I’m sure you have heard—if not experienced—the following scenario. A student is working on a research paper and suddenly her PC crashes. Because she did not follow the golden rule of saving your document every sixty seconds, she lost hours of work. 

You would think by the time you are well into your career things like this would no longer happen, but unfortunately this kind of thing still happens all the time. When it comes to data, the one thing most people think about is backups. As long as the backups complete without error you feel safe, as you believe you have all of the files you need to restore your database in the event of a disaster. 

But what if I told you that is not a complete disaster recovery strategy?  

We saw this issue play out recently when we were contacted by a company that needed our assistance. The client was trying to restore a database after temporarily losing power and encountered a software bug that was requesting an old archive log that was applied to the database, which happened to be a standby database. Because the archive log requested was so old (a search of emailed backup job logs found the archive log was backed up 9 months prior) and their retention policy only saved backups for 14 days, there was no way for them to get the archive log back. This meant they were not able to restore their data. Long story short: the company lost all of the data in the database.

When one side of our disaster recovery strategy is working we often overlook the second side of the strategy, which is making sure we are able to restore our database using the files created. While the backup job may complete without errors, file corruption or erroneously deleting one of the backup files can render your recovery plan and data useless. This is why we here at Buda Consulting always recommend that our clients perform biannual disaster recovery restore tests at a minimum, with quarterly disaster recovery restore tests at a maximum. 

As the old saying goes, “It’s better to be safe than sorry,” and testing your disaster recovery data is essential to keeping you and your data safe!

Concerned (as you should be) about your disaster recovery and business continuity capability? Contact Buda Consulting to schedule a free consultation.