A list we can all agree on!

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.

  1. Manage your Data by removing old data you no longer need.
  2. Setup a sound data structure (filing system) on your drive or server drive and make it repeatable for all folders.
  3. 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.
  4. Institute and document a backup and recovery plan.
  5. Document and communicate your acceptable usage policy for data storage for all employees and contractors.
  6. Think about where your servers are? Is there a sprinkler system above them?
  7. Don’t count on anyone else to backup your data for you (remove the human element).
  8. Use an automated managed service like eTegrity.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?)
  11. Store multiple backup sets daily, weekly and monthly so you can go back to a point in time.
  12. 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.
  13. Plan for compliance if you are in a regulated industry.
  14. Lock your server access down to only people that need access.
  15. Use encryption on all sensitive data.
  16. Use only reputable companies for on-line data backup and recovery.
  17. Evaluate your progress quarterly or semi-annually and make adjustments.
  18. Ensure data on laptops and portable devices are in your backup plan.
  19. 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.
  20. 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!

Steve

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About steveferman

I am the creator and owner of eTegrity systems International, a cloud based Backup and Recovery provider for Msp's and Vars. I am also the President of Compunite Computers, inc. a 22 year old MSP and named top 100 MSp's 3 years running. I am known as the busiest man in backup and also do a lot of speaking for industry publications like IT world and Msp Alliance. I hope I can share some good insights and knowledge from my over 30 years in the industry.
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