Meteorologists reported that at least seven small earthquakes shook the west Kentucky and northwest Tennessee areas during the first week of June this year. Last June an outbreak of six tornadoes occurred in our area in a single day. These two examples show us Mother Nature is anything but predictable. We hear a lot about being “disaster ready.” Is your business disaster ready? Does that include your company’s computer systems and critical business information?
Most companies perform some sort of backup of their digital data, but backup alone is not enough. I frequently ask new and prospective clients, “how are you backing up your data?” and often the responses I receive are very similar. The answer often sounds something like this: “I copy my data to an external drive and take it home with me.” This practice, while very common, is simply not enough protection for your business. What happens if a natural disaster strikes in our region and both your business and the location where you’ve taken your backup data is affected? You might find yourself in a situation where you’ve backed up your data, but both your original copies and your backups are destroyed.
You must understand what you are backing up when you simply copy files from one drive to another.
Traditional backup solutions like tapes and network attached storage create onsite, duplicate copies of your data only. This includes files such as Microsoft Office documents, QuickBooks Company Files, etc. While you may have your data, your ability to access and use it is not possible if you lack access to the software applications associated to the file types. As a result, your business will suffer from costly downtime in the event of hardware loss or failure. This downtime could be days long depending on the severity of the situation.
Rather than backing up just your company files, you should consider cloud based disaster recovery for an added layer of protection for your business. Cloud based disaster recovery solutions create an image of your entire server including user accounts, security settings and all software applications required to access and modify your data files. In the event of a hardware failure, your server image can be spun-up in the cloud as a virtual machine and accessed by users from any computer with internet access in a matter of minutes, not days.
Often times cost is the reason cited by individuals who decide not to invest into cloud based disaster recovery solutions for their businesses. The cost of cloud based disaster recovery solutions have decreased significantly from the time they were initially introduced. When considering the cost think of how downtime and data loss would impact your business. If your servers and PCs are destroyed, how much time would it take to replace your office servers and the applications on it? Would you even have copies of the software installation disks and keys? How long would it take you to find that information and reconfigure the new hardware from scratch? How much money would your business lose during this process?
If you’d like to learn more about how cloud-based disaster recovery works, check out this video. An investment into a cloud based disaster recovery solution is similar to buying an insurance policy. You insure your business property against fire, floods, and other disasters. Why wouldn’t you insure your business against the devastation of system and data loss as well?