The Sure-fire Path to Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
Every business owner or manager has concerns that keep them up at night. And the ability to withstand a disaster is at or near the top of the list for most all of them. And rightfully so. Losing precious data in this day and age is akin to losing a loved one. Ok – maybe that’s a stretch. But not a long stretch as anyone who has ever experienced a catastrophic data loss will tell you.
So what’s a sure-fire path to disaster recovery and business continuity? First off, we need to determine a couple of distinctions here. Often times when I speak with prospective clients about data protection, the first thing they tell me is “Oh – backup. Yes, we already have backup.” And while every disaster recovery and business continuity solution has backup as a core function not every backup has disaster recovery and business continuity as a core function. Backup is relatively simple: back your files up to tape, hard drive or the cloud. Then, when necessary, retrieve lost or corrupted files. Pretty straightforward, yes?
But what if you lost an entire server or worse yet, an entire office. Maybe a fire or flood. Maybe theft. Doesn’t matter. Fact is, without your server and / or office, you’re toast and your customers are already Googling new providers of your services. Not good.
So scenario #1: you have lost a server. First you need a new server, then you need to configure it to exist on your network, then you need to restore the data to the last known good copy. Maybe that takes two or three days – maybe more. Hard to say but if it is coming from the cloud and you have 5TB of data AND you have only a so-so internet connection, all I can tell you is this is gonna take time – a long time.
Scenario #2: you have lost your entire office (which may be your entire operation). It’s great that you have tapes or a hard drive full of data (hope you took those offsite BEFORE the fire), but now not only do you not have any servers to restore them to, you don’t even have an office! Total downtime could be weeks. Think you can last that long? Yeah – me neither.
Moral of both stories: Simple backup is nowhere near sufficient – be it to tape, portable hard drives or the cloud. Today’s business needs to be able to withstand catastrophic losses with minimal interruption and the only way to accomplish that is with a disaster recovery and business continuity plan. One that allows you to do file backups and restores from backups in your office, replicates your entire backend infrastructure to the cloud (for safe keeping) and finally, allows you to load up images of your servers either on site (think one lost server as in Scenario #1) or in the cloud (Scenario #2). All of this can be done while you are putting the proverbial toothpaste back in the tube. This is true disaster recovery and business continuity in action. No discernable downtime even in the event of a complete and utter disaster.
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