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5 Reasons for Backing up Network Device Configurations
Ever feel underappreciated as an IT department? The rest of the company doesn't seem to care until something goes badly wrong and the spotlight gets thrust on you to fix it instantaneously. It might be surprising to here that a survey we carried out last year unearthed that one third of companies don't backup their network device configurations. This oversight often introduces a colossal headache regarding network stability.
Backing up your network device configuration seems like a no-brainer but in busy IT environments fraught with budget constraints, staffing constrictions and goodness knows what else we know it's tough to get what's required in-place.
The best practices we allude to frequently go out the window with the demands of the day job, hot-fixing and fire-fighting. Nonetheless backing up network devices remains one area that shouldn’t be disregarded. Here are five reasons to convince you, your boss or anyone who will listen.
Disaster Recovery – You Need the Easiest and Fastest Way to Get Back Up
Network devices are some of the most essential yet costly devices in IT Departments and the time spent attempting to recover them is critical to many intertwined business functions. It’s time you cannot afford to waste executing complicated scripts and sifting through log files. Abstaining from backing up makes your task longer and more complicated than it needs to be. Instead of having a ready-to-go backup you run the risk of restoring in-correct versions and time-consuming reconfiguration should the device need replacing. An out of the box solution gives you what you want, when you want it.
Avoid File Corruption
Sometimes it doesn’t matter how efficient you are at restoring a file, if said file is badly enough corrupted it’s no use to anyone. Pre-emptive/predictive systems can run features such as autodiscovery that enable businesses to identify all items on a network and start backing them up automatically. This’ll mean there’s always an accurate copy in the event something goes wrong…and it probably will.
Avoid Manual Processes and Save Time
Out of the two thirds of IT professionals we surveyed who backup their devices, 20% do so by restoring manually. If you’re a network admin reading this then you probably use a combination of utilities and scripts to back up your configurations. This does of course have its flaws. The script may break whilst organization can become tricky and difficult to search after each customization. More importantly, it takes up so much of your time. Automating a network backup means you can focus your efforts on more fruitful endeavours.
Complex Devices Become Harder to Restore
Ask any disgruntled colleague what they want after something goes down and the answer is usually a unanimous ‘working how it was before’. That sounds simple enough. However the more complicated a device the more difficult it is to get back and consequently restore it smoothly again. Without a backup configuration the greater the number of these complicated devices you have will equate to more problems and more resources spent rectifying the issue.
Minimise Downtime and Protect the Brand
The longer key devices are offline the greater the effect on your business. If you have core devices offline for a sustained period of time or they are incorrectly reconfigured (because it wasn’t saved or an incorrect version was installed), it can greatly impact your ability to serve customers and operate functionally in-house. Not only will this damage your brand meaning you can’t properly conduct business but it’ll mean more people breathing down your neck. Great!
Back-up - Do It, Do It Now
A system that backs up your network device configurations doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive or costly, it does however, need to work.
With IT it’s always a case of ‘when’ you’re going to lose your data and not ‘if’. Having a secure network might mean that you are hardened from threats, however if your data is lost all the security measures in the world aren’t going to bring back lost customer records or employee files.
Backing up network device configurations is an essential part of IT monitoring. It keeps you informed of what is going on around your IT estate, detecting potential problems before they emerge and maintains business continuity for clients and colleagues alike.