Posted on: Friday July 20th, 2012

Author: Ronnie Baskind

I can’t remember who said this to me, but I remember the context. It was an IT systems administrator, talking about his experiences in helping customers to retrieve lost data, as a result of not having made a backup. This phrase came to mind this month. With our phones in melt-down at the end of financial year, the two main crises were stocktake issues, payroll questions regarding Group Certificates, and simple procedural questions on rolling the financial year in EXO. Fortunately, a large number of our clients had attended our Financial Year-End Seminars, or had downloaded our Period- End Checklist. For these clients, the financial year end is usually an easy process.

But there were a few clients with more serious issues. The first question our support team asks when they identify a major issue is:

“Do you have a backup?”

The correct answer is “Yes”

Our support team member would then say “OK, let’s restore your backup to a test database and see if we can recreate the issue and identify what went wrong.”

In most cases, there is a fairly simple explanation and the client is back up and running quickly. But in a few cases, the conversation usually goes:

KC Support: “Do you have a backup?”

Client: “No, I don’t” or “I made a backup last month but forgot to…”

These support calls have to be escalated to senior consultants, who trawl through the SQL database and create complex scripts to identify and correct errors.

It also happens that a client thinks they have a backup so the conversation goes like this:

KC Support: “Do you have a backup?”

Client: “Oh yes, I made one before I started rolling the year”.

K-C Support: “OK, let me restore the backup and we can get you back up and running”

K-C Support: “I am sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but the last backup was in November 2011″

Client: “That’s impossible. My IT Guy told me he had set it up to backup daily”

K-C Support: “ Mm. I can see that it was set up a long time ago, but the drive it’s pointing to is full / the directory no longer exists/ the backups failed / you backed up the wrong database / the dog ate the tape etc etc”

Remember, there are only two types of people. Those that have lost data, and those that are about to lose data. Make sure you have backups, and make sure you validate your backups from time to time by trying to restore a backup to a test environment. Ask our support team to help (after the Financial Year end rush) if you are unsure how to do this.

If you are a Kilimanjaro client, please feel free to look at our Backups and Disaster Recovery Whitepaper (you will need to be logged in to gain access).