will hinge on your Recovery Time Objective and your Recovery Point Objective. Your RTO defines how long you can give yourself to get your data back online and your RPO defines how long you can give yourself between data backups.
If you’re backing up your data to physical storage then the chances are that you will only be able to apply one RTO and one RPO to all your production data. If, however, you’re backing up your data to the cloud, then you have the opportunity to fine-tune this and define different RTOs and/or RPOs for different categories of data.
Adjusting your RTO will allow you to assign data to different speeds of storage according to how urgently you need it back. This lays the foundation for a tiered recovery strategy, in which you bring data back online a bit at a time, starting with the data which is needed for your core tasks.
Adjusting your RPO will allow you to deploy your bandwidth astutely, prioritizing the data which needs to be refreshed most frequently. Both of these strategies can do a lot to help you balance the need for productivity with the need to manage costs.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced data backup services provider in Elk Grove, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.
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