Contrary to what some IT professionals believe, backup is not ”set it and forget it”. You need to plan their execution carefully, build and set up a solution. You should then expect to have to fix issues from time to time, until your setup is flawless.

And even once your backups setup is flawless, major parts of your infrastructure may change (such as, for example, you decide to switch from on-premises solutions to cloud applications and cloud-native data); and so you start all over again.

Your backup needs attention and they can fail. And, while you may be angry with the backup solution, you are still responsible for returning the data to a working state. In this blog, we define the typical areas for backup failures and provide guidance on how you should deal with them.

1. Damaged Backup

Damaged backups may not be the most frequent cause of losing data, but it’s for sure one of the most frightening. Just imagine a situation where your solution reports that backups successfully uploaded to the storage and then, one day, when you need to recover them, your data is corrupt.

Why is this a terrifying scenario? Because, without proper recovery tests, you are never sure that your data is recoverable. As an IT pro managing backups, you should either check your data consistency frequently and perform recovery tests, or you should be aware that your data could be corrupt Cloud Data Backup.

But what are the typical reasons for data to be damaged? Here are the most common cases:

      • Ransomware. Modern-day crypto-lockers can recognize backup storage and backup data and encrypt it.

      • Damaged backup media. Typically, this happens with on-premises backup media. For example, you might fail to notice that one of your drives in a RAID(Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) array has gone down and, while your storage is still safe, it’s one step closer to disaster.

      • Failed backup solution. Today, you can find an established backup vendor with a proven and tested backup solution that will get your data to the storage in one piece. However, if you use outdated or freeware backup solutions, there is a chance that some of the data on your storage is inconsistent and you won’t be able to recover at least some of it.

    So how do you protect yourself against damaged backups? First of all, you need to employ a modern-day solution with a proven, stable history. Some backup solutions even include automated data consistency checking in their offering.

    Secondly, you should test the recoverability of your backups from time to time, to be 100% sure you can get your data back.

    2. Missing or Failed Backup

    Backups may be damaged or non-existent due to system administrators relying on memory for starting backups without scheduling.

    The second reason for missing could be that the administrators forget to, or do not know how to, set up alerts about any issues with backups.

    So, to avoid losing your backups completely, you should:

        • Create an automated schedule

        • Make sure that your backups are not interrupted

        • Set up notifications about failing backups to complete and successfully completing

      3. The Slow Problem

      A less dramatic technical issue with backups is that they might take ages to actually finish, thus slowing down your progress and messing with your recovery time and recovery point objectives.

      The main reasons for slow backups are:

          • Slow Internet connection, network performance issues. Determine optimal time and settings for maximum network throughput without affecting company operations. Prioritize backup data and prioritize mission critical data uploads.

          • Slow performance of the backed up computer. Overloading a computer during a backup can cause performance issues or downtime, so choose a time frame with peak workloads to avoid interference.

          • Wrongly chosen backup type. Different backup types cater to file-level needs or uploading full machine or partitions to storage, so choose the appropriate one for the dataset.

        4. Inaccessibility Challenge

        Lastly, and quite surprisingly, you could lose access to your backup storage or backup media, thus losing precious time during a disaster. There are several main reasons for losing access:

            • Forgotten or lost credentials. Keep passwords safe, avoid sharing administrative credentials, and update password management system with new data when rotating them.

            • Compromised credentials. Hackers can alter backup storage credentials, preventing data recovery. Keep passwords secure, monitor access logs, and restrict user access.. 

          Diversify the Risks

          To avoid all that, you need to create a comprehensive plan of how you test your backups. Create a great testing environment and make sure that you have covered everything that is vital to your business, thus ensuring you a good night’s sleep.

          Google Cloud storage allow automatic backups tier migration, saving money on Standard, Nearline, Coldline, and Archive tiers, ensuring easy access, safe backups, and reduced costs for long-term business data retention.