A good backup plan should actually serve as a business continuity and disaster recovery plan for the computerized aspects of your business. It should integrate with your complete business continuity and disaster recovery plan.
At the bare minimum your backup plan should include the following elements:
- Backup schedule
- Description and location of the data to be backed up
- Backup procedures
- Definition of the backup medium or media
- Off site storage location
- Procedures for obtaining needed off site backups
- Regular tests to verify that backups are working as designed and that the data can be restored
Larger companies should also consider things like geographically remote hot sites for times when a disaster destroys your building(s) or makes them uninhabitable for an extended period of time. Think Katrina. This means that if your company is located in North Carolina, your remote site should be someplace such as Philadelphia, for example, where Sun Microsystems has one of its centers designed to provide temporary facilities while you rebuild your own.