The average person blinks every four seconds, about 15 times per minute. That is over 20,000 times a day. Four seconds is not a lot of time, but a lot can get done in four seconds. You can slice a whole cucumber, chug a glass of water, go from 0 to 60 MPH in a hot rod and lots of other things.

In four seconds, you can lose it all when it comes to IT. And by that we mean…all your data, your entire website, and everything vital to your organization if your server/network/website crashes. A crash of your server or your website can be caused by a host of things. Code errors, virus attacks, criminal hacks, plug-in errors, service or hosting errors…even too much traffic can crash your website.

Given that we cannot predict the future, the smartest thing we can do to avoid losing it all in the blink of an eye is to have adequate backup in place for every key piece of our network and website.

Website Backup

A good number of website hosts do not backup their client sites—be sure that yours does. If you think storing your original development site will do the trick, think again. Every website gets continual tweaks and updates, especially if users upload data. Manual backups can be done, but that leaves this important task prone to human error. We recommend an automated website backup. Automating it with a backup provider puts the experts in control and offers you peace of mind. There are many options to choose from. Find the one that fits your budget and be sure to set a reasonable schedule and even more importantly…check your backups regularly!

Server Backup

Since a server is usually the heart of a network and the data on it is the lifeblood of an organization, it makes sense as well to be sure this is backed up. Don’t forget your cloud server backups too. The objective of a backup is to minimize any downtime in the event of a crash or a loss of data. The key is to save data without errors or corruption in a way that minimizes storage space. We recommend image backups because that creates a full backup of literally everything on the server—all data and all applications. Having an image is the surest way to a fast recovery from a system failure. Backups are typically done on a schedule of full backups that start and recur on a set calendar. Incremental backups are then done to save storage space as they backup only the files that are new or changed since the last full backup.

Important Notes

A good tactic with backups is to have redundancy, that is, a backup of the backup. Another vital item is to set a backup test schedule where you place a dummy file on the server…then delete it…then recover it later from the backup. There’s nothing like the human “eye” to test! Adequate storage space is also crucial. Data usage tends to grow exponentially, so start by getting at least four times the size of your data and applications. Finally, think about your retention plan. Not all data are equal—some have a lifespan and some need to live forever.

We believe a backup must be in place before we ever do work on a client’s network. It is that vital. We would be happy to help you with your server and website backup needs to ensure nothing is lost, in the blink of an eye!

March 31st is World Backup Day! Avoid a potential disaster and back up your data files. Take the “World Backup Day Pledge” and sign up for a free backup review here.

First published in our March 2020 IT Radix Resource newsletter