You’ve Got Backups, Where Will You Recover Them?

You’ve Got Backups, Where Will You Recover Them?

May 20

This article also appears on MSP Mentor. 

Plenty, if not most, businesses take backups and that’s great. But when something goes wrong and you’ve got to recover those backups, where will you recover them to? Let’s look at a mountain biking tale of woe to explore what can happen if you’ve got a backup but lack of equipment to recover.

This past Saturday I went for a bike ride in a large park by my house. Much of it is covered in thick wood chips, which is great for running (it’s fairly low-impact), but it can be a little tough on the rubber tires of a bike, which aren’t always built for pointy daggers of wood. Knowing this, I usually bring a backup inner tube that I can use if my main one gets gouged—it’s a best-practice for any mountain biker.

So there I was, burning down a hill like I have a dozen times before, right through a particularly stabby part of the trail. When I started to ascend again, Phwoosh!—just like that—my tire was flat as flap-jacks. Remember, though, like a boy scout, I was prepared. I dug into my pack and found my spare. I dug around a little more, shook my head, and let out a huge groan—I had no air pump to fill the spare.

I laughed to myself as I walked the three miles back home thinking about how often we at StorageCraft talk about the importance of not only having a backup, but actually being able to recover the backup. There I was with a backup inner tube I couldn’t use to get myself back on the trail. What cruel irony.

I suspect that a lot of businesses are like me. They have backups, but in the event of hardware failure they might be scrambling to get the extra hardware they need to recover the backups they’ve taken. If you don’t have hardware to which you can restore your backups, what are you going to do?

As a recent Aberdeen report notes, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got all the backups in the world if you can’t recover them. This means you’ve not only got to verify that your backups are actually working, but you need somewhere to restore the backups if the primary hardware fails. What piece of equipment will do the work the old piece of equipment was doing? Do you have a BDR that can spin up a virtual machine of your backups quickly? Do you have a piece of equipment onsite that can act as the failed piece of equipment until you can get dedicated hardware back online? These are some things business need to think about. You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with an inner tube and no air pump.

I took around an hour to get home (it was a nice day; I can’t complain too much) but how long will it take you to get business back on track without the hardware you need?

If you’re thinking about what you’ll do if equipment fails, that’s good, but you need to act on it. I remember being at the bike shop a few weeks ago thinking about how I needed a pump and for whatever reason, I put it off. Because I hesitated, my disaster stranded me far from home. While my disaster cost me a little time, yours might cost you a lot of time and even more money. A wise option is to grab the equipment you need while you’ve got the chance—tomorrow might be too late.

Do you have ShadowProtect backups but you aren’t sure where you’ll recover when something goes wrong? We work with a number of really great hardware vendors that can certainly help you out. Check them out on our alliance partner page.