“Trust But Verify” Reagan was so inspired by this old Russian proverb, that it became one of the the core ideologies behind his approach to negotiating with the Russian government.
But this proverb applies to more than just nuclear arms treaties. “Trust But Verify” can also help ensure the safety and security of your data backups.
As you already know, errors can sneak into the backup process over time. Backup files can become corrupted, or technicians might make a mistake in the backup process. In order to be absolutely protected, you need some way to ensure that your backups can be recovered in an emergency.
There are 2 ways of accomplishing this: Backup Testing and Backup Verification.
Backup testing involves manually recovering from your backups while simulating a number of different possible disaster scenarios.
According to a survey performed by a major software vendor, the average time to test a backup is 13 hours. And because of this, many companies simply don’t bother to test their backups..
Thankfully, there’s another approach which offers similar benefits, and minimizes the amount of manual work required from the backup administrator.
Backup Verification is similar to Backup Testing. But unlike manual testing, Backup Verification completely eliminates human interaction from the process.
Backup administrators can configure a program to recover virtual machines from backup into an isolated testing environments. Once it’s confirmed that these machines have successfully been booted up, the program compiles a report is for the administrator.
This is often referred-to as a “heartbeat test”.
These tests can also include:
- Tests of individual applications
- Network ping tests
- DNS server tests
- Domain controller tests
- Database table recoveries
- And more…
With backup verification, all of these tests are fully-automated, and can be scheduled to run autonomously at specified intervals. Through reporting, administrators get insight into backup performance. This visibility is useful, because potential future issues can be located and resolved before they become a problem.
Backup Verification tools can be an incredibly useful and practical way to save time while ensuring that you’re adequately prepared to consistently recover from any data emergency.
And remember… Trust, but Verify.