Backups are Your Best Friend When Disaster Strikes

by Apr 30, 2020

IT professionals like programmers and database administrators have heard about best practices many times during their careers. Sometimes they adopt those recommendations and make them part of their work regimen. In other cases, the attempts at passing along well-earned knowledge falls on deaf ears. If despite all of the warnings that you have heard regarding database backups you are still not regularly performing this critically important practice, we hope this post will serve as a wakeup call. 

Maybe you forgot about implementing backups or just don’t want to spend the time and resources required to create them. This attitude flies in the face of advice from computing professionals everywhere. Don’t be confused. You and your databases need backups. Maybe you just don’t realize it yet.

Problems Can Happen Anywhere and at Anytime

Smoothly running databases and computing environments can result in a false sense of security taking residence with the responsible support teams. Day after day of high performance and full availability can make it appear that nothing can ever go wrong. But unforeseen events or the ever-present possibility of human error or malice can seemingly come out of nowhere at any time.

  • Tornadoes pack an incredible amount of force into a localized area of immense destruction. Where they will strike is completely unpredictable and their effects can result in extensive outages to critical computer systems. An example can be seen in a 2011 tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri. A hospital data center was destroyed in the incident. The building was a total loss, but through a twist of fate, the most critical systems had been migrated to another facility weeks before the disaster struck.

  • Dealing with floods is another unfortunate aspect of living on planet Earth. They are slightly more predictable than tornadoes but still can cause unexpected and catastrophic damage. A case in point can be seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New York City in 2012. Several large data centers were impacted by the foods associated with the storm. The damage occurred in downtown Manhattan, an area that is not usually prone to flooding of this magnitude.

  • Hackers and ransomware are an ever-present threat that is unrelated to the weather. A ransomware infection can shut down a system or a business without any warning at all. The Maze ransomware variant has been circulating since May 2019 and takes the concept of encrypting the user’s files for profit to a new level. Berkine, a company involved in a joint venture with an Algerian state-owned oil company was recently hit with the ransomware. Before encrypting data, information was extracted from corporate databases and leaked it online. Maze attacks feature this type of data disclosure to further blackmail the victim and force payment of their ransom demand. Recovering the encrypted data without paying the criminals requires a system restore.

Imagine the situation a DBA would be in after any of these scenarios if they had not protected their databases with reliable backups. You certainly don’t want to be in that position when a post-mortem is conducted on your organization’s preparedness where management wants to find out why it took weeks for systems to be recreated. Nobody wants to be the one answering that the delay was due to a failure to back up the systems.

Having Reliable Backups is Your Best Defense

There are many other types of unexpected events that can result in the need for databases to be restored or rebuilt. Without adequate backups, this task can prove to be extremely difficult or impossible. As a DBA, one of your most important jobs is to protect your databases with backups. You can go for years without ever needing them, but when they are needed, the situation is often critical.

IDERA’s SQL Safe Backup is designed to streamline the process of backing up SQL Server databases. The tool supports physical and virtual servers located on-premises or with cloud providers. SQL Safe Backup has many features that make it a great solution for DBAs concerned about keeping their valuable data safe. Some of its advanced features include:

  • Reduced backup time with compression and multi-threading technology;
  • Object-level and point-in-time recovery;
  • Data protection with encryption with little performance degradation;
  • Monitor and analyze enterprise backups from a unified dashboard.

SQL Safe Backup can give your database team what they want and what they need. It provides a method to ensure their databases are protected so they are available when the unexpected happens. That one time you really need your backups makes all of the time spent on the process well worthwhile.