How would you answer these 3 questions?
- What would you do if you lost all your customer data?
- How would you recover from that?
- Do you have a plan in case of a disaster?
Like it or not, data loss does happen. Systems fail, servers die, and power surges. If you don’t have a disaster plan in place, you can be in serious trouble. As we say, “Data that you don’t have at least two copies of is data you don’t care about.”
Don’t go another day without a plan. Here’s our recommended disaster recovery plan with step-by-step instructions to make sure your system is safe.
It begins with a reliable cloud-hosted backup vault. We built the Crestwood Cloud with that seamless recovery in mind. Click here for more detailed information about storing data in the cloud. Next, you should identify what you need to back up.
Items to be backed up on a regular schedule:
- All SQL databases for Dynamics SL – Include all App databases and System databases.
- All SQL databases for Management Reporter (MR) – back up the Management Reporter database as well as the Data Mart database.
- FRx Sydata directory – Contains your financial report definitions and building blocks.
- Reports – Usr_rpts folder under the SL\Applications (main SL directory) – Contains all of your Dynamics SL custom Crystal Reports.
- SQL Transaction Log files for SL App and System databases – These files allow for a transaction log backup at a point in time. We recommend every 2 hours, with a cleanup every 2 days. This way, you can recover your database in smaller increments of time.
- Application installation files – The actual program install files for SL, FRx, MR, 3rd party programs and all Service Packs, Hotfixes.
Program files can be reinstalled fairly easily, so it’s not a requirement to back those up. However, it is especially important to back up your client-specific data as well as custom reports. Some customers also choose to back up their actual application installation files for the Dynamics programs as well as third party programs. This is important if you are on older versions of software that are no longer readily available to download.
Backing up the SQL Databases for Dynamics SL and MR:
- Log into SQL Management Studio.
- Expand the SQL Server instance, the Management folder and then the Maintenance Plans folder.
- Right click on Maintenance Plans and add a new one. Assign it a Name and a Description.
- Click the Icon under the Schedule field in the Header to schedule the backup plan to run at a certain date/time.
Example of Schedule options (it’s important to choose a time when users are not in the system):
- Add tasks from the Toolbox, such as Back Up Database Task and Maintenance Cleanup Task. Drag them to the open blank space under the Maintenance Plan Subplan to include those tasks:
- Then Right-Click on each added task and go to Edit. The Backup Database task allows you to specify which databases to backup and the path to save the backup files.
- Right click on the Maintenance Cleanup Task to set parameters of when backup files should be purged. This will help the server from running out of disk space.
Note: The SQL Server Agent Service must be running in order for the Maintenance Plans to run. This service should be set to an Automatic Startup type, to make sure the service starts back up upon reboot of the server:
Backing up FRx:
The FRx Sysdata directory can be found by logging into FRx, and going to Admin, Organization. Then clicking the Sysdata button. This will tell you the exact path, and that entire directory should be backed up nightly as well. This stores your FRx Report Definitions and Building Blocks.
Backing up Reports:
The Usr_rpts folder will be found under the Root install of the Dynamics SL program files. Normally \\appservername\microsoft dynamics\sl\applications\Usr_rpts. This folder contains all custom Crystal reports for SL, (e.g. AP Aging, GL Trial Balance, etc.). These reports have been customized specifically for you:
Backup the transaction log files for SQL:
Rather than only being able to recover data on a daily basis, good transaction logs backups will allow you to recover your data to a specific point in time. SQL Log files are backed up the same way as SQL Backups, but the type will be Differential. We normally create a separate Maintenance Plan for these and schedule them to run every 2 hours during working hours:
The Back Up Database Task is the same task, but the Backup Type is Transaction Log. It will also only let you select those databases that are set to a FULL Recovery Model (not Simple). Management Reporter databases do not need to be included. The other difference is that the File Extension will be “TRN” instead of “BAK.”
We normally set the Maintenance Cleanup task for the Log backups to delete after 2 days:
Make sure you can recover your data. Talk to an expert at Crestwood Associates today!
Disaster Recovery Plan – the best money you’ll ever spend!
Get a 2-hour consultation and a personalized disaster recovery plan, and how the Crestwood Cloud fits into that plan. Send us an email at email@example.com. A little planning today can save you a lot of time, headaches, and money later.