Can your clients trust their backups? We have found that many clients have backup in place at a time of data loss, but it is either not current or not operating properly.
Further examination suggested that external hard drive backup was still the most popular approach to backing up business and personal data.
In fact, of those who did have backups in place, more than half used an external drive solution, a small proportion went for the cloud and another small proportion backed up to tape.
Regardless of type of backup used, it can fail, especially if the external drive is only connected on an occasional basis, or if backup is not automated and instead performed on demand.
And what if the file is lost before the scheduled backup?
This can also occur if the computer is not on during scheduled backup times and not configured to perform at a different time.
The backup software itself can fail, or there may be insufficient destination space. The backup profile must cover all the device requiring backup.
A third of respondents in our latest poll reported that they had lost personal data, and two thirds said they had lost business data.
After experiencing data loss, most respondents indicated they were extremely likely or somewhat likely to look for a product or service that could address their backup issues.
More than half said they would look for an external hard drive and roughly a quarter would opt for something in the cloud to protect their data.
Those who did not plan to adopt a backup offering cited cited the time and expense associated with research and administration as the overwhelming barrier.
Maintaining data backups is critical for any business or individual interested in protecting their data. But even a reputable cloud or external media offering does not always provide predictable results.
Effective backup hinges on the user or IT administrator paying attention to ensure that the product or service is functioning as expected, and verifying that backup is complete.
Backups are not foolproof. There is a clear opportunity for resellers to advise their clients about proper organisation and maintenance of backup, including offering guidance on checking backup reports for errors or failure, and how to ensure backups are running reliably to a schedule.
Tips for partners to pass on to clients:
• Take the time to invest in backup and create a backup schedule
• Ensure backup runs regularly, to a definite schedule
• Check backup reports for error indications or failure
• Test backups regularly to ensure data has been accurately captured and the files are intact
Advising clients on their data storage and backup is a value-added service that resellers can provide themselves, although we can help them there too.
Robert Winter is chief engineer at Kroll Ontrack
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