7 pitfalls when making backups

World Backup Day, which takes place on 31 March 2022, is a reminder for businesses to implement regular data backups. You may already make backups but, while the process may seem simple, it poses many risks and pitfalls with major consequences for business-critical data.

1. Choose the right backup software

It all starts with choosing the right backup software. There are a lot of choices on the market, and it is essential to choose a tool that allows you to manage and restore quickly and efficiently. There is no point in spending hours starting up processes before you can get back to your data. The money spent on a slightly more expensive but efficient licence is quickly earned back in the time saved in the management of that backup system.

2. Connect your backup environment to a separate network

It is important to connect your backup server to a separate network, for example by using VLANs. This ensures that, in the event of an impact on the production network, you can still access the backup system. It also ensures that the backup server is not affected by a potential hack. Additionally, we recommend making sure that your backup servers are not linked to the domain controller. In case of a hack on the domain controller, the chance of breaking into the backup server via that route is smaller.

3. Place your backup servers in a different physical location

Naturally, placing a backup server in the same rack as the production servers is the easiest and cheapest option. However, if the rack has connectivity or power issues, you will no longer be able to connect to either the production server or the backup server. Therefore, we advise placing the backup server in another rack and if possible, even in a data centre at another location. In the event of a major outage, you will still be able to access the backup server. With today’s backup software, it is possible to quickly restore virtual machines to new servers, allowing you to restart your business relatively quickly in the event of a major outage at a single location.

4. Ensure sufficient bandwidth

Your backup server is connected to all production servers, which means that a lot of data is connected to this backup server. Our tip? Make sure that your connection is stable. The more bandwidth, the faster the backup will be performed. This also works the other way around: a restore will go a lot faster with a strong connection. Especially when you place the backup server in another data centre, it is important to look for a fast, stable connection between the two data centres. A DWDM connection is a good choice here. Opt for a data centre with unlimited possibilities for connectivity, such as LCL data centres.


5. Think carefully about the right configuration

Usually, a backup runs incrementally once a day and completely once a week. This is a sensible choice. However, for an ERP system, which is subject to many changes, it can be useful to run the backup every half hour. This ensures that you can restore data in a more targeted manner without overwriting other changes. It is also important to configure the retention policy properly: how many restore points do you keep? In other words: how far can you go back in time? Of course, this depends on the storage capacity you have available, so it is also important to provide sufficient storage capacity.

6. Make sure not all servers start backing up at the same time

We recommend running the backup process at a time when there is little activity on the production servers. The best time is often at night and during the weekend. When you make sure that not too many servers start the backup process at the same time, you avoid slowing down the process as a whole. You can, for example, specify that the mail server backup should only start when the ERP system backup process is complete.

7. Remember to back up cloud data

Of course, many companies use the Cloud to house their IT systems. But what happens if you lose data from your SharePoint site? Or if you accidentally deleted a recorded Teams meeting? And how do you recover mails that have disappeared from Outlook? Various backup systems allow you to link the cloud environment to the on-premise backup servers. This way, you can restore all data in the cloud if necessary. With a party like Equinix Fabric, you have a direct connection to your cloud provider and are not dependent on the best effort and latency of an internet connection.

LCL data centres for secure data storage and backup

An effective solution for avoiding risk is to outsource data storage and backup processes to a data centre. The advantage? You are completely supported by a specialist company that also has the most up-to-date knowledge and infrastructure.

LCL is the benchmark for data centres in Belgium and the market leader for data storage in Europe. With years of experience and up-to-date knowledge of data centres and colocation, LCL is a reliable partner in the field of data storage and backup processes.

With 5 independent and state-of-the-art data centre facilities, LCL invests in systems and their maintenance to provide companies with a secure environment in which to house and run their corporate IT equipment without interruption.

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