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3-2-1 Back Up

Good data recovery practices are fairly standard for any business, but they are so essential it's worth covering.

3 Copies – 2 Formats – 1 Offsite

That's right, best practices include safeguarding three copies of the data – the original and two backups. The backup copies should be on two different media formats (such as hard disk, external drive, or cloud). Keeping one copy offsite further ensures the safety of your data. 

Brainstorm about the Possible Worse-Case Scenarios

While you can probably ignore the scenario that aliens have landed and chosen your office as the ideal location from which to launch their nefarious plans, you might want to consider the scenario where your office is on fire. Does your recovery plan require that the phone lines are working? How can you make sure that your satellite offices can still do business as usual? What can you do to avoid losing all those carefully configured settings that took weeks to tweak to provide the ultimate viewing experience? These are the types of questions you need to consider to determine if your Backup Plan is effective.

Ensure your systems are regularly backed up to a remote external device/location (assets and settings). In the case of a catastrophic system failure, the configuration data can be restored to a new system. Backups are your best line of defense when a failure occurs involving physical damage to equipment.

Even if you are mirroring data to a remote location, you still need to back up. Most disasters happen over a period of minutes and data that is corrupted on the main site may be mirrored to the remote site oftentimes rendering all mirrored data useless. Consider the resulting unpredictable events that can occur to corrupt data if some systems fail while others did not...

Test your data recovery process. Regularly test your data backup and recovery processes. After your backup process is established, test your ability to restore the data in a timely fashion under simulated "disaster" conditions. Depending on the nature of your event and your data, you may want to test more frequently leading up to the event. When it comes to data recovery, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. 

When is the best time to backup?

Ideally, before you need it. Before any live event and before major changes are made to the system, like an update, be sure to backup your encoder and your settings so you will have the last working backup available to you if something should go wrong.


So, at the very minimum:

  • Adhere to the 3-2-1 Rule.
  • Check that your backups are up-to-date for both assets and configuration settings.
  • Remember to routinely check backups to ensure their integrity and and their accessibility in the event of an emergency.
  • Make sure that your backups are readily available with minimal delay. If data is corrupted during a live event, recovering a backup should take only minutes and not ruin the entire event.

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