The consequences of data loss are dire; here is a sampling of just a few statistics related to the impact of data loss on business:
When your organization’s day-to-day operation is disrupted by a natural disaster, it can cost you money and lost revenues plus extra expenses which all mean reduced profits. Insurance may not cover all costs and cannot replace customers that defect to the competition. Having a Business Continuity Plan to continue business operations is essential. Development of your business continuity plan includes four steps:
Conduct a business analysis to identify your time-sensitive or critical business functions and processes and the resources that support
Identify, document, and implement a plan to recover your critical business functions and processes.
Organize a business continuity team and compile a business continuity plan to manage the business disruption.
Behavior training for your business continuity team and testing and exercises to evaluate recovery strategies and the plan.
Following an incident that disrupts your business operations, you will need resources to carry out recovery strategies and restore your normal business operations. Resources can come from within your business or be provided by third parties. Resources include:
Information technology (IT) includes many components such as networks, servers, desktop and laptop computers, and wireless devices. The ability to run both office productivity and enterprise software is critical. Therefore, your comprehensive Disaster Recovery Plan for information technology should be developed so technology can be restored in time to meet the needs of your business. Manual workarounds should be part of your IT Disaster Recovery Plan plan so your business can continue while computer systems are being restored. Aperio IT will participate in the creation of your organization’s Business Continuity Plan.
We have IT professionals who can help write and put into practice your IT Disaster Recovery Plan, which is just a small part of your organization’s overall Business Continuity Plan.
Many organizations have some level of a plan that they’ll reach for in the event of a serious IT failure or natural disaster. But too often, these plans merely describe the systems that exist at the moment, as opposed to laying out a roadmap for a successful recovery from a range of different possible emergencies.
At the very least, a good disaster recovery plan should be based on the minimum number of different systems or technologies that you require to back up your entire company’s IT infrastructure. The more complex and numerous the tools that your organization will need to recover after a natural disaster, the lengthier your plan will be; the more difficult it will be to update, maintain and test; and the less likely it will be to be followed correctly when needed. For this reason, smart organizations try to standardize around one or two backup recovery systems/technologies. Aperio IT can help facilitate documenting and planning such disaster recovery planning.
In a real disaster, it is enormously helpful to have resolved priorities and the optimum actions and sequences far in advance. Put together in a checklist prioritizing these actions, the simpler the better. Avoiding extraneous information and low-priority issues will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of recovery in the event of a disaster. Your plans should be clear and specific about your organization’s recovery sequence and priorities in the event of different kinds of disasters. For example, those responding to a disaster will obviously take very different steps after the failure of a single critical server than they will after an entire site disaster.
The more these choices can be identified and evaluated in advance, the simpler the execution process will be when rapid action is required. Other best practices associated with the planning part of your process include clear ownership of the different parts of your plan, testing and improving your plan regularly, and making sure you have an off-site copy of your plan as a backup.
In conjunction with Aperio IT, One person on your organization’s management team should be ultimately responsible for the execution of your disaster plan, and that the person should have one backup person in the event that he or she is unavailable. Ownership of the different parts of your plan, the roles of the individuals involved, specific accountability and specific communication requirements should all be spelled out in detail, in advance.
Just like basic backup and restoration testing, disaster plans themselves must be tested frequently and completely. Subtle interactions between components, or missing elements, can often only be identified by Aperio IT through the virtue of a literal simulation of each kind of disaster, with teams following a checklist exactly and tracking what works, what doesn’t, and how long each step takes.
Testing should focus not just on whether your plan can be executed successfully, but also on finding ways that Aperio IT and your organization can simplify the plan for the future.
Aperio IT will have a copy of your plan so that your organization is not tripped up by having access to everything they need for a full recovery, except the plan itself, which is in a binder back at the office that was (for example) hit by a hurricane.
Your organization changes, and with it, your computing climate. As your operational needs shift, so do the systems that support those operations, the applications that serve your end-users and the way you store your data Despite the fact that change will most certainly occur, many data protection vendors offer short-term savings through solutions you can buy at a low cost, but that gets expensive over time as your technology changes. Aperio IT has partnered with several disaster recovery vendors to bring you the best-in-breed solutions that provide you with the most cost-effective disaster recovery solution.
First and foremost, data protection is all about preparing for the unforeseen, so you can respond effectively. The best approach focuses not only on the method and the efficiency of your backup plan, but also on recovery itself because, without the ability to restore your data quickly (RTO) and completely (RPO), there’s no point in performing backups in the first place.
At a glance, three divergent technologies lie at your disposal when it comes to creating a data backup and recovery strategy. These include software-managed, hardware-managed, or cloud-managed backup. Cruise the internet, and you’ll stumble on the virtues of each of these, as touted by their respective vendors. So it’s a no-brainer, right? Wrong.
Software alone as a backup strategy can look seductively cheap, with the promise that you can load it onto one of your existing servers and call it a sunny day. This may work in smaller and less complex environments. Larger organizations, however, will need to invest in a dedicated server and operating system, a storage controller, and plenty of space for your backups. It may surprise you, even more, to find that you’ll also need to upgrade your network to accommodate the added traffic current backup technologies generate. Software-only solutions create a whole new workload for your IT department when it comes to integration and maintenance.
Larger organizations usually invest in hardware-based solutions that provide solid advantages but can pose problems of their own. For instance, if you back up to tape, NAS, or SAN, you’ll find that, similar to a software-only solution, hardware-centered backup strategies can tie you to recurring expenses of their own. Depending on the price of the storage medium, adding space can get costly. Tape strategies can offer a cheap solution to this build-out approach, but they are fairly unmanageable in terms of restoring data in the event of a loss. Gartner Group and Storage Magazine cite failure from 50-77% for all tape backups when it comes to restoring data.
Cloud-based, or online, backup uses pooled resources to lower operational costs, making it an exceptional value from a storage perspective. It becomes less attractive, however, when it comes to recovery. Granted, while the cloud provides more reliability than tape-backup, its restore rates are still painfully slow. If you only had to plan for a one-in-one-million chance of disaster, a cloud-only solution might be fine, but what about typical disruptions, such as accidental data deletions or a stolen laptop? The painful truth is this: if you’ve got many terabytes of data and you lose even a fraction thereof, you’ll be spending weeks or even months restoring that data from a cloud.
So what is the best solution for your organization? Aperio IT has partnered with a Disaster Recovery company that combines all three solutions together to give your organization the flexibility you need to get a comprehensive solution that meets your organization’s RTO and RPO needs.
The point of backups is preserving data so you can restore it under any circumstance. The path to this sort of rapid recovery is to couple cloud-based computing with on-premise hardware or virtual backup appliance to preserve your information technology infrastructure and serve as a gateway point to a cloud-based disaster recovery service. That appliance will deliver not only local backup but also dedicated, in-flight deduplication, valuable resource savings. Once you load the cloud with your initial set of data, this in-flight deduplication compresses and deduplicates it before sending it upstream to the cloud. In-flight deduplication occurs with no impact to the clients (i.e., servers, PCs, workstations, and notebooks) protected by the backup appliance. The overall result: more data can be protected than can physically move over the WAN in any given time. You can synchronize hundreds of gigabytes and more to the cloud each day with a relatively small amount of bandwidth, protecting your data in an optimal way.
Whether your organization has physical servers, virtual servers, or a mixed environment, the Backup and Recovery solution will handle them all the same. You can be confident that your organization is well protected. Coupled with Aperio IT’s Manage IT service, your organization’s backups will be monitored and test restores performed on a regular schedule to ensure the integrity of your Disaster Recovery Plan.
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