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Backup 101: What is a data backup plan?

Without having a proper backup plan in place, you're setting your business up for failure. For a small company, you might be thinking backing up to an external hard drive once a year is sufficient, but think about all the business crucial information you wouldn't be able to function without.


According to Datto’s State of the Channel Ransomware Report, Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) is the most effective business protection against ransomeware. With a proper BDR plan in place, 96% of businesses were able to recover from a ransomeware attack, compared to 40% who were unable to recover quickly and fully. More so, more than 40% of companies that experience a disaster never reopen. These disasters could be caused by ransomware or malware, but also fires, floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.


A backup plan is just that -- a strategy detailing all the files you are going to backup, when you are going to run your backups, and how long you will retain that information, etc. Just like writing down your personal goals makes them more likely to happen, writing down your backup plan helps ensure you are sticking to the plan. Have someone accountable for checkpoints along the way. At DATASTOR™ we love these seven pillars for a good backup plan:

  1. Determine what to backup and why (Plan)

  2. Decide how how often to backup your data (Schedule)

  3. Target backups to quality disk with built-in redundancy or replication (Store)

  4. Back up data on-site and off-site (Copy)

  5. Keep your data as long as it is needed (Retain)

  6. Trust but verify (Validate)

  7. Confirm recoverability (Test)

In general, a DATASTOR™ best practice uses a full system backup, for bare metal recovery, scheduled to run at least once a day. The full system backup image supports individual file and folder recovery, so accidental deletes can be quickly restored and at the same time, keep you always prepared for a disk crash that requires full recovery. The full system backup is recommended to eliminate the guesswork out of figuring out what to backup and why. Let the deduplication technology eliminate the redundancy between backups and across servers.


Keep two on-site copies and at least one off-site copy. Retain for a minimum of six months (or as long as the data has business value). Run daily, weekly, and monthly Verify tasks against the target backup device.  And run fire drills to test and validate recoverability in preparation for the real event.


Backup 101 Terminology-

Bare Metal Recovery (BMR): restores your entire computer, operating system, application, settings and data to a pre-defined point-in-time

Restore (Recover): to replace existing data from a backup copy

Off-site copy: Cloud storage, cold storage of tape or disk, near line hard disk storage; beyond the perimeter of a local disaster (fire, flood, tornado, cyberattack, etc.)

On-site copy: Replica of backup data that can be used to recover if the primary storage fails

Verify Tasks: Performs integrity checks of backed up data to ensure recoverability