Common Backup Challenges and Solutions

 In Backup, Disaster Recovery

Your disaster recovery plan depends on backups, so it’s important to make sure your backup process works. Don’t let these backup problems cause your disaster recovery strategy to fail:

Problem: corrupted backup.

Backups can be corrupt for several reasons. Old media can get damaged or corrupted through poor handling or simply through age. Readable backups may not have application-consistent data, so even though you restore files, applications may not come up successfully.

Solution:

make multiple copies of backups, preferably on different types of media. Use application-aware backup strategies to ensure you have consistent data.

Problem: inaccessible backup.

If you have only one copy of your backup, and you can’t access it during a disaster, you can’t use it to restore your data.

Solution:

make multiple copies of your backup, and store them in at least two different locations.

Problem: backup job failed to start.

If the job doesn’t run, the backup isn’t created, simple as that.

Solution:

schedule backup jobs to run automatically, rather than relying on a staffer to manually kick off the job. Automation also eliminates the chance of making errors in parameter settings when starting the job manually.

Problem: backup job failed to complete.

If the job runs into problems during its run, critical data isn’t protected.

Solution:

implement monitoring to alert staff if backup jobs don’t complete successfully. Review your storage capacity frequently to make sure you have enough space for the backup files. Keep track of database growth to make sure you have enough storage space for backups.

Problem: incomplete backup.

Not all incomplete backups are because the job failed to run to completion. Backup procedures may miss files, either because someone thought they weren’t needed or because they never got added to the script.

Solution:

Be comprehensive rather than selective when deciding what to backup. When a new application or database is deployed, make adding it to the backup process part of your change management and deployment process.

Problem: slow backup.

Backup jobs need to complete as part of your end of day process. Slow backup procedures can cause delays that impact the start of work the next day.

Solution:

For backups over the network, make sure you have a reliable network connection with sufficient bandwidth. Keep an eye on database growth and how long backups take to complete; you may need to reschedule the job or do incremental backups in order for the job to complete, with a full backup deferred to weekends or other longer periods of downtime.

Get help overcoming your backup problems with backup support from Prescient Solutions. Our experienced professionals can develop and implement a solution as well as guide you through disaster recovery. Contact us to learn more.

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