3 Disaster recovery myths, debunked

With advancements in cloud computing, disaster recovery (DR) has become more efficient and affordable than ever. However, many business owners still cling to some DR myths that can safely be disregarded, such as these three.

Myth 1: Tape backups are the best DR solution

Tape backups are physical objects that deteriorate over time. Try listening to a cassette tape from the ’90s. Its sound may be distorted already, or it probably doesn’t work at all. Similarly, your tape backups will start to fail over time. At first, only a few files may be affected, but you will gradually lose all your data.

It is also a common practice to store another set of tape backups outside your premises to secure them in case a natural disaster befalls your office. However, if your storage spaces themselves are unsafe from natural disasters, this could pose a problem.

Unlike tape backups, cloud-based backups are safe from deterioration. They are also stored in multiple secured locations that are protected from natural disasters, so your data backups are as safe as they can be.

What’s more, cloud-based backups save you time in many ways. Data is automatically backed up online, so you don’t need to manually copy information onto your tapes. You also won’t need to manage boxes of tapes, freeing you to focus on more valuable tasks.

Myth 2: The RTOs you want are too expensive

Essential to any DR plan is its recovery time objective (RTO), which is the ideal period when everything must be up and running again to avoid serious losses. Before the cloud, a “swift” recovery time would take days and cost up to six figures.

Cloud and virtualization solutions have made this much faster and affordable than ever before. Most DR providers can back up your critical data in an hour or two. And if you ever need to recover data, most services can do so in less than a day.

Myth 3: Disaster recovery is for big businesses, not SMBs

Due to the astronomical costs previously associated with DR, only big businesses could afford backup and recovery solutions. Thanks to the cloud, however, these have become more affordable for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). From dental offices to small retail operations, SMBs can now take advantage of the best DR solutions in the market. Advances in IT and the cloud have also eliminated the obstacles of complexity, costs, and insufficient IT resources.

We hope that by dispelling these myths, you’d be convinced to implement a disaster recovery plan (DRP) for your business. Thanks to improvements in data storage technologies, it is now more affordable and efficient to implement a DRP, in turn making it easier to ensure BC. If you’d like to learn how our DR solutions can safeguard your business, send us a message and we’ll fill you in.

This post was originally published on this site

Ignore these outdated disaster recovery myths

Disaster recovery (DR) used to be an expensive solution that relied predominantly on tape backups. Today, cloud computing has dramatically changed the DR landscape, affording even small- and medium-sized businesses cheaper and more reliable DR solutions. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of misconceptions about DR. Here are three myths that no longer apply.

Myth 1: Tape backups are the best DR solution

Tape backups are physical objects that deteriorate over time. Try listening to a cassette tape from the ’90s. Its sound may be distorted already, or it probably doesn’t work at all. Similarly, your tape backups will start to fail over time. At first, only a few files may be affected, but you will gradually lose all your data.

It is also a common practice to store another set of tape backups outside your premises to secure them in case a natural disaster befalls your office. However, if your storage spaces themselves are unsafe from natural disasters, this could pose a problem.

Unlike tape backups, cloud-based backups are safe from deterioration. They are also stored in multiple secured locations that are protected from natural disasters, so your data backups are as safe as they can be.

What’s more, cloud-based backups save you time in many ways. Data is automatically backed up online, so you don’t need to manually copy information onto your tapes. You also won’t need to manage boxes of tapes, freeing you to focus on more valuable tasks.

Myth 2: The RTOs you want are too expensive

Essential to any DR plan is its recovery time objective (RTO), which is the ideal period when everything must be up and running again to avoid serious losses. Before the cloud, a “swift” recovery time would take days and cost up to six figures.

Cloud and virtualization solutions have made this much faster and affordable than ever before. Most DR providers can back up your critical data in an hour or two. And if you ever need to recover data, most services can do so in less than a day.

Myth 3: Disaster recovery is for big businesses, not SMBs

Due to the astronomical costs previously associated with DR, only big businesses could afford backup and recovery solutions. Thanks to the cloud, however, these have become more affordable for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). From dental offices to small retail operations, SMBs can now take advantage of the best DR solutions in the market. Advances in IT and the cloud have also eliminated the obstacles of complexity, costs, and insufficient IT resources.

We hope that by dispelling these myths, you’d be convinced to implement a disaster recovery plan (DRP) for your business. Thanks to improvements in data storage technologies, it is now more affordable and efficient to implement a DRP, in turn making it easier to ensure BC. If you’d like to learn how our DR solutions can safeguard your business, send us a message and we’ll fill you in.

This post was originally published on this site

Protecting your data from hurricanes

Hurricanes damage property and put lives at risk. If you’re not prepared, hurricanes can also disrupt your operations and put your business through extended downtime. In this blog, we’ll help you quickly regain access to your data and get your business back to operational mode after a disaster.

Determine recovery hierarchy

Certain parts of your IT system are more mission-critical than others. Ask yourself which systems and/or data must be recovered in minutes, hours, or days so your business can resume operations quickly

For example, you may find that recovering sensitive customer information and eCommerce systems take priority over recovering your email server. Whatever the case may be, prioritizing your systems ensures that the right ones are recovered quickly after a disaster.

Pay attention to location

First and foremost, your backup site should be in a hurricane-free zone. Ideally, your off-site facility should be located at least 100 miles away from your main location. If this isn’t possible, make sure it is built to withstand wind speeds of 160 miles per hour (as fast as Category 5 storms) and is supported by backup generators and uninterruptible power supplies.

You should also request an upper floor installation or, at the very least, keep critical IT equipment 18 inches off the ground to prevent water damage in case of floods.

Use image-based backups

Unlike fragile tape backups, image-based backups take “snapshots” of your systems, creating a copy of the OS, software, and data stored in them. From there, you can easily boot the virtual image on any device, allowing you to back up and restore critical business systems in seconds.

Take advantage of the cloud

The cloud enables you to host applications and store data in high-availability, geo-redundant servers. This means your backups can be accessed via the internet, allowing authorized users to access critical files from any device. Expert technicians will also watch over and secure your backups, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of enterprise-level backup facilities and IT support.

Back up your data frequently

Back up your data as often as possible, especially during disaster season. If your latest backups were created on September 15th and a storm makes landfall in your area on the 28th, you could lose nearly two weeks of data.

Test your disaster recovery (DR) plan

After setting up your backups, check whether they are restoring your files accurately and on time. Your employees should be drilled on the recovery procedures and their responsibilities during and after a disaster. Your DR team should also be trained on how to failover to the backup site before the storm hits. Finally, providers, contractors, and customers need to be notified about how the hurricane will affect your operations.

As cell towers and internet connections may be affected during a hurricane, make sure your company forums are online and have your employees register with the Red Cross Safe and Well website so you can check their statuses.

It’s nearly impossible to experience disruptions during disasters like Harvey or Irma, but with the right support, you can minimize downtime. If you’re concerned about any natural disasters putting you out of business, call us today. We offer comprehensive business continuity services that every company should have.

This post was originally published on this site

Protecting your data from hurricanes

Hurricanes damage property and put lives at risk. If you’re not prepared, hurricanes can also disrupt your operations and put your business through extended downtime. In this blog, we’ll help you quickly regain access to your data and get your business back to operational mode after a disaster.

Determine recovery hierarchy

Certain parts of your IT system are more mission-critical than others. Ask yourself which systems and/or data must be recovered in minutes, hours, or days so your business can resume operations quickly

For example, you may find that recovering sensitive customer information and eCommerce systems take priority over recovering your email server. Whatever the case may be, prioritizing your systems ensures that the right ones are recovered quickly after a disaster.

Pay attention to location

First and foremost, your backup site should be in a hurricane-free zone. Ideally, your off-site facility should be located at least 100 miles away from your main location. If this isn’t possible, make sure it is built to withstand wind speeds of 160 miles per hour (as fast as Category 5 storms) and is supported by backup generators and uninterruptible power supplies.

You should also request an upper floor installation or, at the very least, keep critical IT equipment 18 inches off the ground to prevent water damage in case of floods.

Use image-based backups

Unlike fragile tape backups, image-based backups take “snapshots” of your systems, creating a copy of the OS, software, and data stored in them. From there, you can easily boot the virtual image on any device, allowing you to back up and restore critical business systems in seconds.

Take advantage of the cloud

The cloud enables you to host applications and store data in high-availability, geo-redundant servers. This means your backups can be accessed via the internet, allowing authorized users to access critical files from any device. Expert technicians will also watch over and secure your backups, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of enterprise-level backup facilities and IT support.

Back up your data frequently

Back up your data as often as possible, especially during disaster season. If your latest backups were created on September 15th and a storm makes landfall in your area on the 28th, you could lose nearly two weeks of data.

Test your disaster recovery (DR) plan

After setting up your backups, check whether they are restoring your files accurately and on time. Your employees should be drilled on the recovery procedures and their responsibilities during and after a disaster. Your DR team should also be trained on how to failover to the backup site before the storm hits. Finally, providers, contractors, and customers need to be notified about how the hurricane will affect your operations.

As cell towers and internet connections may be affected during a hurricane, make sure your company forums are online and have your employees register with the Red Cross Safe and Well website so you can check their statuses.

It’s nearly impossible to experience disruptions during disasters like Harvey or Irma, but with the right support, you can minimize downtime. If you’re concerned about any natural disasters putting you out of business, call us today. We offer comprehensive business continuity services that every company should have.

This post was originally published on this site

Why business continuity plans fail

Even the best managed IT services provider (MSP) can overlook certain business continuity plan (BCP) details. This is why businesses should always be on the lookout for the following pitfalls of BCP to ensure that the plan works as it should.

Over-optimistic testing

The initial testing attempt is usually the most important, because it’s when MSPs can pinpoint potential pain points in the recovery plan. However, they usually test the system in full, instead of in phases. This can cause MSPs to overlook specific points, with too many factors overwhelming them all at the same time.

Insufficient remote user licenses

MSPs give remote user licenses to businesses so that employees can access a remote desktop software when they need to, like when a disaster strikes. However, a provider may only have a limited number of licenses. In some cases, more employees will need access to the remote desktop software than a provider’s license can allow.

Lost digital IDs

When a disaster strikes, employees will usually need their digital IDs so they can log in to the MSP’s remote system while the office system is being restored. However, digital IDs are not automatically saved when a desktop is backed up. So when an employee uses their “ready and restored” desktop, they are unable to access the system with their previous digital ID.

Absence of a communications strategy

MSPs often use email to notify and communicate with business owners and their employees when a disaster happens. However, this form of communication may not always be reliable in certain cases, such as during spam intrusions.

Instead, you can use emergency communication applications such as AlertMedia or Everbridge. These programs automate necessary actions such as sending out mass notifications, sharing information, and mobilizing teams to prevent operational disruptions, so your MSP can easily notify you in case of any disaster.

Backups that require labored validation

After a system has been restored, IT technicians and business owners need to check whether the restoration is thorough and complete. This becomes an arduous task when the log reports are not easy to compare. This usually happens when MSPs utilize backup applications that don’t come with their own log modules and have to be acquired separately.

These are just some reasons why business continuity plans fail. While you should trust that your MSPs will secure your systems, it is important for business owners to be involved with any process that pertains to your IT infrastructure. Just because you believe something works doesn’t necessarily mean that it actually does. If you have questions regarding your business continuity plan, get in touch with our experts today.

This post was originally published on this site