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Blimey, did you know? It's World Backup Day. But... surely every day is world backup day?

Right? You're keeping backups, right? No? Well, do it now

Today, March 31, is supposed to be World Backup Day. Where did that one come from? Isn't every day a backup day?

We did a bit of poking around. There is a World Backup Day website. Its legal section states: "World Backup Day and the Globe and Arrow are registered trademarks of 614a ltd."

A check on this organization reveals a website which states:

614a is Ismail Jadun. If you are looking to kickstart a new project, research new opportunities or develop a brand – 614a can help. I work to help you take your projects to the next level. I can help in the initial stages of a project: discovery, research, prototyping, as well as latter stages – branding and launch.

The outfit is based in San Francisco, according to LinkedIn, and is a "digital. agency. and. cool. stuff." Shoot. Me. Dead. But wait: he has a recommendation from Backblaze. CEO. Gleb. Budman.

World Backup Day (WBD) as an event-slash-concept started in 2010 and has been sponsored by, among others, Code 42 and Backblaze. Apparently Jadun and fellow Redditors were discussing the inherent need for backing up data, and he decided to declare the day before April Fool's Day as the perfect time to back up files. We'll give them that. He created and started spreading the word among netizens. Well, at least there are good intentions.

So here we are, seven years later, and my inbox has received several WBD statements from suppliers:

Code 42 says, "This year we've seen the incidents of ransomware continue to rise, illustrating the importance of backing up and securing your data." It provides three tips:

  1. Understand that it's cheaper to pay for backups than to pay a ransom: Ransomware is everywhere. If you fall victim to such an attack you could be asked to pay a hefty ransom to get your data back. If you have your information and files backed up, you can have the peace of mind that your data is safe and that you can avoid the monetary burden.
  2. Don't rely only on file sync backup to protect data: Backups that rely on file syncing are no longer enough. Humans lead to human error when it comes to traditional backup. To combat against this, you should look to services that provide automated, instant and continuous backup.
  3. Just back up your data: Any backup is better than no backup. Most people don't realize that when they do not back up their data they are putting their professional and personal data at risk.

Phil Maynard, data protection director EMEA at Barracuda, offers this thought: "Just this month, the UK's National Crime Agency and National Cyber Security Agency joined forces to sound the alarm around the significant and growing risk to businesses that ransomware poses. Ransomware will only become more sophisticated, with data backup a key method of avoiding becoming the next ransomware victim."

His advice?

  • Always follow the 3-2-1 rule:
    • Have at least three copies of your data.
    • Store the copies on two different media (either disk and tape or two separate systems).
    • Keep one backup copy offsite.
  • Some other nuggets of advice:
    • There are only two types of disk drive: ones that are still working and ones that have failed.
    • Always test your ability to restore from backups on a regular basis.
    • Perform a complete disaster recovery test at least once a year, but ideally every quarter, or better still every month.
    • For a speedy recovery, always protect the whole server, including the operating system and applications, not just the data.
    • Always make sure that more than one person knows your backup and recovery procedures.
    • Calculate what the cost of downtime to your business would be and use it to stress the importance of investing in a good backup and disaster recovery strategy.
    • Map out where your most important business data resides and apply an appropriate backup regime.
    • One size does not fit all.
    • Don't forget to back up your remote user data.
    • Keep it simple. The last thing you want to do in the middle of an emergency is to deal with too much complexity.

Cohesity's Patrick Rogers, VP marketing and product management, gets in on the act too, stating: "Enterprises should never underestimate the importance of backups, but simply creating copies of your data as an idle insurance policy is a waste of valuable IT resources that today's businesses can't afford. Companies need to put their data to work by leveraging backup copies to serve a range of secondary storage workloads including test/dev, file services and analytics. By taking a consolidated approach to secondary storage, IT leaders can use backups to power a much broader data ecosystem that's more efficient and easier to manage."

Yup; buy and use Cohesity products to solve backup problems and make better use of your data.

Kroll Ontrack ran a survey which found, unsurprisingly, that most businesses and consumers now routinely make complete and comprehensive backups of their data. But despite growing use of various backup solutions, around one third of the 1,000 surveyed customers in North America, Europe and Australia reported experiencing data loss.

The majority of companies who experienced data loss did have a backup solution in place at the time of the incident. A quarter of respondents also reported that their backup failed to work properly. Of the users who experienced data loss and had access to a backup, 67 per cent said they were able to restore almost all their data, while another 13 per cent were able to restore up to three quarters. 12 per cent reported that the backup was corrupted. Just under three per cent were able to restore only a small proportion of their data.

It offers four guidelines:

  1. Set up a backup schedule that covers all relevant devices and media.
  2. Verify that backups function correctly and that they run in accordance with the determined schedule.
  3. Regularly check data backup systems to identify any errors.
  4. Test backups on a regular basis to validate that data is complete and intact.

Ian Wood, senior director at Veritas, has had his thinking cap on too, and has an individual take, reckoning you shouldn't back up all your data.

He says, "World Backup Day is a reminder that backing up all information regardless of type or value is no longer viable. The business costs of contending with escalating data increase every day. In fact, storing all this data could cost companies as much as $891bn by 2020. This is a data storage cost that can be avoided and reduced considerably.

"When it comes to backup, simply investing in ever-greater storage capacity is not the answer. Recent research found that 41 per cent of files hadn't been modified in the past three years. In a 10PB storage environment, it would cost in the region of $20.5 million per year to manage and retain 41 per cent stale, redundant data.

"Today, most organisations struggle with exponential data growth. Many are hoarding every scrap of data, irrespective of value, on the off-chance it is needed in the future. Businesses should use World Backup Day to break this cycle. It is an opportunity to review data and determine what is business critical before backing it up, while deleting data that doesn't drive business value. This will help organisations cut storage costs, while maximizing the availability and business value of useful data."

There you have it; back up the good stuff but delete the crap. Nice one, Ismail Jadun, and thank you one and all, backuppers. ®

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