data recovery

A Guide to Data Recovery – Are you Prepared?

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Service Management in a Changing World

Data loss and corruption can be incredibly devastating for any business or team. There’s the chance it could eliminate hundreds — if not thousands — of hours of work, and compromise vital documents, files and additional data.

The best way to deal with such problems is to establish and deploy a data backup plan, well before problems happen. It’s never smart to start preparing on the brink of an emergency, since you may find specific actions closed off to you.

Of course, conventional data backup and recovery solutions are rather obvious. There are other ways to approach data recovery you might not consider. Certain tools, for example, allow you to restore hidden or deleted files, to an extent.

These solutions are ideal for specific scenarios, so it helps to understand the options available and when they work best.

Conventional Backup Solutions

The absolute best solution you could implement is a regular data backup of all your sensitive data and information. This solution is available to everyone, from individuals and small businesses to major organizations. There are also two different types of backup systems: local and cloud-based.

Local systems involve an onsite data center or storage source. Cloud-based systems involve remote servers, often through a third-party service provider like Amazon or IBM.

You can also conduct manual backups, where you and your teams need to perform the recovery process yourselves. Alternatively, there are automated backup solutions which regularly back up your data on a schedule, and may offer automatic restoration options too.

What matters most is that you’re conducting frequent backups of your most essential data, storing it separately from your primary systems. When a problem occurs, whether it’s hardware- or software-related, you have a recent, reliable backup source you can use to restore your system.

Here are some quick tips for working with conventional backup solutions.

  1. Document Everything

As your business and database(s) grow, your backup solutions will become more expansive, too. It’s crucial for you and your teams to document everything. Make sure you understand where your backups are, the organization of your files and which are the most recent. The last thing you want to do after a major outage is to restore the wrong system image.

  1. You May Lose Data

Your backup solution — no matter how reliable — is not going to be creating images every few seconds. There will be a blackout period for every backup that leaves out the most recent changes, updates or information. You must always remember this.

If you are performing a system backup to regain just one file or one small segment of data, there’s a risk you’re going to lose some of your most recent work.

  1. Establish a Recovery Team

Don’t wait around until a major event happens. Take some time to create a data recovery team, comprised of your most skilled IT professionals.

Ensure there are strategies in place to both backup and recover varying systems and files. Also, consider all opportunities and elements of data collection, storage and recovery. What are the team’s responsibilities when an outage happens? What tools and methods will they use? What applications or datasets are most important and should take priority?

  1. Testing and Authentication

Finally, don’t forget to both test your backup solutionsto ensure they are working correctly, and authenticate the backed-up data to ensure it is accurate and healthy. It is entirely possible for data to become corrupted or altered during a transfer process. The last thing you want to see during a system restore is that your image has become corrupted.

Alternate Recovery Solutions

Sometimes, you may not have a backup of your data — in which case, you’re taking a huge risk. There are solutions for restoring data, though they may not be able to recover everything. Something is always better than nothing, however.

In scenarios where someone may have deleted the data accidentally and then cleared it from the recycle bin, it is sometimes possible to reverse file corruption, but it’s more likely the affected files will be lost forever.

Some software solutions include Secure Data Recovery, Data Rescue, EaseUS, Ontrack, DoYourData, Disk Drill, MiniTool, iCare Recovery, and Stellar Data Recovery. As for which provider is best, it depends on the data you’re trying to recover and how it has been handled previously by your team.

Be Consistent

For any data backup solution to be successful, the team members or parties involved must remain consistent. Clone or back up data regularly, without fail. The proper testing procedures should be in place to ensure the system is operational, and that cloned data is indeed authentic. A recovery team should be ready to act as soon as an emergency takes place, and they should also have clear documentation on what to do. Prioritize and protect critical data, and choose the right solutions before something goes awry.

If you prepare your teams, you can mitigate the damage that might arise from data or hardware failures.

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Nathan Sykes

Nathan Sykes is a writer and journalist from Pittsburgh. He covers business and technology news. Follow him on Twitter to keep up with his latest posts!