We asked a St. Louis-based systems engineer with over 15 years of IT experience to provide his top list of issues for online backups:
- There is a lot of data that's not being backed up on local PCs that IT doesn't necessarily know about. This could be a good reason to install online backup on each of your desktops.
- There is a lot of data being backed up that is useless, too. So take some time to review what is actually been copied to your backup service.
- The backups you have executed should be tested regularly to make sure they are valid copies. Periodically restore a few random files and make sure that they are what you expect. This will also avoid the situation where your data was silently corrupted and you didn't notice until it was too late and you are under the gun to restore these files. Multiple backups of the same file can help here too.
- The backups can take too long to restore, and in the meantime your application would be down. Go through an exercise to restore an entire system to see what is involved.
- The backups can cost a lot. Make sure you understand the storage requirements, particularly for the additional previous versions of a file, in your calculations.
- You have backups of your data, but no machine to restore service on. Always consider having a hot spare computer to bring some critical server back on line.