At least once a month I recommend that everyone look at their current backup plan and ask a series of basic questions:
- Are backups running? (verify)
- What is the backup schedule? (Can I access monthly, weekly, daily?) (verify)
- Can I easily access the backups? (verify)
- Are these backups available if something happens to the backup server? (verify)
- Do I know how to restore the data/files if needed? (verify)
- Is there anything we can get rid of to reduce the size of the backups? (make sure you are backing up important data/files, and not garbage which will only cause headaches) (verify)
Backups are crucial for most companies and even for your personal files. Simply thinking that backups “are running” is not enough though. Make sure you also know how to deal with a problem before it happens so when/if it happens – you have a plan. Most people also assume backups are in place or someone else is taking care of it – but we, as web developers, get too many calls from potential clients who “thought the hosting company had backups” or “relied on a developer to do the backups” but realized they had nothing (yes this still happens).
Do yourself a huge favor and take responsibility for your backups. Ensure everything is in place, working, and get a plan together for restoring everything.