Data is the Lifeblood of Most Modern Businesses

Whether you are a small mom-and-pop shop or a large corporation, losing your critical data could be absolutely devastating. That’s why having a reliable data backup strategy is so crucial. However, simply having backups is not enough — they need to be properly configured, monitored, and tested to ensure they will work when you need them most.


How Often Should You Backup Data?

The gold standard for data backups is hourly, image-based cloud backups. While nightly backups are better than nothing, they leave an entire day’s worth of work vulnerable in a disaster scenario. With hourly backups, you minimize your potential data loss to just one hour of work. This can make all the difference in getting your business back up and running quickly after a data disaster.

Hourly backups can often be tedious for the average person, so it’s best to have an expert on your side who can help perform these routine backups as efficiently as possible.


Preventing Backup Disasters

Tape backups and manual backups to external hard drives were once common but are becoming increasingly outdated and impractical, especially for hourly backup schedules. The modern recommended approach is an automated, cloud-based backup solution that captures full disk images. This ensures that your entire system can be restored from the backups if needed.

However, simply setting up an automated hourly backup is not enough on its own. The backups must be actively monitored to ensure they are completed successfully day after day. As Brett Harrison says, “If nobody’s watching these backups to make sure they’re actually working properly, you could find yourself in a disaster situation.”

Letting backup failures go unnoticed could lead to catastrophic data loss if you unexpectedly need to rely on those backups.

Quality backup monitoring solutions will proactively alert you when a backup fails so it can be remedied immediately before it becomes a larger issue.


Testing Backup Systems

But even monitoring for backup completion status is not foolproof. The backup could be corrupted or have other issues that prevent you from successfully restoring it when needed.

That’s why periodic testing of your backup restores is equally critical.

Leading IT providers do full disaster recovery test restores of their backups at least monthly. This involves actually attempting to restore the backed up data to a fresh environment to validate the integrity of the backups end-to-end. Providers may also do automated incremental testing more frequently, like checking nightly that a subset of files can restore properly.

The key takeaway is that backup monitoring and testing needs to be a core part of your data protection strategy, not an afterthought. Improper backup validation could leave you thinking you are covered when in reality your backups may be unusable when you need them most.


Finding the Right Professionals

For businesses looking to implement or upgrade their backup solutions, utilizing an experienced IT services provider is highly recommended. As Brett puts it, “I definitely encourage full test restores and having a company that is well-versed in backup systems handling that…it is the fail-proof for your business…you don’t want to be in a disaster scenario and find out things weren’t working right.”

Data backup companies live and breathe this technology, allowing them to design the right hourly backup approach for your environment, implement monitoring and alerting, and perform those critical periodic restore tests. This oversight from professionals helps ensure backups are working as expected before you ever need to rely on them.



In today’s data-driven world, losing your critical information can be crippling. Implementing a reliable and validated data backup solution is an essential preventative measure for businesses of all sizes. With hourly backups, monitoring, and testing under the guidance of an experienced backup provider, you can rest assured your data is protected.

To learn more about the best practices for agencies to ensure their valuable data and backup systems are safe, tune in to this episode of The Progressive Agency Podcast to hear more from our guest, Brett Harrison.



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