Unfortunately, many companies that experience an IT “data loss event” also discover, at this critical time, that their backed-up data is corrupted and not restorable. The fact is that data can become corrupted during the back-up process. Therefore, most managed service IT providers offering back-up solutions for clients will perform data integrity checks at the time IT data is sent off site. Though this is a good practice, and can provide a level of comfort for businesses, the truth is that data can also become corrupted over time while residing on spinning disk drives at an off-site location. This type of occurrence, known in the industry as “silent data corruption,” is literally caused by the rotting of the storage media where the data is housed. So even though businesses may feel they are “good” with their data backup, that actually may not be the case.
This is why IT data restorability “dry runs” or “backup plans” are critical. Businesses need to verify on a periodic and regular basis, that the data they are backing up is actually recoverable. Though these tests can be hardware intensive and time consuming, they are critical. Business owners need to know that if they experience an IT “data loss event,” their data will be restored and their applications will resume in a reliable and predictable fashion. The only way to be sure of this happening is to conduct periodic disaster recovery plan.
There are some sophisticated IT data protection solutions in the marketplace that can automatically verify the viability of data, not only when the data is written for the first time, but also on an ongoing basis. This approach enables companies not only to detect and protect against data corruption during the initial backup process, but also to guard against this “bit rot” scenario over time. Having a disaster preparedness plan that includes silent data corruption is a key element in a disaster continuity plan!
The IT best practice is to transfer data from any spinning disk drives before the five-year time frame expires. The probability of “bit rot” occurring goes up dramatically after five years. Interestingly enough, good old fashion “tape” is the best approach for storing data for longer than five years.
Do an IT data “dry run” restore within your company. Or talk to your managed IT service provider about doing a disaster recovery test with you. There would be nothing worse than experiencing a flood or fire at your company’s main location, and losing everything, including all of your data, true? Well maybe there would be. What if, when you went to leverage your IT data backup to get your company back on its feet, you discovered the data was corrupted and unusable? You could literally be out of business at that point. Don’t let that happen to your company. Download our guide to preparing your own Disaster Recovery Plan: