How to Protect Your Data with Reliable BDR Storage Alternatives

Posted by Steven Vigeant on 11/14/12 8:00 AM

business continuityDo you have a back-up system that you can count on?  How recently did you verify that you can actually recover data from it?  How quickly could you get your system up and running again after a failure?  Since your business depends on having a functioning system and access to data, planning for emergencies is critical. Even more important, in some ways, is how quickly you can get your business up and running again after a disaster since down time can rack up significant costs. Many SMB owners are not aware of the latest developments in Back-up and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solutions that can literally save their business if something goes wrong.  Informing yourself about the latest BDR alternatives can help you ensure the future health of your business.

About BDR Storage

In the old model, a server backs up data on tapes or a disk, and a human being manually transfers the stored data to a remote location (if they remember to do so).  With the advent of cloud BDR solutions, a company can now have its data and software programs automatically backed up to a remote location daily or even continuously.  Many of these solutions also allow you to have a local copy of backed up data on-premise for quicker restore times and can provide a business continuity option on-site as well. Should your server fail, many of these solutions will have an image backup of the server on the local device that can be started up quickly and let your users get back to work while the failed server is being worked on. 

Am I safe in a flood?

If your office building is flooded, your data is safe in the remote location; if your system has a local failure, you can activate the back-up server on site and return to normal operations in a few minutes.  In either case, there’s no need to rely on a human to shift the data or worry about how often it’s done.  BDR can quickly get your business running again after a problem.

What to look for:

You should focus on three crucial issues to the health of data and systems when choosing a BDR storage alternative:

#1 Security

A BDR plan is designed for emergencies, ranging from a widespread disaster to a local system failure.  In order to ensure that your system will really be there for you when you need it, you must be certain that all the data and programs you rely on are being backed up and safely stored.  Automated offsite backups occur even if your IT guy is on vacation or busy with a new project.  A reputable MSP will monitor the backup alerts daily for signs of issues and react automatically without you even knowing. They will also regularly conduct backup validation tests to ensure that the data you are storing can easily be recovered in the case of an emergency.

#2 Access

If you are storing your data manually, you need to ensure that you have access to the remote location in case of an emergency.  Your employee may have to physically go to the offsite location to retrieve the backup disks/tapes or you may have to pay a premium fee to have these brought to your office.  A cloud based BDR can be accessed through the internet 24/7, so your data is available when you need it and restores can begin immediately.

#3 Time to Recovery

Modern appliance based BDR stored data can also be recovered much more quickly than data stored on tapes as the local data will be on a local external disk or appliance based system.  An onsite continuity option will allow you to shift to the local image of the server if your primary server goes down.  If your business is physically damaged or destroyed, the remote BDR storage you’ve put in place will ensure that nothing is lost.

Some MSPs offer what is called “cloud continuity,” a remotely stored image of your server in the cloud, from which, in the case of a disaster, can be brought back online and accessible by your users.  The cloud recovery provides all the services your own server would until your onsite disaster is resolved.  With cloud recovery, no matter how bad the failure or complex the repair, your business remains open.

Nothing can sink a business faster than losing crucial data or a forced closure.  Make sure that you have put a secure, accessible and quick BDR storage option in place, so that your business is prepared for the worst.

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Topics: Cloud IT Solutions, BDR