By Rob Mackle, Sales and Service Director at
May 22, 2015

Backup-Technology Online Data Backup Expert Tips: Mitigating and Avoiding Downtime – Part I

In this day and age, backing up your data is crucial to a smooth functioning of your company, be it a small, medium or large sized business. A loss of data can result in a significant loss of revenue for your company. In addition, data loss can cause downtime or an interruption of computing services. The solution to both of these problems is a simple one — back up your data online in the cloud.

Medical informatics, nuclear power stations, banks and other financial institutions, aeronautics/airlines, news and journalism; e-commerce and transaction processing or even online games industries would immediately feel the pressure of downtime or loss of data. A minor downtime and a loss of data in these industries could prove to be disastrous, as existing customers experience frustrations and may consider cancelling their services altogether; and would-be-customers could end up avoiding this particular service, resulting in loss of revenues.

Many contract defaults could be attributed to system downtime or loss of data, resulting in litigation and financial losses. These industries need to ensure high availability, reliability and alternate data access routes to safeguard against business losses, resulting from unplanned downtime, which is the time when computing services are unavailable for business operations.

Cloud backup service providers ensure that your data is safeguarded in the Cloud. Your data is in no danger of being lost.In addition, online backup service providers are a safeguard against downtime and ensure that your company will continue to operate regardless of hardware or software glitches, a natural calamity or just a power outage. System outages can have a serious impact on industries that access their computers 24 x 7 x 365. Others may be sensitive to the time of the outage. Peak hour outages can cripple business and have long-term repercussions on the business.

Online backup service provides offer service level agreements for their customers that spell out the guaranteed service uptime percentage value that they expect over the period of a month, typically five-nines, i.e. — 99.999%. Zero percent downtime indicates that the backup service provider has made arrangements to ensure that the customer has no system outages and the access to the server is made available at all times. Customers will, therefore, have to guard only against outages that may occur at their end of the network, giving them peace of mind.

In Part II [pasted below], we will discuss further points on avoiding downtime.

About the Author: Rob Mackle is Sales and Service Director at Backup-Technology, an Asigra powered cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions provider.


Backup-Technology Online Data Backup Expert Tips: Mitigating and Avoiding Downtime – Part II

In Part I, we discussed the importance of having a service level agreement to keep cloud services available anytime, from anywhere in order to reduce downtime. If the service provider’s networks are available at all times, users need to worry only for their own infrastructure.

Having said that, however, downtime must always be monitored at all times using advanced network monitoring tools. Record of system outages or downtime should automatically be logged for analysis in real time. Admin should have the ability to enter identified names and email addresses in the system for notifications in case of failures.

Failover servers are programmed to seamlessly take over the service while repairs are carried out to correct the problems in the main server. In addition, help desks and trouble-shooting services offered by online backup services enable the customer to alert his service provider about any and every possible system difficulties that they may encounter in the use of the service. Backing up your data in the cloud has not only the benefit of safeguarding your data, but also minimising or eliminating the detrimental effects of down time for your company.

By putting your data in the cloud, you have the convenience that come with accessibility, scalability and mobility. In addition, you have protected your data from physical destruction, theft, natural disasters, operating systems and hard drive crashes. Cost savings, easy sharing and “set-it-and-forget-it” operations that comes with automated systems are additional benefits. At the same time, extreme care should be exercised in selecting a cloud based backup service provider so as to avoid any fly-by-night operators.

Small, medium and large enterprises use the cloud because not only it is effective and saves money, but also it mitigates downtime. Occasionally, cloud services might get interrupted for various reasons. Even Amazon’s AWS suffered downtime in the past.

To avoid downtime, it is suggested that you get a signed copy of the SLAs, have both on-premise and cloud services, perform a thorough risk analysis, and determine your true downtime cost per hour, which might not be an easy task as it requires complex assumptions and calculations. As cloud services are charged on “pay as you go” basis, calculating actual downtime costs becomes a moving target. However, other costs such as operational, salaries, connectivity, and so on can be figured out easily.

Downtime could possibly be avoided by developing a well thought business continuity and disaster recovery plans. It must be remembered that the cloud does not guarantee that you will have a 100% uptime services, rather, it mitigates the risks of downtime.

About the Author: Rob Mackle is Sales and Service Director at Backup-Technology, an Asigra powered cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions provider.


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