Part 3 – System Backups
If you have critical data in systems, hire a reputable technical architect to work with you. If you are just a family with financial data, photos, passwords and emails, get an external USB drive and copy everything over weekly.
So, you’re a company with critical corporate data. You need to understand:
- Importance of your backups; the criticality of the data will determine your budget
- RTO/RPO – google it if your don’t know these terms
- Disaster Recovery – if you had a workable DR plan, your systems would be running now – not posting questions to /.
- Encrypt at the source
- Near/Online backups; Far/Offline backups – both have there place
- Physical separation is important and for some systems, 500+ miles is important
- Limit access to the back store(s) on top of encryption. Don’t use a trivial password for the data either
- Use Physical access controls and/or firewall rules to limit access.
- Use ssh tunnels with key exchange (no passwords) to control login access
- A tape in a non-networked vault can’t be hacked remotely.
- Design your systems such that a single failure anywhere doesn’t prevent them from working.
- Never under estimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes.
- ‘’TEST THE RESULTS’’ – if you don’t test your DR or backup efforts, you just wasted a bunch of time for ZERO return. After going through all this for a few years, then the day comes and you can’t recover from your backups, how cool is that?
If you have just a few TB to store, this is a trivial problem. There are trade offs between ease, security, viability, and recovery time.
You can google on each of the items above and build a backup solution. It can be done with free tools, but it is much easier and usually more reliable to pay someone, an expert, to set this up. We’re doing our enterprise DR/backups with free tools and validate the solution every time we upgrade a major application. We take the last full backup and perform the upgrade on that image on a different physical or logical system as a test before touching the real production system.
There are many more items to be considered, so if you are responsible for corporate backups and/or disaster recovery, you want to be certain the plan is complete and workable.
A few hours of a professional consultation will help everyone in your company sleep better.
Do you think I got something wrong? Let me know.