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Plan for the worst

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 6:37pm Wednesday 28 July 2010    Print Article

It's every business owner’s worst nightmare - What would happen if we lost all our data? Goodbye thousands of candidate records. Goodbye client lists and financial information. Instead of pointing the finger and blaming someone else, do you have plans in place to backup your data in the first place?

  • Don't count on anyone else to back your data up for you. It's YOUR data!
  • Make backing up a part of your normal daily and weekly activities
  • Look for ways to export your data to an open format, such as XML or a comma-separated text file (CSV), so YOU have a choice of other platforms to turn to if the worst happens.
With persistent rumors about a recruitment software vendors "going concern". I thought it would be a good time to list a few questions you should ask your vendor
  • Where is my data stored?
  • How often is the system backed up?
  • Can the system provide me the ability to export data?
  • Have you tested your backup retrieval files?
  • How fast can you roll back a previous backup?
If you don't have a backup plan already, here are some old tips from Microsoft. It takes time to create and implement a backup and recovery plan. You'll need to figure out what data needs to be backed up, how often the data should be backed up, and more. To help you create a plan, consider the following:
  • How important is the data on your systems? The importance of data can go a long way in helping you determine if you need to back it up—as well as when and how it should be backed up. For critical data, such as a database, you'll want to have redundant backup sets that extend back for several backup periods. For less important data, such as daily user files, you won't need such an elaborate backup plan, but you'll need to back up the data regularly and ensure that the data can be recovered easily.
  • What type of information does the data contain? Data that doesn't seem important to you may be very important to someone else. Thus, the type of information the data contains can help you determine if you need to back up the data—as well as when and how the data should be backed up.
  • How often does the data change? The frequency of change can affect your decision on how often the data should be backed up. For example, data that changes daily should be backed up daily.
  • How quickly do you need to recover the data? Time is an important factor in creating a backup plan. For critical systems, you may need to get back online swiftly. To do this, you may need to alter your backup plan.
  • Do you have the equipment to perform backups? You must have backup hardware to perform backups. To perform timely backups, you may need several backup devices and several sets of backup media. Backup hardware includes tape drives, optical drives, and removable disk drives. Generally, tape drives are less expensive but slower than other types of drives.

  • Who will be responsible for the backup and recovery plan? Ideally, someone should be a primary contact for the organization's backup and recovery plan. This person may also be responsible for performing the actual backup and recovery of data.
  • What is the best time to schedule backups? Scheduling backups when system use is as low as possible will speed the backup process. However, you can't always schedule backups for off-peak hours. So you'll need to carefully plan when key system data is backed up.
  • Do you need to store backups off-site? Storing copies of backup tapes off-site is essential to recovering your systems in the case of a natural disaster. In your off-site storage location, you should also include copies of the software you may need to install to reestablish operational systems.

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Article Tags: recruitment technology data storage website hosting recruitment website recruitment database backup plan recruitment vendors

Comments Hide Comments (2)

Feel free to join in on the conversation. All comments are moderated before publishing. Comments posted by subscribers don't necessarily reflect the views of Recruitment Directory.

 Adam Crow (5:23am Tuesday 03 August 2010)

I would also suggest that users ask for their option settings as well as their data.

And also check the backup of their portable devices such as an iPhone.

If you choose to back up to a tape device you should ensure that you have access to *another* tape unit in case your existing tape device dies. The option of escrow should also be explored with any vendor.

 David Lyons (5:17pm Friday 13 August 2010)

As a SaaS provider this is top of our list and something we spend over 60% of our budget on, something that may never happen. My advice would be to ensure you partner with a decent hosting provider. Depending on your service level, they can take care of everything, including disaster planning.

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