It’s that time of year again! When we all reflect on the past and plan for the future. How many of you spend countless hours doing and not planning or working a set plan? I know it is easy to get caught up in the ‘here and now’ but believe me the trick to success in anything you do is to create a plan, work your plan, and plan to succeed.
I could easily pick 20 things to do in 2011, heck just in Backup and Recovery alone I could ramble off a quick list but what good is it if I do not have a plan to get them completed and some way to monitor my progress.
So for those of you that would like to have a list, viola ~here it is. It is not in any specific order, just as I think of them but all are equally important.
- Manage your Data by removing old data you no longer need.
- Setup a sound data structure (filing system) on your drive or server drive and make it repeatable for all folders.
- Use tools such as a LAN Discovery to understand what data is on your computer/network as well as its age and last time accessed.
- Institute and document a backup and recovery plan.
- Document and communicate your acceptable usage policy for data storage for all employees and contractors.
- Think about where your servers are? Is there a sprinkler system above them?
- Don’t count on anyone else to backup your data for you (remove the human element).
- Use an automated managed service like eTegrity.
- Determine the best schedule for your data backup, it is important to know how often your data changes. If your data changes weekly, a daily backup might be overkill. If you have critical data that updates every hour, you may need to back up several times a day.
- Be sure to plan for restore testing, there is nothing like not being able to restore your data because you never tested the process. (Does a sick feeling in my stomach ring a bell?)
- Store multiple backup sets daily, weekly and monthly so you can go back to a point in time.
- Roll off older data into archive or as we call it Tier II, which is less accessible, but cost less to maintain and makes the Tier I data set smaller for a faster recovery time.
- Plan for compliance if you are in a regulated industry.
- Lock your server access down to only people that need access.
- Use encryption on all sensitive data.
- Use only reputable companies for on-line data backup and recovery.
- Evaluate your progress quarterly or semi-annually and make adjustments.
- Ensure data on laptops and portable devices are in your backup plan.
- Understand what your Recovery Time Objective is. This can make or break your business if you need to be up and running in 4 hours and your backup plan allows for your recovery in two days.
- Consult with an expert on how to best manage your data. That could be your MSP (computer guy), a company like eTegrity or just a fellow colleague.
So, for 2011 Plan to succeed and to protect your most valuable asset your data and remember… Make A Plan, Work Your Plan and most importantly… Stick To Your Plan.
May you have a great and successful 2011!