We often get calls from clients wanting to restore emails and files from years gone past. Sadly these calls often finish with a “No we can’t do that” response. The client then asks “But don’t we have backups??” And the answer to that is “Yes we do, but the key purpose of a backup is to assist in a disaster recovery, unless that client has clearly identified that they want to keep data for a longer term”.
The issue here is two fold. Issue one is that most companies don’t have a clearly defined data retention and recovery policy. Such a policy defines what data is backed up, how often it’s backed up, how long the backups are retained for and what granularity is contained within those backups. In the majority of cases, business owners are quite happy to backup a system daily, and then keep the last 7 or 14 days of end of day backups. The key thing they are trying to protect in that scenario is a major catastrophic event such as malicious employee deleting data before leaving, or a fire for example. In those cases this is all they need.
Issue two, is that if they have a data retention policy, it’s not clearly communicated to staff. This results in some staff taking matters into their own hands and making backups of “important stuff” to the server just in case their PC fails. Such backups often include that users entire music collection, which is fine if the company is a music production company but more often than not this just consumes valuable space on the servers that impact the storage of real company data.
Another complication to this is that clients often don’t understand the difference between email data, file data such as word/excel documents and application data such as their accounting system. Each of these types of data in itself is backed up in different ways and needs to be defined in the policy mentioned above.
Once a clear Data Retention and Recovery Policy is created and approved by management to meet the business requirement, then we can design the backup and recovery systems to ensure that the policy is properly supported by the technology.
If you need help with this… call us