Why Deploying Infrastructure Without Backup Is Never Worth It

Over the years, we’ve seen an astounding number of customers choose to deploy their infrastructure without Backup — to their eventual detriment. Initially, opting out seems cheaper and many companies think they are saving money by not investing in Backup. Of course, this comes back to bite them later and often ends up costing them significantly more in damage control. That, or they confuse hardware redundancy and service redundancy with Backup and realize too late that incorporating Backup into their strategy was also important.  

Ultimately, we want your company to be air-tight when it comes to security, data recovery, and business continuity. In this blog, we outline key definitions to be aware of, the risks involved in deploying without Backup, and best practices for ensuring a solid Backup strategy.

The Difference Between Disaster Recovery Backup, Hardware Redundancy, and Service Redundancy

As mentioned, many customers seem to think hardware redundancy (aka fault tolerance) and service redundancy (aka high availability) will be sufficient to protect their infrastructure. This is simply not the case. Allow me to explain some critical terminology and aspects of good infrastructure. 

Hardware redundancy protects the physical server to make it what is commonly referred to as “fault-tolerant”. This means replicating or having backup components of the server to make it more resilient from hardware failure. For example, configuring your disks in RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) is a popular solution to make your system fault-tolerant, protecting your disks from having a single point of failure. This allows your data to be continuously available and accessible but is more about uptime than data protection and integrity, which is an important distinction. 

Service redundancy protects your service from unavailability. This is commonly known as making your service “high available”. The goal is to ensure business continuity so that the service keeps running, regardless of hardware failure. 

Hardware redundancy and service redundancy cannot protect you from data corruption, data loss due to total hardware failure, unintentional or intentional removal of data, and ransomware, which is precisely what backup is designed to do: protect your data for the long term.  

3 Major Risks of Deploying Without Backup

1. External Attacks

Being on the internet is exposing your business to the world, which is great as it allows you to broadcast yourself and reach corners of the world you couldn’t have done otherwise. However, as you attract customers, you also attract the eye of bad actors who thrive on malicious attacks and seek vulnerable systems to target.

These attacks have not only increased in frequency but have become more sophisticated and bigger in scale. Over the past years, we have seen attacks disrupt governments and businesses of all sizes, which is why security is as important as ever. Backup is one of the many important tools you need to keep your data from being taken hostage.

2. Hardware Failure

Server components are meant to be resilient and durable, however, they are not infallible. As time goes by the risk of hardware failure increases. Although this might represent a small percentage of the overall risk of data loss, it is still a risk that is not worth taking lightly, as data is one of the most critical elements of one’s business.

Additionally, raid hardware is not to be confused with a form of Backup. Although you do spread out the risk of the impact of a disk failure on other disks, it is critical to note that depending on the raid, some are more susceptible to disk failures and are less forgiving.

When it comes to your data, all safety precautions are necessary. Therefore, in the unlikely event that hardware failure does occur, Backup is the only thing that can save your data.

3. Internal Security Risks and Human Error

Despite our best efforts, we all make mistakes, they are an inevitable part of life. In the world of data, these mistakes can cause a loss of data. Every time you execute a command and deploy a new configuration, you run the risk of accidentally deleting, overwriting, and losing files and valuable information that was stored on the server. This underscores the importance of Backup, as it gives you a safety net to recover lost data when errors occur.

Best Practices for Infrastructure Backup

Considering the above risks, let’s discuss what your Backup strategy should look like.

The 3-2-1 Backup Strategy 

The industry’s best practice would be to follow the 3-2-1 Backup Strategy. This involves creating 3 full backups, 2 local and 1 external, to your infrastructure (Cloud Backup). 

One should be in your local network, the other on another device as in a NAS or backup server but in a different network. This segregation will be an extra layer of defense from ransomware, as a compromised domain account would infect all that is in the domain and detected across the network. Hence why it would be recommended that this second one be on a separate network. 

Finally, the last backup should be completely outside your local infrastructure. The easiest and most reliable way is through a Cloud Backup solution like Acronis. 

Test Your Backups

Having backups is great but ensuring these backups are functional is even better. There is nothing worse than realizing your backup was misconfigured and does not contain the data you are seeking!

Thus, taking advantage of Acronis to make this testing task easier, it would be recommended as a quarterly action plan to randomly deploy a backup image into a testing VM to verify its integrity.

Leaseweb Acronis Backup

Key features that should be considered when looking for Cloud Backup solutions are:

Double Authentication

This will make it harder for bad actors to connect to your Cloud Backup and modify or delete your backup.

Immutable Backup

An immutable Backup solution is tamper-proof, meaning it cannot be modified, deleted, or overwritten. Data is stored in a read-only format, prohibiting write privileges to ensure data cannot be changed.

Leaseweb has partnered with Acronis to bring you a Backup solution that offers the above features and more.

Imagine a home insurance service where you could save your home, furniture, appliances and other valuables by traveling back in time and getting back what was an integral part of your home. Backups have this power and can save and protect the data that is crucial to the survival of your business. To conclude, we hope this article will enlighten you on the importance of having Backup, and why you can’t take shortcuts when it comes to security.

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