Replication of data (especially critical data) and documentation is a prerequisite for any type of recovery. Develop a formal backup and offsite rotation schedule in order to ensure expedient system and data recovery. This schedule should define a procedure for performing and storing backup media at an environmentally safe and secure off-site location.
Specifically, two copies of full backups should be retained. One copy should remain on-site for system interruptions due to hardware failures and data corruption, and one copy should be moved off-site to address server room disasters. We recommend that a full data backup be rotated off-site weekly, or more frequently depending how critical the data is. A backup of the operating system should be made after each successful upgrade and rotated to off-site storage.
When using an outside third party vendor, ensure that a contract and service level agreement are in place. Agreements should be reviewed and, if required, contracts should be provisioned to ensure confidentially of critical data. See University policy on Contracts with External Parties.