Backup is one of the most important operations in the IT environment. If data is lost or corrupted due to disaster, security breach, equipment failure or simple human error, backup is the lifeline that keeps your business running.

Traditionally, backup has been very difficult to get right. Backup systems fail to run, or the data cannot be restored. Organizations have the false sense that their data is protected, which is worse than having no backup at all.

The problem has been exacerbated by growing data volumes and around-the-clock business requirements. The so-called “backup window” — the time when IT operations are halted so backups can run — has all but vanished. Organizations need backup systems that can handle large amounts of data quickly.

You might think that backup challenges are limited to smaller organizations with no IT staff. However, a recent global survey of IT decision-makers by Vanson Bourne found that only about 10 percent of organizations have what would be considered a mature data protection strategy with modern backup systems, short data recovery times and offsite replication.

That last part — offsite replication — is extremely important. It means there’s a second copy of your data that’s stored in another location. If your building is destroyed or all of your systems are hit with ransomware, you can still get to your data.

Some people cling to the outdated notion that backup is a once-a-week affair. Could you really stand to lose a week’s worth of data? In developing your backup strategy, you need to determine the recovery point objective (RPO), which is simply the maximum amount of time since your last backup.

You also have to consider the recovery time objective (RTO), which is how long it takes to restore data and get systems back up and running. Recovering data from the cloud can be slow, so it’s important to have an efficient onsite system.

Finally, you need to develop a backup retention policy, which specifies how long and at what intervals backups are kept. Maintaining multiple backups allows you to roll back to a specific point in time should data get lost or corrupted along the way.

Now it’s time to choose a backup system. Onsite backup systems include software that backs up data to a storage device. The software must be configured properly to ensure that all data is located and backed up, and the storage device must be large enough to handle all the backup data according to your retention strategy. Data optimization techniques such as de-duplication and compression can help maximize capacity.

Once the data is backed up onsite it should be replicated to offsite storage. The cloud has made this once-complex operation relatively easy and cost-effective. However, you should ensure that your data is encrypted before it’s sent to the cloud, and choose a reputable cloud provider.

SSD makes all of this simple and seamless. In fact, fully managed backup is included with our Assurance program. We implement a state-of-the-art onsite appliance that automatically backs up all your data and replicates it to the cloud daily. Our experts manage it for you so you can rest assured that your data is protected. Contact us to learn how you can implement a solid backup strategy without capital investments or operational headaches.