Backup and Disaster Recovery: How much downtime can your business afford?
In these modern times a business runs off their IT infrastructure. All your critical data resides on your IT systems. It’s of paramount importance that these systems are up and running to keep your business up and running. Do you feel confident that you have a full disaster recovery plan in place to safeguard your business from data loss and downtime?
You have to ask yourself, can your business afford the hours, days and possibly weeks of downtime associated with recovering your data? Every minute your business is down costs you money. If you are down for a day, what is it truly costing you? Sure there is that missed sale, that order that can’t be processed, but have you considered the employees you are now paying that can’t effectively do their job?
A true disaster recovery plan should be a multi-honed approach to protect critical data and reduce downtime. Many companies feel that they have backup software in place and that is good enough. Do you know the recovery process associated with that backup software? Do you know the downtime associated with recovering that data? If there is a hardware failure and your data is backed up but not under warranty, where do you plan to recover that data to? When your server fails it’s not just access to your data that is disrupted. If it’s an e-mail server, e-mail flow is down. If it’s a domain controller, you may not even be able to log into the server or get out to the internet.
There are many types of backups. Each with their own set of features and recovery models. For example, file level backups protect your data but give you no way to recover an entire operating system and programs. This means a recovery can be very time consuming as you would need to rebuild your servers from scratch and then restore your data. An image based solution will back up the entire system (OS, programs & data). The recovery time for this is much lower than a file level backup but does require that you have hardware readily available to restore to.
The media type used for backups is also very important. Tape backups used to be the standard but they have become expensive, unreliable and frankly, obsolete. Disk based backups are the new standard. It could be something as simple as external hard drives or a full backup server. You also need to consider getting your data offsite to have it fully protected. This can typically be done manually by rotating drives offsite or automatically with an offsite backup service.
A full featured backup and disaster recovery solution consists of a local disk based backup with the ability to virtualize failed systems and an automated offsite sync to secure data centers. This offsite component should also have the ability to virtualize your systems in the event of a site wide disaster. This can reduce downtime from hours or days to literally minutes.
Navigating the waters of backup solutions can leave you feeling left afloat and confused. There are a lot of options out there and a lot of features that may or may not be right for your business. The best way to make sense of all of it would be to consult with a backup and disaster recovery specialist (which incidentally, we are). Beringer Associates has all the expertise needed to navigate the tricky waters of backup and recovery for your business.
For an assessment of your backup and disaster recovery plan, please contact Beringer Associates at 800-796-4854 or [email protected].