Disaster Recovery and the SMB: Ensuring Continuity in 2013January 9, 2013 No Comments
Featured article by Dan Tully, Executive Vice President, Conduit Systems
Power failures and floods. Data breaches and hurricanes. Human error and earthquakes. Whether natural or man-made, disaster can wreak havoc on your business at any time. The up-front and hidden costs of downtime can be devastating. So much so, that according to the National Archives and Record Administration, 98 percent of companies that lost data 10 days or more filed for bankruptcy within one year and 50 percent of those companies filed for bankruptcy immediately.
At the moment, Hurricane Sandy is still the freshest example that comes to mind. Sandy caused an estimated $50 billion in damages, rendered numerous office buildings and IT systems unusable and without power, and even lowered the nation’s gross domestic product in the fourth quarter of 2012. For many, Sandy serves as a reminder that long gone are the days when data centers were the nerve centers of only the market titans. Today, they are just as critical to ensuring the business continuity of SMBs. But you already knew that. Choosing the right data back-up solution in a market flooded with options is the tricky part. With the kick-off of 2013, staving off risk, reviewing your disaster recovery options and ensuring the continued operation of your business might just be the best investment of your time.
Tape Backup and Records Management
Traditional backup via tape is a decades-old standard in the industry, and for good reason. The method is efficient, reliable and cost-effective. With its long shelf life and low cost, it remains an optimal data back-up solution. However, with reliability comes latency. Data placed on tapes is slower to retrieve compared to more modern, digital solutions and the solution has a high impact on network bandwidth. For this reason tape backup is often a method of last resort. But with reliability in mind, tape backup is without a doubt the most dependable option available.
The data and information that small businesses collect and retain is their most precious commodity and protecting it is essential. Cloud backup offers an alternative to traditional methods at a low cost with little upfront expense. When disaster strikes, the cloud offers a recovery speed second-to-none. Cloud as a backup solution is often best utilized for SMBs with a sizeable mobile work force. In such situation, employees do not log in and connect to a central location; therefore, each time they connect to the Internet data is pushed to cloud-based servers where it can be easily retrieved in the event of a disaster. This approach requires no transportation and minimal risk of data loss due to theft.
The Hybrid Approach: Cloud-integrated Backup
Not all SMBs are comfortable placing all their data in the cloud and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, customizable solutions exist specifically for SMBs that hold this preference. The hybrid, cloud-integrated backup approach simplifies backup by providing seamless access to data while providing an invaluable tool for ensuring continuity when faced with an emergency. With the installation of an appliance on-premise (physical or virtual), a cache of information is collected, duplicated and pushed to the cloud in real-time for storage. This is true disaster recovery in every sense of the term. When catastrophe strikes, the most up-to-date information is readily available to be pulled down on to a new server.
As IT systems continue to become more and more critical to the vitality of SMBs, ensuring their continued operation and rapid, post-disaster recovery is an effort that cannot be underestimated. No matter where you are in the selection process, just being cognizant of the importance of data backup is a major step. Those that prepare for the worst have no need to hope for the best. They’ve already planned for it.
Dan Tully is executive vice president of Conduit Systems, an IT management services firm founded nearly 30-years ago. Conduit Systems specializes in helping SMB clients adapt to the evolving tech landscape and protect the data most valuable to their operations.DATA and ANALYTICS , Fresh Ink, SECURITY