Database Backup and Disaster Recovery

Challenge:

Many Mainsaver customers have been running the software for over 20 years.  The database is a rich resource for asset history, material usage and purchasing data.  It is standard practice for mission critical systems to be backed up daily and a disaster recovery plan be in place should there be an event affecting the IT infrastructure.  Yet with IT departments increasingly focused on the ERP package, there have been incidents where data has been lost due to ineffective backups.

Methodology:

  • Customers that use the Mainsaver SaaS (Software as a Service) Cloud offering can rest assured that the database is backed up everyday and the application server network is distributed over multiple sites which would provide continuous service in the event of one site being lost.
  • Customers that have the Mainsaver database and application products installed locally should have the following steps in place to prevent loss of data and minimize interruptions;
    • The Mainsaver database should be backed up every day, either late at night or very early in the morning to minimize any possible impact on users.  Microsoft SQL Server provides management tools to perform the backup unattended.  If this is already in place check periodically to make sure the backup files exist.  Consult with your Database Administrator for details on the current backup situation.
    • The database backup files should be copied from the server hard drive to an alternate location, perhaps a file server, daily.  Automated tools are available to perform this.  This will mitigate the risk of the database server losing the hard drive and losing the database and the backups at the same time
    • Microsoft SQL server has advanced disaster recovery options such as the option to ‘mirror’ the Mainsaver database onto another server in real time.  If the primary server fails, the workstations may be pointed to the mirrored server.
    • In the event of the primary database server failing, identify a backup database server.  As a drill, restore a current backup to the alternate server, setup user logins as appropriate and test access from a workstation.  Document the procedure.
    • Ensure that all Mainsaver install images, Custom BIN Files if applicable and Serial Number files are stored on a file server and install procedures are documented in the case of a workstation failure or webserver failure.

Benefits:  

Server failures are not common however being prepared is essential to ensure continued MRO operations with Mainsaver.