For most businesses, the only way to ensure their data is safe and secure is to back it up.

However, if those data backups aren’t being appropriately monitored and there are any issues, the first indication that anything might be wrong is when they try to restore it.

The worst time to find out that a backup has failed is after data loss when little can be done about it. It can lead to further downtime or disruption, not to mention the expense of sorting it out and the reputational damage that a major service interruption can cause.

When a backup fails, it creates a snowball effect. Backups following the initial failure will probably fail, too, making getting to the cause of the problem that much harder to figure out.

That’s why backup monitoring is so important. Although it won’t prevent a backup failure from happening, it will alert you to any potential issues as soon as possible so they can be resolved swiftly and effectively.

Here we take a closer look at why data backup monitoring is essential.

Why monitor backups?

The figures surrounding data backup and the impact a backup failure can have are stark. Fewer than ten per cent of firms back up their data every day. When it comes to data loss, 60% of all backups are incomplete, and up to 50% of data restores can fail.

It just goes to show that while most businesses and IT professionals focus on creating backups, very few think about periodic backup monitoring to make sure that backups are being performed correctly.  

While automated backup processes are all well and good, they are not 100% infallible.

Things can occasionally go wrong, and scheduled backups can either fail or not take place at all.

Typically, if a backup fails, you’ll get some form of notification to alert you to the issue. But when a backup doesn’t occur, there’s no failure, so you won’t know something is amiss until you do a manual check.

If this isn’t part of your daily routine, it could go undetected for days, meaning your clients’ data might not have been backed up.   

At BCDR Solutions, we invest heavily in the latest software that helps us monitor all the scheduled backup notifications we manage 24/7 to identify when something goes amiss quickly.

We can then provide a rapid response to identify the fault, resolve the issue and check again to ensure your backups are running as regularly as they should.

Things to monitor in data backup

When it comes to monitoring data backup, either for your own business if you are an SME or for your clients if you are an MSP, there are several things to bear in mind.

Here are some of the most important metrics to look out for when monitoring data backups either automatically or manually:

Storage

You should run periodic checks on storage capacity and the status of your server or cloud service. These checks should include how fast the database backup is consuming the storage and how much available space there is for scheduled backups. If storage space usage spikes during backups, it could indicate faulty backup processes or external security threats.

Success rate

Understanding the trends in the success rate of your backups will give you greater insight into the performance of your backup process, so you can make improvements or take preventative action where needed.

Restore activity

Backup restoration activity and its success rate are good indicators of how valid and accurate your backed up data is, so it’s essential to check your backup restoration activity regularly.

Failed backups

Connectivity, storage capacity, service interruption, or cyberattack could all cause backups to fail. Getting to the root of any failed backups and their causes is key to preventing them from recurring, so it’s important to check on any failed backups and look at why they failed.

Duration

Monitoring and comparing how long it takes to create individual backup copies can help indicate any potential issues or problems. In addition, the backup duration should be consistent across different backups, unless there was a change in data volume or backup process, so monitoring backup duration will help flush out any potential issues.

While it’s possible to monitor the backups you manage manually, it can be time-consuming, tedious, and resource-heavy.

BCDR can take that hassle away from you by keeping a close eye on all the backup metrics that matter most to your business and to your clients to keep your backups running as they should.

Our backup monitoring system uses industry-leading technology to monitor backups, scripts and email notifications, automatically identify issues and let us know as soon as they occur.

We can then jump on it, get to the root of the issue and resolve it quickly to get you or your clients’ systems back up and running with minimal disruption.

We can even share a customisable dashboard with your team so that you can keep an eye on things yourself for your own peace of mind.

How can BCDR help?

BCDR provides industry-leading business continuity and disaster recovery solutions to help businesses get back up and running quickly in the event of a critical data loss.

We enable MSPs to protect and secure their client’s networks and data.

Unlike other providers, our service is primarily built around ensuring business continuity to keep downtime to a minimum so businesses can continue to provide exceptional service to their own customers.

If you’re looking for a new approach to business continuity and disaster recovery, we’ve got your back.

Get in touch today to find out more.