Do I really need backups?

I was reading, this article (subscription required) by Ben Worthen on WSJ about a study on how well companies are prepared for a disaster. I was not at all surprised by (one of) the findings (paraphrased):

…While 70% of 189 tech leaders surveyed by Forrester Research Inc. said that their companies are prepared for a disaster, the reality was quite different…

We run into this all the time, in talking to (prospective) customers. People “think” they are prepared for a disaster. The truth hits them when you start peeling the layers of the supposed plan. Some things to keep an eye on are

  • Is it robust and reliable?
  • Do you have the right resources engaged in the plan - both design and implementation?
  • How often are the plans tested?
  • How well is the plan documented?
  • How often is it updated?
  • How far away from the primary site is the disaster recovery site ?
  • Is there a plan B?

Just because someone in the company is keeping a copy of the files or database on a USB stick, does not mean you have backup. You need a robust solution which is flexible and simple to use. A good Backup and recovery plan is not a luxury, it is a necessity. The article concludes with:

Business people dont want to spend money on an IT project unless it’s likely to cut costs or add revenue. A backup plan does neither…..until disaster strikes

Enough said!

One Response to “Do I really need backups?”

  1. Sheeri says:

    You say:

    Is it robust and reliable?

    But really the question is — “how robust and reliable does it need to be?”

    and another is

    “How much fault tolerance can we have?”

    Because the answer is usually “some”. Probably more than those screaming for 5 9’s of uptime are willing to admit.