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The Importance of Testing Data Backup and Recovery Systems

written by posted on June 1, 2021

The Importance of Testing Data Backup and Recovery Systems

Data backup protects a business from catastrophic data loss resulting from hardware failures, natural disasters, cybersecurity attacks, system outages, or network disruptions. Backing up data involves replicating it and storing it in different places. Such as the cloud, backup servers, and dedicated backup devices. This way, you can recover your data and information from a previous state and time in case of system outages. However, the efficiency and effectiveness of data backup are reduced drastically when you do not test them regularly and routinely. Data backup and recovery testing is the process of assessing the effectiveness of the systems, procedures, and methods that a company uses to replicate, store, and retrieve data in times of need.

Testing remains to be essential despite the availability of data recovery software, like checksum validation. Unfortunately, many businesses do not take this seriously. Analysts report that one in every three companies does not test their backups. Sadly, even the ones that do; don’t do it effectively.

How to Perform Effective Data Backup and Recovery Tests

Experts recommend monthly or weekly tests. These can be more frequent for critical data, systems, and applications. However, you should discuss your schedule and comfort level with your IT service provider to determine the best routine. It is also essential to remember to test your data backups in the following instances

  • Before and after system upgrades or changes
  • Following an outage
  • When implementing new systems
  • Ideally, every time your system completes a backup

Top 5 Benefits of Data Backup and Recovery Test

1. Give You Confidence and Peace of Mind

Data loss can hurt a business in many ways such as revenue loss, business disruption, permanent business loss, and loss of customer loyalty. Successful data backup and recovery can spare you all these losses. However, statistics reveal that 60% of all backups are incomplete and partial, while 50% of all data restores might fail.

This worrying statistic verifies the importance of testing your backups to ensure all backups are complete and increase the likelihood of recovery success. When you perform regular tests, you always know that you can still recover most or all of your data in case critical parts of your IT infrastructure fail.

2. Verify That the Necessary Data is Available for Recovery

Data and recovery testing are quite like an emergency drill. You do it to confirm that all measures are in place. And if a disaster strikes, there will be no cause of alarm or chaos. A test will guarantee that all data is available and readily accessible for recovery.

Testing reveals weak spots that could hinder the successful restoration of data from the cloud, disks, and offsite data centres. It should also confirm that the system can adequately handle more data as your business keeps growing.

3. Confirm Recovery Data Accuracy and Consistency

IT teams also need to test backup and recovery systems to confirm that the correct data is backed up to the accurate systems. Testing also helps to authenticate data precision and efficiency and guard your data against corruption.

It also reduces inefficiencies, redundancies, and vulnerabilities in your data and infrastructure to ensure you restore reliable data and reduce the chances of backup failures. The tests should also determine whether backup and recovery procedures work consistently across all departments in a company.

4. Learn to Implement Recovery After a Data Loss

Backup testing helps to determine how long it takes to implement recovery following a data loss. Unbeknownst to many, this information could help you retain clients during these unprecedented times.

Furthermore, testing eliminates guesswork in recovery planning. Revealing the potential problems during recovery and providing solutions to these problems to avoid adverse data loss when disaster strikes. The testing should confirm whether documented procedures work as intended. It also ensures business continuity measures and ransomware protections are in place during the outage to ensure minimal disruption and loss.

5. Reveal Backup Software Misconfiguration

Most backup software sends error messages whenever a problem arises. These may be easy for your in-house team to miss, especially when they are overwhelmed with other pressing tasks. A test will reveal any misconfiguration and incomplete or partial backups that could cause profound data loss if there’s an outage.

Besides, it enables you to keep track of software changes that impact your backup and recovery efforts. Testing also reveals inaccuracies in how data is being backed up by members of your team. Allowing you to correct this before it gets out of hand.

Verify Efficient Use of Business Resources

Backing up company data requires a significant investment in terms of time, money, and other resources. Testing the systems and procedures is a proven way to secure and ensure this investment. That’s because it verifies that the systems and methods are working as intended. And you don’t have to spend another fortune correcting these in case a disaster strikes today.

Disaster recovery testing boosts accountability by ensuring critical recovery tasks are assigned to the right people. To make the most of this investment, your IT service provider should maintain a record of the test results, learn and act on them. It would also help if they shared these results with you for future reference.

How a Reliable MSP Can Help with Testing

Coleman Technologies Managed IT services can effectively handle your data backup testing needs. We are readily available to regularly test your backup and recovery systems after natural disasters, a cyber attack, or system changes and updates. Our IT experts can determine failures and implement necessary changes to get your backup systems running correctly again. Our efforts are proactive and aimed at ensuring that your data is protected 24/7. Saving you a lot of time spent worrying and money spent recovering lost data.

Additionally, you can count on our recovery services to have your business up and running in no time. Contact us today to thoroughly discuss your backup requirements and have a friendly team member take you through the next step of protecting your business.

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