EFS Network Management encourages users and administrators to check and review their backup systems and conduct restore testing.
It is that time of year again to test and review your backups. There is no worse feeling when you lose data, go to do a restore and find that your backups are not really backing up data. You find out the hard way that the backups for the last year are all bad, due to a glitch in the software, bad media or a dozen other oh my gosh things.
That is why testing your disaster and recovery procedures is a must. It is very important to do a test restore of a random or critical file to an alternate location. This simple test restore with check many things. It is test the backup catalog, the backup index, the backup media and its ability to find the correct media for the restore, it will test the stability of the backup software, and instill confidence in the backups.
There are several things one should check while doing the restore test.
- First check to see if there are any product updates for both security and features.
- Check to see when your maintenance license will expire and prepare to renew.
- Check your back jobs and clear/save the log files and the event files.
- Check your media logs and make sure that there are no errors with the media that you are using.
- Check backup times. If your backups are running during the day and started the night before, it maybe time to invest in faster technology or adjust your backup scheme.
- Check both your full backups and incremental backups.
- If you are run several backup jobs restore test from each backup job and from random dates.
- Review your backup methods, times and types.
- Review and test the backup notification system. Review who is getting notified and what types of notifications are being sent.
- Test the security of the backups. Who has access to the backups and the decryption keys.
- Test the encryption and decryption of the backup data. Do you have a backup of the encryption keys to decrypt the backups.
- Test the disaster recovery boot disks or USB keys. Do you have backups of these disk and who have access to them?
- Review your backup schedule and types and how often i.e. daily, weekly, bi weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly and accounting snapshots?
- Review where the backup data is being stored, in the cloud, off site, or on site.
- Review how often the backups are being recycled and do they comply with data retention policies?
- Review instructions and policies on doing backups and restores. Have they been updated to match the current software and processes.
It is important to conduct these tests and reviews to make sure that you have quality backups, procedures, documentation that comply with your company’s retention policies. When disaster strikes it can be very painful, if you do not have good quality backups.
If issues do arise during restore testing, please reboot the system to see if it will self-heal and recover. If it does not recover please open a EFS Network Management Support Request and we will take a look at the issues or you can contact us for help.