What Exactly is Covered in Data Backups?
Data backups is a broad term and can be interpreted in several different ways. If you are speaking with a business owner, the generally consider data backups in a very broad term. If IT has told them they have their data backed up, then they feel it is safe.
In general, IT professionals consider data backups different from disaster recovery, disaster avoidance or business continuity. Below is our Managed IT San Antonio service would define each different application.
Our Managed IT San Antonio Service defines data backup as the backup of individual files. When we say files, we are identifying Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other flat file formats. These files may be backed up on-site, in the cloud or both. Generally, these files are “Versioned” which allows you to access a file an hour old, day old, week old, quarter old, etc…
Disaster Recovery for our Managed IT San Antonio Support program would be the plan to restore servers, operating systems, applications AND the backup files to normal operation. For example, a flood destroys the building and servers. What is the plan and time frame to return to normal operation?
Disaster Avoidance and Business Continuity
We consider these words to be synonyms. Because many companies find it too costly to be without their IT infrastructure, there has to be a design to avoid outages. For the purpose of this article, we will use Disaster Avoidance from this point forward. Since Disaster Avoidance has many different levels, we will break this definition down to further details. Keep in mind that some customers combine many of the below options for a more robust Disaster Avoidance solution.
Redundant Co-Lo or Facility
The current trend for IT is to centralize servers and resources for economy of scale and simplified maintenance. Since Disaster Avoidance is avoiding a complete outage, having all of your network gear in a single location is counter intuitive to this goal.
This is most important to companies that have geographically dispersed locations. Think of a restaurant chain. If they have locations all over the U.S. but all of their credit card and Point of Sale hardware is at corporate, if corporate fails, all locations lose the ability to process a transaction. Yikes!
So, many locations like the above scenario have all of their data in two locations. The primary facility will then copy or duplicate all of their data to a backup or secondary location. Sometimes this location is another one of their facilities or to another Cloud or Co-Lo location.
Generally, the above replication allows all users to automatically connect to the backup location in case the primary fails. This setup is extremely expensive and complex and difficult to maintain for most companies.
Outsource to the Cloud
Since the above solution is so expensive, it created a whole new industry! One of the compelling things about the Cloud is that it typically has inherent Disaster Avoidance built into the service. These companies use economies of scale to create multi-site facilities with just about all of the Disaster Avoidance money can buy. This is especially appealing to smaller companies that would like the Disaster Avoidance functionality but do not have the budget to build it themselves.
Unfortunately, as Amazon recently demonstrated here, even these large Cloud providers can have multi-hour outages.
Disaster Avoidance Devices
Since even the cloud can go down, how can we possibly build something to eliminate these outages. Especially in budget that a Small to Medium sized business can afford?
There are self-contained Disaster Avoidance boxes that can provide inexpensive Disaster Avoidance for on-site and cloud solutions. These devices replicate your data, Operating System and applications to their device. They then replicate the data from this device to THEIR cloud.
The best way to determine how much you need to spend on outages is to determine how much each outage costs you. This calculator from Datto is a very easy to use tool that helps with this math.
If you would like pricing on a device that can assist with Disaster Avoidance, whether you equipment is on premise or in the cloud, contact ICS today for a free consultation.
ICS also provides FREE Security IT Assessments for our clients. We can help consult on all of your IT needs. See our blog here for sample reports and details of what is provided in the assessment.