Backups are the only way for small businesses and startups to protect their crucial production data from the disaster. But just performing manual backups from time to time is not enough to feel safe. “We should have been setting a rigid schedule for our backups”, – that’s the thought that eventually comes into IT-department minds, when disaster strikes. Below we shared a backup schedule (or plan) for small businesses, that would never let such drama occur.
How often should SMBs backup?
The ideal backup schedule for small business as well as for enterprise level companies should be based on a solid logic.
First of all, list all your crucial data and sort it by priority: imagine that you’ve lost all in case of disaster and answer a question – what are the key components that would affect your revenue losses?
Next question you should ask yourself is what data changes more frequently than the other? Files that changes frequently and whose loss will result into serious revenue gaps should have the highest priority. This is your crucial data that have to be backed up as often as possible.
Second, determine hours when the bandwidth is free or half-loaded. If these are late night hours from 1 PM to 8 PM, it means then your full backups are better to be performed.
Third, decide how often will your full backups run. It depends on many different factors such as the number of staff members, frequency of changes in crucial data and bandwidth limitations. The best practices so far are to stick to weekly, biweekly and monthly plans.
Among full backups you’d probably want to backup recent changes in data (specifically if you have large amounts of data) on a daily basis. Therefore you should consider to use incremental backup type each day or every other day. Here is a general scheme for this case.
Fourth, setting schedules for each backup could also be a very time consuming process, if you’re attempting to use built-in tools. This problem can be easily avoided by downloading third-party backup software similar to our CloudBerry Backup solution. The backup scheduler comes as a step of a backup plan wizard and is also available when you editing previous backup plans.
In addition to basic schedule settings you can also configure recurring backup jobs, which is perfect solution for the small business or startup environment.
By setting regular full backups and the set of incremental backups that occur during the working week, companies can successfully restore the data after any major disasters including admin or user mistakes, server crashes and major environmental disasters.
A Few Tips on the Small Business Backup Schedule
Not even the best schedule could not guarantee small business and startups the total protection from various disasters. For example, the loss of the full backup version will involve the loss of all increments being made since the last backup activity.
Here are some tips that will help you to improve your backup strategy.
Always do a consistency check of the backup that has recently been made to ensure it went without errors and can be restored. CloudBerry Backup has a “Consistency Check” feature to help you to evaluate the storage capacity and compare MD5 hash of files in and outside storage
Perform DR-drills (disaster recovery) by emulating a disaster and restoring your data. This would help to ensure all system works perfectly and your recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) are satisfying for your business needs
Make at least three backup copies: two for your local storage devices and third for the off-site storage like Amazon S3, for example
List all your servers and write down the exact location of each, so the team сould consult it in case of disaster.
Create checklists and Action Plans for recovery in each possible disaster, this would help you concentrate on the process, not discussions.
Write down phone numbers of each IT-equipment supplier you have. Make sure your notes wouldn’t be hit by a disaster, e.g. paper and magnetic tapes are better to be stored in a fire- and waterproof safe.
The best backup schedule for small business depends on your niche, acceptable RPO and RTO, the amount of servers and the data type. Summarizing all points above we can extrapolate a few basic rules: 1) Base your efforts on research and rigid logic; 2) Rather write something down than memorize; 3) Use tools to schedule backup plans and control consistency. Keep that in mind, when planning a backup strategy for a small business, and your data will always be safe.