Back to Basics: Safeguarding Your Business – Backups and Disaster Recovery

How long can your firm afford to be out of business? How long will it take to recover from a technology disaster? You should protect your data and your business with a proven secure online backup and disaster recovery solution.

Other than your employees, your data is the most important part of your business. Just backing up your data is not enough. You need to have a plan to get your business up and running quickly in the event of a technology failure.

Did you know that rebuilding a file server from scratch and restoring all its data can take a week or more? Is your business ready for that? Are your clients ready to wait days while you restore their data?

How long can your business afford to be out of commission? 1 day? 1 week? 1 month? The statistics vary, but a significant number of businesses that experience a disaster do not survive. A written and tested Disaster Recovery Plan combined with data backup mitigates your risk.

Three important steps to safeguard your business

Step One: Set up secure online offsite backup. Online Backups protect your data by safely and securing replicating your files and data to the cloud. Understand what you are buying, is it 30, 60, 90 or unlimited days of backup? Make sure your backups are stored geo-redundantly, that is in more than one location. You can’t afford for your backup to be inaccessible in case a regional outage takes down your office AND your backup provider.  Get your backups OUT OF THE OFFICE.  At a minimum, do not keep your backups in the same location as your live data.  That is trouble waiting to happen.

Step Two: Create a Disaster Recovery Plan. Disaster recovery is restoring your technology infrastructure (after a disaster) to insure that your business keeps working. Consider using an online Disaster Recovery site. There are cold, warm or hot disaster recovery sites that can allow your business to keep working. Understand the differences between them and choose the right site depending on your budget and tolerance for risk. If you depend on your employees being productive and billable, you cannot afford to have them to sit idle while you repair or replace broken equipment.

Step Three: Test, Test, Test. Testing and reporting is part of any good backup or disaster recovery plan. You must regularly test your solutions to insure they work and that they are protecting your business. Don’t ASSume that you are safe, test.

If you work with a provider that offers both online backup and online disaster recovery, you can start with online backup, and later add disaster recovery along with your online backups. This way you will never pay for additional services you don’t need. You can grow from a simple online backup into a full disaster recovery solution easily and without risk. Your solution provider can also help you design and document your disaster recovery plan. Safeguard your investment in equipment and people.

Questions to ask your backup provider:

What is the RTO (Recovery Time Objective) – how long will I be down?
What is my RPO (Recovery Point Objective) – how much data is acceptable for me to lose? 1 hour, 4 hours, 1 day?
Do you have High Availability Solutions? Can your DR site take over running my business instantly?
Geo-Redundant Storage – Is my data stored in multiple locations?
Testing and Reporting – How often do you test backups and how do I know they work?
Safe Secure Datacenters – Where is my data being stored? What safeguards do you have in the datacenter?
Low cost – what is a fair price for backup? What does my downtime cost? Compare the two and decide.  Balance risk and cost.  Don’t go cheap, you can’t afford it.
DR / Business Continuity Planning Services – Do you offer both Backup and DR or just one. Can you help me write a disaster recovery plan?
Easy to use? – What is the user interface like, who monitors my backups, do I get alerts if they fail?
How long have you been in business? Will you go out of business with my data?
If I change providers, what happens to my data? Will they give it to you? Does it disappear? Most providers have a window of time they will keep your data, do you need longer term archive in addition to backup?
Can you ship my data on a drive? If you have to perform a large restore, you will not be able to do it over the Internet. Can they overnight a drive with your data? For what price?

Do you need help with backup or DR?  Contact Us and Advance2000 can help you protect your business.

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