Winter is coming. A Lannister always protects his data.

winter is coming - data protection

Well, actually Winter’s already here. And no, we’re not going to talk about Game of Thrones.  Sorry about that… But with Juno just passed, snow still piling up outside and winds assaulting the walls of your server room, it’s time to start thinking seriously about data protection. Unfortunately, nobody’s yet worked out how to make servers fly south for the winter.

While you’re hunkered down inside taking shelter from Mother Nature’s icy wrath, here’s what you’ll want to consider.

Offsite backups – be the squirrel…

become the squirrel with offsite backups

Be the squirrel. It’s that simple. Only instead of worthless, inedible acorns, you’re going to be squirrelling precious, tasty data.

Offsite backups are what ensure that if your onsite infrastructure takes a frosty slap from severe weather, the systems, data and applications that your business depends upon are still recoverable.  Offsite backups can be achieved in a number of ways, ranging from cloud or remote server based options, through to good old fashioned sneakernet to an offsite location.  There are issues to consider no matter which way you go though, so make sure you think everything through carefully in your Disaster Recovery plan.

If you’re leaning towards the cloud option, consider what will happen if internet services are down due to the weather – that could significantly blow out your RTOs. However, physically taking backups offsite has its own problems – what happens if roads are blocked, for example? As long as you plan for these possibilities and take them into account in your DR plan and RTO objectives, you’ll be doing just fine in defending your critical data from Old Man Winter.

No matter which route you end up taking, when talking data protection offsite backups are always the best place to begin.

Think about your power supply

data protection - power supply

Obviously, one of the first things to go down in severe weather of any kind is your power. That’s why having backup generators and UPS systems is an absolute no-brainer when it comes to data protection.

It’s all about minimizing downtime from offline servers, and protecting your data from surges and shorts.  Do it.

Know your DR strategy cover to cover

disaster recovery strategy - data protection

Always be prepared. It’s not just the scout’s motto, it’s the data protection motto.  By knowing your DR strategy inside and out, you’re ensuring that no matter what the weather throws your way, your data won’t be what takes the hit.

You do have a Disaster Recovery strategy, right? You’ve already identified your RTOs and RPOs, we’re assuming? You’ve practiced the drill many times in a test scenario and confirmed that your data is recoverable and that you’re meeting the aforementioned goals, of course?

If not, do it now! But more to the point make sure that everyone involved knows their rolls.  The biggest threat to a quick response is uncertainty and a lack of understanding of what needs to be done.

What else are you doing to protect your data this winter?
Leave your comment below, tweet @BackupAssist or post to Facebook.
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