Prepare for Disaster

Every business owner knows that natural disasters can be fatal to their organization.  Many small businesses cannot afford to have multiple offices across geographical locations that would let them continue operations if one location is damaged by flood, fire, tornado or any other phenomenon.  Many rely on insurance to cover losses, but this does not protect company data but only infrastructure.  Many do not factor hardware failure into their disaster recovery plan and many have never considered the risks at all to their business.  So what can be done to ensure your business will thrive after a loss?  In this article we will discuss different methods and measures to protect your business.  If you see areas of improvement within your organization or have questions about this information, we can assist in minimizing your potential risk.

Backups
Backups are not all the same.  In fact, there are several types of backups to accommodate different needs and scenarios.  To cover the basics, we will discuss both local and offsite backups.

  • Local Backups: These are done in house and used to create a copy of your data.  Depending on business or personal needs the actual type of backup can vary from a direct copy of the information to a system image which would restore the entire computers state to a point in time.  The way that these backups are created also vary.  These days, local backups may be created on tape drives, usb drives, or network storage devices.  Local backups are commonly deployed in most offices and are an absolute necessity.  In the even that a server fails, someone deletes the wrong files, a malicious program removes or corrupts data, or any number of other problems occur you will be glad these backups exist.  Local backups are the first thing that will be used to restore information as it is typically the quickest to restore from minimizing downtime.  But, what happens if the local backups are also damaged in the event of a fire or tornado?

 

  • Off-site Backups: These are often referred to as remote backups because the backups are stored off-site or at a remote site.  Again, the specifics can vary greatly.  These are used as secondary backups to local backups.  The recovery is not as rapid as local backups, but can be used to restore information to a secondary location or new primary location after it is rebuilt. Many offices neglect remote backups and do not understand their significance.  Off-site backups do not require additional hardware to be stored off-site minimizing the implementation costs.  These backups affordable and can save your business in the event of physical disasters.

Replication
Replication is not exactly a form of backup but a form of failover protection.  In high availability environments this is critical to minimize down time.  The reason many companies adopt this technology is that in the event that a server or cluster (a group of servers) fail, a secondary cluster or server will be available.  Many times the transition is transparent to users and undetected in productivity measures.  All of the data on the primary server or cluster is replicated to a secondary so that when failure occurs the switch can occur in real time to make the secondary the new primary.

Documentation
In the event that you find yourself in a disaster recovery scenario you will be very happy to have up to date documentation.  Documentation of various settings and configurations is important, but you will also find yourself needing things such as contact information for clients, affiliates, utility, and service providers.  Getting repairs and outages restored quickly will rely on knowing who to call and for what.  No matter the size of your organization this is just as vital as backups of data.

Testing
Be prepared.  Although you can never be fully prepared to accept damage to your business, knowing that you can recover can lift some of the burden.  Disaster recovery tests and scenarios are designed to help ensure your preparations are working as expected and can be refined before it is too late.

At Upton Technologies we can deploy any of the above for you and help with ensuring the measures work as they are intended.  Our off-site backup solutions are affordable and can include a system image to restore from as well as file backups to ensure all documents are current.  We can help you setup your backup and recovery solutions today.

Every business owner knows that natural disasters can be fatal to their organization.  Many small businesses cannot afford to have multiple offices across geographical locations that would let them continue operations if one location is damaged by flood, fire, tornado or any other phenomenon.  Many rely on insurance to cover losses, but this does not protect company data but only infrastructure.  Many do not factor hardware failure into their disaster recovery plan and many have never considered the risks at all to their business.  So what can be done to ensure your business will thrive after a loss?  In this article we will discuss different methods and measures to protect your business.  If you see areas of improvement within your organization or have questions about this information, we can assist in minimizing your potential risk.

Backups
Backups are not all the same.  In fact, there are several types of backups to accommodate different needs and scenarios.  To cover the basics, we will discuss both local and offsite backups.

  • Local Backups: These are done in house and used to create a copy of your data.  Depending on business or personal needs the actual type of backup can vary from a direct copy of the information to a system image which would restore the entire computers state to a point in time.  The way that these backups are created also vary.  These days, local backups may be created on tape drives, usb drives, or network storage devices.  Local backups are commonly deployed in most offices and are an absolute necessity.  In the even that a server fails, someone deletes the wrong files, a malicious program removes or corrupts data, or any number of other problems occur you will be glad these backups exist.  Local backups are the first thing that will be used to restore information as it is typically the quickest to restore from minimizing downtime.  But, what happens if the local backups are also damaged in the event of a fire or tornado?
  • Off-site Backups: These are often referred to as remote backups because the backups are stored off-site or at a remote site.  Again, the specifics can vary greatly.  These are used as secondary backups to local backups.  The recovery is not as rapid as local backups, but can be used to restore information to a secondary location or new primary location after it is rebuilt. Many offices neglect remote backups and do not understand their significance.  Off-site backups do not require additional hardware to be stored off-site minimizing the implementation costs.  These backups affordable and can save your business in the event of physical disasters.

Replication
Replication is not exactly a form of backup but a form of failover protection.  In high availability environments this is critical to minimize down time.  The reason many companies adopt this technology is that in the event that a server or cluster (a group of servers) fail, a secondary cluster or server will be available.  Many times the transition is transparent to users and undetected in productivity measures.  All of the data on the primary server or cluster is replicated to a secondary so that when failure occurs the switch can occur in real time to make the secondary the new primary.

Documentation
In the event that you find yourself in a disaster recovery scenario you will be very happy to have up to date documentation.  Documentation of various settings and configurations is important, but you will also find yourself needing things such as contact information for clients, affiliates, utility, and service providers.  Getting repairs and outages restored quickly will rely on knowing who to call and for what.  No matter the size of your organization this is just as vital as backups of data.

Testing
Be prepared.  Although you can never be fully prepared to accept damage to your business, knowing that you can recover can lift some of the burden.  Disaster recovery tests and scenarios are designed to help ensure your preparations are working as expected and can be refined before it is too late.

At Upton Technologies we can deploy any of the above for you and help with ensuring the measures work as they are intended.  Our off-site backup solutions are affordable and can include a system image to restore from as well as file backups to ensure all documents are current.  We can help you setup your backup and recovery solutions today.