Test your data backup and recovery knowledge quotient

An increasing amount of your (and everyone else’s) mission-critical data rests in the form of zeros and ones on a magnetic surface or solid-state drive somewhere. You know (and so does everyone else) that you need to have a backup plan. You might not have an effective plan, and what you have can fail if what is backed up cannot be recovered and restored.

Take this short quiz and test what you think you know about data backup and recovery:

1. The average failure rate of hard drives and other data storage media is:

a. 60 percent

b. 70 percent

c. 85 percent

d. None of the above

Answer 1: d – Actually, 100% of every hard drive ever made either already has or eventually will fail.

2. A significant potential threat to your data can occur because of the following:

a. larger, cheaper hard drives and hardware/system malfunction

b. undetected hardware or storage media problems

c. human error

d. all or any of the above

Answer 2: d – All of the above are leading causes of data loss. Hard drive failures naturally account for the greatest number of data loss episodes leading to attempts to restore the lost data. If the storage media develops problems or the person doing the backups failed to do it correctly, you are faced with disappointment leading to real disaster. (Interestingly, computer viruses account for less than 10 percent and natural disasters only about 3 percent.)

3. What percentage of company IT decision-makers, according to a 2007 Datamonitor study, believe that a major data loss incident could lead the company to bankruptcy?

a. 25 percent

b. 33 percent

c. 50 percent

d. 80 percent

Answer 3: b. The 33 percent is based on anecdotal responses on a survey. Backup software vendors frequently cite dire (but unsupported) predictions that the average small business has less than a 50 percent of staying alive after a complete data loss. It depends on the business, and your exposure could be higher or lower, depending on how quickly and efficiently you could recover.

Just ask yourself how would all your computers in the “off” mode affect your ability to operate. If you have to shut your doors while the problem is being fixed, how long could you stay in business?

4. Depending on your environment, the main advantage(s) of backing up just your data and not your entire system is/are:

a. Complete operating system failures don’t happen nearly as frequently.

b. Operating system failures usually result from hardware crashes, which require a complete reinstallation of the operating system.

c. Your data files change far more frequently than operating system files.

d. All of the above

Answer 4: d – Since operating system files and settings periodically change, it is also a good idea to include a complete backup on a less frequent schedule than your data files.

5. What is the best strategy for maintaining complete system backup tapes?

a. Keep one tape for each working day of the month for daily backups.

b. Keep five weekly tapes

c. Keep 13 monthly tapes

d. All of the above

Answer 5: d- The daily backup tapes store at least one month of full data and allow quick retrieval of data that was backed up at the end of the working day before a mishap. The weekly and monthly tapes are your data archives.

Looking for help and advice on making sure your data recovery and backup will work? Contact us. We’ve been on line and at our customers’ service for over 11 years now and we have the backup solution that will protect you.