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Backup Is Not Disaster Recovery

Everyone knows that to be kept safe, files and data need to be backed up. In the event of a disaster, how can those files be easily retrieved so business can go on as usual? The answer is simple: a disaster recovery plan.

Backing up data and disaster recovery are two different things. When there’s a loss of data, you retrieve it from your backup files. But the question is “What are you going to do with that data, and how are you going to make it so your business is back to normal?”shutterstock_276838913

In the event that your environment disappears, what’s your plan?

Every day, businesses and clients lose information due to disasters that affect servers, such as a fire in the building or a natural disaster.

You never know when a disaster will happen. The old adage “plan for the best; prepare for the worst” is definitely true. With a disaster recovery plan in place, there’s no need to worry.

There are two main objectives to focus on in your disaster recovery plan:

Recovery Time Objectives:

  • How quickly can the business be back up and running?
  • Does the business have an urgent need to be up and running immediately?
  • Can normal business continue for a short period of time without the files that are temporarily inaccessible?
  • Which applications do you need immediately, and which are less important?

Recovery Point Objectives:

  • How far does the recovery have to roll back to capture the appropriate amount of data? Some companies may only need a few months; others may need several years’ worth of data to be retrieved.
  • Can the business function with only the most recent backup?

The amount of recovery time and the amount of data to be retrieved is specific to each individual business. One company may be able to do business without retrieving its data for 30 days, while others may have to have it back and working normally within 10 minutes.

Remember that backup means nothing without restore. You should test the restore to make sure that it works and that the right data is being backed up. Just as you can never have enough backup, you can never test your restore enough.

As you probably expected, the company’s budget will come into play. The smaller the recovery time and the longer the recovery point, the more expensive the solution (usually).

Budget aside, there are many options depending on the business’s needs:

  • Virtual replicated environments are accessible in the cloud from any Internet connection.
  • Real-time replications both locally and in the cloud immediately recover unusable or lost data and hardware.
  • Thirty-day disaster recovery solutions are less expensive, but they still provide the same benefits as having a replicated environment in the cloud — just a shorter term.

Disaster recovery plans depend on the needs of the customer, the budget, and the amount of lost profits for every day that the business is down.

One thing is for sure: You can never have enough backup, but along with that, you need to have a disaster recovery plan that meets your business’s needs. Having an established disaster recovery plan in place will ensure a quick recovery if an event does occur.

I recently spoke about how to maintain the integrity of IT at #SUMtech15. If you missed this year’s event, make sure to subscribe to the SUM Innovation blog for the latest updates on next year’s event.

If you have any questions about backing up your data or developing a disaster recovery plan, feel free to contact us for advice or a second opinion. Call 212-737-0608, or email us at info@contangoit.com.

CEO and serial entrepreneur Danny Mizrahi created Contango IT, a pioneer in cloud computing that’s dedicated to helping businesses lower costs while increasing the productivity, reliability, and availability of their data.