Backup & Disaster Recovery


How are Devices and Data Restored?

We generally have much more experience backing things up than we have restoring them. This indicates that we are prepared for emergencies, and emergencies only rarely happen. When disaster does strike, such as when devices become victims of natural disasters, cyberattacks, human error, power surges, or theft, it can be difficult to think clearly about what next steps to take in order retrieve backups and resume operations. Ensure that you are prepared for this restoration process by developing a restoration plan that includes strategies aimed at a quick recovery that minimizes disruption. The procedures for restoring backups will be dependent upon how/when/where your devices have been backed up, and who has been backing them up. Whether you manage the backup and recovery of your devices in-house or have them managed by a managed service provider (MSP), the following steps are recommended for a smooth restoration process:

Assessment. Assess the problem and how it will impact the organization’s operations. Is the entire system impacted by this problem, or is it isolated to a single device? Has any data disappeared? Are any servers or workstations down?

Goals for recovery. Establish objectives for recovery so that you can create a detailed restoration plan. Does the whole system need restored, or just data? Is it worthwhile to spend time recovery files and folders or should the system be recovered first? Which systems are critical? Which recovery tasks are most pressing? Which backup date should you restore? How long will this recovery process take?

Recovery types. Knowing your objectives for recovery will help you at this step where you select the appropriate approach for your goals: file restore, local virtualization, or off-site virtualization?

Verification. Verify the recovery and confirm with the users that it has full functionality. Has network connectivity been confirmed? Are all users able to access resources and applications in the virtual environment?

Restoration of original system. Decide if the original system needs to be restored. If so, will you be doing bare metal restore or virtual machine restore?

Reflect. After the restoration process has been successfully completed, assess the process, and determine what next steps to take for future backup and restore activities. How smooth was the process? Were there any hiccups? Would you do something differently in the future? What precipitated the failure? What was the first sign that something was wrong? Are there ongoing issues?