Do you have confidence in your company backup solution? If your servers went down now, would you be able to rely on the data you have backed up? No matter how advanced or in-depth your backup system is, you won't know if it works unless you test it. If you don't test your backup system, how can you have confidence in it? There are plenty of issues that can occur with backups that aren't your fault at all.
Backup Software Failure
To begin with, the backup software can fail itself. When this happens, the backup fails and when you try to restore the data too many files are missing or corrupted. You can't just rely on the backup software telling you that it has securely written a backup.
Another reason behind backup failure is simply hardware failure. Hardware failure should be at the top of your list of scenarios with backup error, because, given enough time, any tape, hard drive, flash drive or any other physical memory storage device will break down eventually.
The physical security of your backup device is important. Numerous companies keep their primary back-up on-site. This is not good for multiple reasons. Not only does this leave the company open to theft, it also leaves them at risk if their primary location is destroyed in a disaster.
Human error can also come into play when dealing with backup failure. Take tape-replacement for example. Studies show that in many small businesses, the newest employee is tasked to remember to insert and eject the tape each day. Since the responsibility for one of the most imperative security-related tasks is sometimes assigned to the newest employee, there is a lot of room for human error.
Not all reasons to test your company's backup are negative. By testing your backup often, you'll find new ways to save on storage costs while you refine the speed and consistency of your backup process. This immediate benefit will help put money back in your company's profit. Finally, every recovery is a learning experience since not every recovery is the same. When you test your backup, you'll learn different nuances about your IT infrastructure that you didn't know before. Testing your backup will also help to reduce backup and storage costs, improve overall security, and improve backup and recovery speeds. Testing will also give your company's employees an opportunity to share emergency recovery knowledge with others in the company, which will make sure that your company's data survival doesn't rest in the hands of any single person or group.
These are only some of the reasons why you should test your backup. While most of them are reasons to make sure that the backup saved properly, by testing your backup you can possibly save money by testing consistently. If you feel that testing your backups is unnecessary, ask yourself if you're ready to face a backup scenario and challenge: Would you feel comfortable erasing your hard-drives right now, and restoring them from backups?.