Everyone Loves Backups. But What About Restores?

It's great to be able to back up anything you want to any destination, but the real measure of a backup product is its ability to restore your data.

When people check out new backup software, the first thing they do is run a job. But most people make a crucial mistake. They focus way too much on what they can back up and where, and not nearly enough on bringing it back.

When considering new backup software, you’ve got to give the Restore function (or Disaster Recovery) some love. This is the feature that actually matters. After all, it’s no good being able to back up your data to local, network and cloud, only to find out the restore features leave a lot to be desired – or worse, regularly fail.

The Big Mistake People Make With Backups

The biggest mistake people make with backup software is downloading it and putting all the work into setting up an airtight backup strategy, then A) never testing it out, and/or B) never coming back to it.

Firstly, you need to make sure your backup jobs are working with a test restore. There are many reasons a backup job can fail, and a lot of them are universal no matter what software you use. E.g. Not enough space at the destination, incorrect permissions, etc.

These things are also not static. Just because your backup job worked when you tested it several months ago, it doesn’t mean it stays that way. Your data is in flux, which means what you are backing up is in flux as well.

Setting Up Alerts

Don’t rely entirely on automated alerts, but don’t shun them, either. You should be able to set up a regular email report that tells you if backup jobs have succeeded or failed when they happen.

Depending on the software, you should be able to configure the amount of information in these reports, and tailor these depending on the person it’s being sent to. For instance, as the head of IT you might want a complete report. However, if you’re an MSP and you’re maintaining the server for a client, you might want a basic report to go to someone on-site as well so they’re kept in the loop.

The Golden Rule

Remember: it starts with the backup, but the restore is where it’s all at. Test your backups regularly!


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