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Minimising downtime is the key to an effective backup and disaster recovery plan. No business can function successfully when your IT systems go on the blink. Downtime causes unnecessary stress and frustration that reduces your productivity and disappoints customers. Ensuring you have an effective backup and disaster recovery solution in place is crucial for business continuity. You should have the confidence that your security systems can protect business data and keep your applications running smoothly.
What is backup and disaster recovery?
Despite being used in conjunction, there are differences between backup and disaster recovery. Backup is the process of making copies of your data. You can back up a database, files, servers or applications – anything that stores critical and sensitive information. Data is backed up to ensure it’s protected should it be lost or breached by malicious act, human error or natural disaster.
Disaster recovery refers to the process of restoring data and regaining access to your network and systems in a crisis situation. Your disaster recovery process will depend on your business and its operations. This will include a set of procedures that detail where your backup data is stored, how to access it and how to restore it successfully.
Backup shouldn’t be mistaken for disaster recovery. In the case of a disaster, your data backups are not enough to keep your business operations running smoothly. You must have robust, secure, disaster recovery measures in place to ensure you can restore your data and get your network, servers, files and applications back online.
The importance of backup and recovery
There are many instances where data breach and loss can occur. Human error is a significant cause. Users can accidentally delete files or insert removable media that corrupt your systems. Your business may be targeted by a malicious attacker who looks for vulnerabilities in your security controls. They initiate an attack to breach, damage or destroy your data and technology for their own gain, a good example of this is a Ransomware attack, where the attacker gains access to, then encrypts your files and demands a ransom fee to decrypt them. Natural disasters such as floods and fires also pose a threat to your data. Though rarer than human error and malicious attack, natural disasters demand sufficient planning to mitigate risks.
Downtime can be detrimental to your business. It can quickly lead to a loss of revenue if your customers can’t access your products and services. If your technology is down for hours, even days, users and customers alike, quickly become frustrated and this can negatively affect your brand reputation. Minimising the time it takes to retrieve data and re-establish your systems will ensure your customers and employees can complete their desired action without experiencing a delay.
An effective backup and disaster recovery plan ensures you know your systems will be kept up and running smoothly behind the scenes. It maintains business continuity and productivity so your employees can carry out their roles and drive operations forward without being held back by technology.
Types of backup solutions
The backup solution you choose will depend on your business needs. There are two main types of backup solution: cloud and on-premise.
Cloud-based backup and disaster recovery solutions are the most popular among businesses. In a crisis situation, having your applications and data stored in the cloud ensures it’s protected in a centralised location. Your recovery experts know exactly where your data is stored without wasting time searching for data on disparate systems.
The cloud is an efficient and cost-effective backup solution that enables your business to scale its IT infrastructure to suit your operational requirements. You don’t need to purchase and install expensive upgrades as your business grows in numbers of customers, employees and data. Having this flexibility can save you time and money; improving your efficiency and ensuring you can restore your data quickly.
On-premise backup solutions are great where highly-sensitive data is concerned. For example, if some of your data must comply with strict data privacy regulations. However, a backup and disaster recovery plan that is solely on-premise isn’t ideal. Where theft and natural disaster may occur, your only backups could be damaged or destroyed.
If your primary data is compromised, you will struggle to regain control of your systems. If you choose to use on-premise backup and recovery, having a secondary data location is recommended. This second location should be in a geographic location away from your primary data to ensure disaster doesn’t affect both sites. The secondary site should be within a reasonable distance to ensure you can manage both premises effectively and minimise downtime.
A hybrid approach combining cloud and on-premise backup and recovery solutions is another popular choice. If your business uses both cloud-based and on-premise IT environments, the hybrid solution could be the most appropriate. You may choose to keep your original data locally and store your backup data in the cloud.
You can benefit from the cost-effective and scalability of the cloud, while the physical location enables you to quickly access your IT infrastructure and rapidly restore backed up data. You can also spread your cloud backups in different cloud environments. Should your part of the cloud be inaccessible, you can access data in another cloud location.
Creating your backup and disaster recovery solution
Creating a backup and disaster recovery solution is a task that shouldn’t be left until disaster strikes. You should have your strategy in place to prevent, detect and respond to disaster efficiently and effectively. A timely recovery will ensure you can maintain business continuity, minimise downtime and loss of productivity.
Working with a trusted and reliable provider ensures that your backup and disaster recovery plan is robust. IT-Pro can create a solid security strategy based on leading tools and best practices. Give us a call on 01978 869 182.