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Ask Yourself These Four Questions

July 02, 2014

Just because you have a backup and a disaster recovery plan doesn't mean that you’re fully-prepared for the worst-case scenario.

If you want to make sure that your business is preparing for potential disasters in the very best way possible, you need to ask yourself these 4 questions:

1. “Am I backing up my data in the most efficient way possible?”

Backup and disaster recovery techniques have come a long way in the past couple of years. Some businesses are still using legacy tape or disc-based backup. Restoring data from systems like these is a lengthy process with no real guarantee of accuracy or full restores. Tapes can be damaged, lost or stolen and what happens then? Where is the backup for your backup? These systems are essentially a single point of failure.

Today, tape systems are outdated. They are being replaced by a number of newer technologies. Your business can use a hybrid approach by combining an onsite backup system with Cloud storage for disaster recovery. In plain English, this means a copy of your server can be transferred daily through the Cloud and stored in a secure data center in case of a business-impacting emergency. These backup systems make it possible for businesses to recover lost data, including individual files, and/or to fully restore their infrastructure in a fraction of the time a legacy system would take.

2. “How fast will my disaster recovery take place?”

It’s not uncommon for business owners to assume that their disaster recovery plan is a good one, just because they have a system for data backup. However, give considerable thought to the speed of your plan in the aftermath of a disaster. More importantly, any external factors that a full system restore might require. Does your system provide a full bare metal restore of your complete server including the operating system and software licenses? Who would perform the restore and how quick are they to respond?

We've already discussed that cloud-based disaster restorations can be implemented in a timely manner simply by making a phone call to your provider.

Just how big is this time difference?

That depends on a few factors. If you have a relatively small server could take a few hours to restore. Larger servers could take much longer. That would means your business spending all of that time without fully functioning. Depending on how much your business relies on data systems and the hourly cost of downtime, this could get very expensive. When you think about it that way, your recovery plan could be a major hindrance!

Using virtualization technology, you're business can have access to its data in a matter of hours, depending on your provider's Service Level Agreement. Using Cloud restoration,the backed up copy of your data is spun up on a virtual server in the data center and it's as though nothing ever happened. You're able to "rent" an exact copy of your server, hosted in the cloud until your hardware is restored and your onsite equipment is back up and running. Or, you also have the option of moving your infrastructure to the Cloud permanently in the form of virtual servers or a Virtual Private Data Center.

3. “How safe are my backups?”

Lots of people think that simply backing up their data is good enough. However, the specific backup method you choose is just as important!

Think about it – if you back up your data onto a physical device, there’s a chance that it could fall victim to a disaster on its own. Even if you store the device offsite, there’s always a chance that it could be destroyed in a flood, fire, or some other disaster. Then, you don’t have any kind of “safety net”!

Using a combination of onsite backups with Cloud-based restoration, you don’t have that problem. Because the whole system is redundant, there’s no chance of physical disasters damaging your data beyond repair. By transferring your data through the Cloud to a secure data center, you can rest assured knowing that your IT is always safe and secure.

4. “How much does my disaster recovery plan cost?”

If you're a smart business owner, expenses are naturally always top of mind. Even though having a backup and disaster recovery system is incredibly important, it shouldn't put a strain on your budget. If you're thinking that a solid backup data and disaster recovery plan has to cost an arm and a leg - think again! Pricing is based on a monthly subscription model and depends on your server count and how much space you need. If you think of data backup and disaster recovery the same way you think about business insurance, it's always a wise investment.

Want more info? Watch our video about the "Top-5 Network Security Mistakes" from our Master of Disaster (and trusty sidekick, Rocco)!

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