What should I back up for effective disaster recovery?

Everything! For reliable disaster recovery, you need to look beyond simply copying all your databases and files. Your entire infrastructure—servers, PCs, NAS, SAN—contains vital production data. You need to capture application settings, operating system configurations, bookmarks, and registry data for a full recovery. Don’t forget to back up your hypervisors and end-points—your CEO’s laptop may have more important data than most of your servers!

Acronis’ patented disk imaging technology takes care of everything automatically. Our backups capture everything on your disks (except for extraneous items like free space and paging files).

Where should I back up my data?

Choice of storage depends on multitude of factors: production cycles, compliance, corporate policies, and more. As disaster recovery experts, we strongly recommend following the 3-2-1 rule: maintain 3 copies of your data stored on at least 2 types of storage media with at least 1 copy stored offsite.

For example, back up all your Windows servers (location 1) to a central, disk-based NAS (location 2) and then send additional copies offsite to the cloud.

All Acronis backup products support the 3-2-1 rule. In addition to being able to create and send multiple copies to multiple storage destinations, our products include seamless integration with the ultra-secure Acronis cloud. This allows you to send/maintain full system backups offsite without any extra steps!

How often should I back up?

Although frequent backup ensures that you lose less data, this practice does require more storage. Infrequent backup saves on storage, but you will lose any data created between the last backup and the moment disaster strikes.

This period of uncertainty is called RPO (Recovery Point Objective). You need to weigh your options and find a balance between lower costs vs. shorter RPO. Normal business practice RPO for small to medium-sized businesses is 24 hours (daily backup). Business critical applications that change more often are usually backed up every few hours.

Acronis Backup products include some smart backup features to help negotiate this balance. We offer incremental backup that captures only what has changed since your last backup, reducing storage requirements. We also provide built-in deduplication and compression tools to maximize your storage/network usage without compromising your disaster recovery needs.

Should I test my disaster recovery plan?

Absolutely! The success of your disaster recovery plan depends on preparedness of people and processes as much as the backup tools used. Ideally, you should test your disaster recovery procedures every 3 months (but no less than once a year). Do not forget to amend and extend your disaster recovery plan during and after these exercises.

Acronis can help you master these processes. In addition to being exceptionally easy to use, many of our products include easy step-by-step disaster recovery instructions that are automatically emailed to employees after every backup.

How fast will I recover from a disaster?

Disaster recovery processes take time—from the moment disaster strikes to a full recovery of operations. This period is called RTO (Recovery Time Objective). Normal business practice for single server ranges from 2 to 24 hours. A larger data center can require 24-72 hours. Restoring a whole company to regular operations could take even longer.

Acronis products can help you save significant time. Because our patented disk imaging captures your entire setup, you won’t need to reinstall operating systems, reconfigure applications, or even restore data separately. We will do all of this for you using one backup. We also offer some great disaster recovery services that can move large amounts of backup data from the Acronis cloud to your doorstep without clogging up your network.

Do I need to provision the same hardware for full disaster recovery?

No, you don’t! When disaster strikes, you may not be able to locate/afford replacement hardware that is exactly the same as your current setup.

All Acronis Backup products include the Universal Restore feature. This advanced recovery technology allows you to restore an entire system to hardware of a completely different make/model—without the usual complexities. You can even restore a physical server to a virtual machine!