With half of 2020 behind us, I think it is fair to say that 2020 has turned out to be a pretty sucky year for everyone. Business owners are now concerned about how they are spending, and different means to avoid procedural interruptions. One issue that all businesses should be aware of—and act to mitigate—is the loss of data that can cause these interruptions.
Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. Blog
Each week, we try to provide some tips to help you out in some way. This time, we want to take a somewhat different approach and instead present you with two potential scenarios that your business could encounter—one with and one without a backup solution in play—and let you see the benefit that our tip this week (protect your business with a backup solution) can present.
Every business needs a continuity plan (BCP) so that if their business is forced to deal with problems that arise for any reason, that they have a working plan to get the business back up and operating as intended quickly. It’s one thing to have it all written down on paper, outlining how things are supposed to go, and quite another thing to have a working strategy when faced with operational interruptions. Today, we’ll go through some of the basics of business continuity to help you understand all that goes into a successful plan.
March 31st is World Backup Day, which makes it the perfect opportunity to share the benefits of implementing a complete backup plan. Unfortunately, the current COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant business interruptions make World Backup Day only too timely this year. Here, we’ll examine how these times make a business continuity strategy and data backup all the more important to have.
Data is of key importance to many modern businesses, and with the help of a managed service provider, it can become even more useful. Here, as we continue our series on the value that a managed service provider can offer you, we’ll focus on the ways that data can be harnessed to your business’ advantage.
When we discuss backup and disaster recovery (BDR), it may seem as though we’re talking about a single process - after all, there’s just one acronym for it. However, the reality is that - while these two processes are related to one another - backup and disaster recovery each require a different preparation process, with different considerations made for each.
With World Backup Day coming and going approximately one month ago, it hasn’t been long since we should all have been reminded of the importance of data backup. Regardless, there is never a bad time to discuss the harsh realities of business data loss, and how businesses can avoid it.
Business disasters come in all shapes and sizes, which makes it all the more important that you take the time to prepare for those that your business may be susceptible to. This strategy needs to contain numerous considerations, based on the scenario at hand. After all, there is no shortage of events that can lead to disaster in the business world.
Hurricane season can be a scary time for business owners, as those in at-risk climates can never feel safe from these kinds of unpredictable and devastating storms. In particular, those who aren’t prepared to face this destruction are in considerable danger of having their organizations ended for good following a disaster event like a hurricane. We’ll help you make sure your business doesn’t suffer this same fate the next time it stares down a disaster.
First of all, we need to define what “The Cloud” actually means. There are almost as many definitions as there are cloud solutions, but one definition explains it all – “The Cloud refers to any computing power or data storage that you utilize that exists outside the confines of your business and is not in your direct control.” Most cloud services are rented on a monthly basis. Much like leasing a car, you are paying to use the hardware or service without ever owning it.
Data backup is a critical part of any business endeavor, because if you don’t have one all of your hard work could be taken away in an instant. It’s not great to think about, but your business’ infrastructure could be put at risk of sudden annihilation. With so much at risk, what is the best way to approach managing your data? There are a lot of options out there, but there is only one that will allow your organization to get back in action following a crippling data loss incident.
Today most companies utilize computers in the dissemination of their services. Whether you run an office that deploys dozens of computers and multiple servers, a busy restaurant with a full-scale point of sale system, or a contractor that only needs one computer with invoicing software, you depend on your data. Since most businesses also provide goods and services for many people that indirectly depend on it, having a plan to protect the business from potential devastation is important.
Consumers can now take full advantage of a data backup system that’s both affordable and convenient, allowing them to keep their data as safe as can be in the event of a disaster. While it might not be ideal for business purposes, the average PC user can surely benefit from Google Drive’s new backup system, which takes advantage of the Backup and Sync application.
When we talk about best practices, we are typically referring to the practices used by successful companies to garner the best results. A new study by Disaster Recovery has shown that, as backup and recovery solutions go, enterprises are providing some pretty disappointing results as many fail to continuously back up their data and it results in additional inherent risk.
As a business owner, you’ve surely thought about what the future holds for your organization. However, one of the things that you need to think about that’s not often considered is the event of a data disaster. How can your business bounce back from such a catastrophic event? One of the first steps is understanding your data backup and disaster recovery process, as well as how you can improve your current setup.
Most organizations that don’t take advantage of a cloud-based BDR system still utilize tape backup. This is the act of storing data on magnetic tape--certainly better than nothing, but not without its disadvantages. We’ll also discuss some of the differences between the two as we take a look at what you should (and shouldn’t) ask of your data recovery solution.
DO Take Multiple Backups
It’s a common practice to take multiple backups, but the unfortunate truth of this is that it’s practically impossible to do so with tape. Or, rather, it’s difficult to get more than one backup out of the workday due to how resource-intensive and time-consuming they are. BDR allows you to take backups as often as every fifteen minutes so that your data backups will be as up-to-date as possible.
DON’T Store Your Backups in the Same Location
You could have all of the backups in the world, but if you store them in the same place, you could be left with nothing in the event of a disaster. It’s a best practice to store all of your backups in three locations at all times: in-house (in case your disaster isn’t centralized or too threatening), a secure off-site data center from which your data can be shipped overnight, and in the cloud where it can be accessed in a pinch.
DO Aim for a Quick Recovery Time Objective
It’s important that your business not remain inactive for long following a disaster. This results in crippling downtime that can create problems for your business. Most notably, you’ll be paying employees for not being able to work, and you’ll have to purchase new hardware. These expenses at the same time aren’t ideal, so it’s best to get back in business ASAP.
DON’T Wait Longer Than Necessary
The more time you spend recovering your data, the more time that’s being spent not being productive. This type of downtime can cost your business in the long run, and you may not be able to recover from such a blow. BDR can allow for practically instantaneous data recovery. Since your backups are stored in the cloud, they can be deployed to any device--including the BDR component itself--in a moment’s notice. This gives you time to find an adequate replacement for the hardware that has failed.
DO Shoot for a Maximum Recovery Point Objective
It’s a best practice to recover as much data as possible, so set your sights high and aim to lose as little as possible. This is called the recovery point objective. Having a set goal of how much data you will need to backup (and ultimately recover) in order to get your business back working productively is crucial to the continuity of your business.
DON’T Accept Data Loss
No amount of data loss is acceptable. This is a standard that you should strive for. BDR does this through taking backups every fifteen minutes so that you lose minimal data when a disaster occurs. In the case of tape backup, you could lose as much as up to 24 hours' worth of data, which is something that no organization wants to deal with.
If you’ve had enough of unacceptable data backup and disaster recovery practices, reach out to Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. at (508) 622-5100.
Having access to your company’s data is absolutely crucial to your success. After all, in today’s day and age, it is an extraordinarily important aspect of your business’ sustainability. Everything you do is influenced in some way by the data you have generated and/or collected--so what would you do if it was suddenly gone?
Every business owner needs to have a plan in place to backup their company’s data. Ignoring this basic task can lead to some pretty grim consequences, like a data-loss causing disaster. Fortunately, when it comes to backing up your data, you’ve got options.
Data might be the single most important asset of any business, but you would be shocked to hear about how many organizations don’t consider data loss to be a prominent threat. The fact remains that it doesn’t take an immense disaster to wipe out an entire infrastructure, and that you should expect the worst to happen regardless of how unlikely it is to do so.
Data backup and disaster recovery are both important elements of preserving your business in the long run. Data backup makes copies of your organization’s data infrastructure and, depending on the solution, backs them up to several possible locations. On the other hand, disaster recovery focuses on restoring your data following a crippling disaster. Combined, they make up what’s called a Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution, which is capable of taking regular backups throughout the workday and rapidly restoring data in the face of disaster. Here are three types of disasters that a good BDR solution can protect your business’s data from.
It doesn’t matter where your office is located--the truth is that you’re bound to encounter a natural disaster in at least some capacity. Organizations on the coast might experience flooding or rain storms that damage their physical infrastructure. Locations prone to tornadoes or earthquakes could see their operations plummet (or soar--literally) in the face of nature’s awesome destructive power. Power outages and fires are two of the most common natural disasters, and they’re so dangerous because they can happen to any business. BDR can, at the very least, safeguard your data until the disaster has passed.
A notorious cause of data loss is an unexpected hardware failure. This can happen if you ignore the telltale signs of hardware degradation for too long, or if you’re using an old or outdated workstation or server. Thankfully, hardware failure is easy enough to avoid… that is, assuming you know what to look for. An outsourced IT company like Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc. can remotely monitor your technology solutions to ensure that any hardware failure symptoms are quickly (and quietly) addressed. The idea is to keep an eye out for problems that hint toward an imminent failure, and to take action before it happens to smooth over the process of replacing the failed piece of hardware.
Arguably one of the most common causes of data loss is user error. This occurs when a user makes a mistake that leads to either compromised data or the destruction of important information. Believe it or not, this happens more often than you’d think, particularly with employees who have access to information that they shouldn’t have access to. You can mitigate this issue by cutting employee permissions to data they have no business seeing, like human resources information or accounting files.
If you want to protect your organization’s digital assets in the most convenient way possible, consider implementing a BDR solution from Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc.. Our BDR can back up your data as often as every fifteen minutes and restore it in a matter of moments. BDR even allows you to restore data directly to the BDR device following a disaster, which minimizes downtime and lets you get back in action as soon as possible following a major data loss incident.
Data backup is a critical component of a business continuity plan, but there are many businesses that fail to understand why data backup is important, as well as what it entails. We want to clear up some facts about how data backup is important, and why you need it for your business. Only with a thorough understanding of how your data backup saves your infrastructure can you effectively use it for business continuity.
Multiple Copies Doesn’t Guarantee Effective Backup
It’s a best practice to keep multiple copies of your data strewn across various parts of your computing infrastructure. One should be in-house, while another should be stored off-site and in the cloud, completely unconnected from your in-house network. However, just because you have several backups of your data doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be effective when you need them most. Regardless of where they’re stored, data backups are still vulnerable to user error and data corruption. To avoid this unfortunate circumstance, make a habit out of regularly testing your data backups.
Data Often Cannot Be Restored from the Original
While there may be an opportunity to restore data following a loss incident, it’s not always a guarantee. Regardless, rebuilding data out of nothing would certainly be a time-consuming endeavor, especially if you lost a significant portion of your data infrastructure. Instead, it’s better and more time-conscious to just restore a backup of the data rather than attempting to restore data from what remains of your data disaster.
Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Aren't the Same Thing
It’s worth mentioning that data backup and disaster recovery aren’t the same thing, but are quite closely related. Data backup is the act of taking the backup itself, while disaster recovery is the ability to recover these data backups. Data backup represents a figure known as the recovery point objective, which determines how much data you want to back up at any given time. Disaster recovery, on the other hand, focuses on the recovery time objective, which is how long it takes you to get back to normal operations. Both of these should be clearly outlined in order to guarantee that your disaster recovery can go as smoothly as possible.
One of the best ways to address all of these misconceptions is with a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution from Automation Concepts & Technologies, Inc.. Our BDR can help your business fully leverage enterprise-level business continuity software that allows for optimal uptime and efficiency. Our BDR can take backups as often as every fifteen minutes--automatically--without disrupting the workday. Furthermore, these backups are captured both in the BDR device and in an off-site data center, from which they can be restored remotely in the event of a data loss disaster. The BDR can act as a server unit while your business makes plans to replace your faulty hardware.
To learn more about BDR and business continuity, reach out to us at (508) 622-5100. Our professional technicians would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have over the future of your data infrastructure.
Is your business still using tape as its primary method of data backup? If so, you could be missing out on a more reliable, less time-consuming alternative. Image-based, or “snapshot” backup solutions continue to be the optimal way to guarantee the continuity of your organization’s data infrastructure, and we’ll explain why.