How modern data backups outsmart traditional storage methods and improve your business’s disaster recovery
Forty percent of companies that do not have proper data backup or disaster recovery plans in place do not survive a disaster. Even if you have a traditional data backup system, your business might not be able to bounce back quickly enough to meet the demands of your customers. A traditional data backup consists of having a copy of the important data that your business needs to use in case your original data gets lost or damaged. Unfortunately, if your data backup is in the same location as your office, you risk losing that as well. Having a good data backup plan is an integral part of a business’s disaster recovery and business continuity approach.
If your office is home to a few computers, it’s possible to use local and USB disk backups, which are fast and convenient. They don’t require a network and can quickly recover a few files should you face a software failure across a small number of systems. However, if these backups are stored in your office, they will do little good in the event of a fire or flood.
Data Backup Solutions
The most common data storage option is a centralized Network Attached Storage (NAS) where you can store many backups, files and systems in one place the facilitate the recovery of lost or corrupted data. However, like any local backup that is vulnerable to fire or flood damage, you risk losing it all. The only certain way to ensure the safekeeping of your data backup is to store a copy miles away off-site in a secure building. Some businesses store compressed data on tapes and ship them to a separate facility. This method requires expensive tape drives and equipment to load and recover data and can be time-consuming to physically ship back and reinstall.
While performing backups with disks and tapes is doable, consider the amount of time and resources necessary to implement such a backup system or to retrieve data with such a system. Not only will you need to purchase and install the hardware, operating systems and software applications, you will also need to import the data and test it for completeness and accuracy. If you choose to build your backup system from the ground up, you will require a comprehensive how-to guide to quickly recover your data.
Backing up data to disks or tapes would be considered “old school” next to today’s preferred storage option — cloud storage — since you no longer need the presence of a physical medium to store and recover your data. Your business determines how much storage is necessary with a cloud vendor or managed services provider. You can easily send data backups to the cloud using an internet connection, depending on how much data you transmit. In addition, your business has the added benefit of anywhere, anytime access to your data, enhanced security controls, and your business can easily survive a disaster like a hurricane, flood, earthquake or fire—not uncommon in the last ten years on either coast of the U.S.
Backup, But How Often?
How quickly you require your company to get back to business will determine the best data backup storage method for you. Whatever backup solution you choose, it’s prudent to protect all of your data on every device and every system. Since your data is constantly changing, you will want to determine period between backups, known as Recover Point Objective (RPO). Longer RPOs risk more data loss, but are also more affordable in the long term because they require fewer backups. Shorter RPOs need more frequent backups and storage capacity, but cost more. Another business continuity component to consider is Recovery Time Objective (RTO), how quickly you can get back to business after a disaster to avoid downtime.
Aberdeen estimates downtime from data losses costs businesses an average of $260,000 per hour. The $40 million that Norsk Hydro claimed one week after it was hit with a huge ransomware attack on its systems confirms this number. However, these estimates don’t begin to quantify the damage of reputation, turnover of customers and cost to employ consultants to remedy the situation.
If your company’s mission critical applications depend upon a large volume of transactions, then your desired RTO might be near zero. This is realistic with a cloud-based system since employees are able to access data with a log-in from home or another office location within minutes of a delay.
If you go with the old-school method, there’s no telling how long it will take you to get back to business should disaster strike. However, having a modern data backup plan will ensure faster access to your data, better protection and less downtime so that you can get your business up and running as quickly as possible.
For a free business continuity and disaster recovery assessment, contact Valeo Networks.