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By Callum Huddlestone, Account Manager at Backup-Technology
February 17, 2017

Backup-Technology Cloud Backup Expert Tips: Disaster Recovery Planning and Cloud Backup

A disaster recovery plan is essential in today’s business environment since disasters can occur in so many way and do so more frequently with every year. A historical year that really heightened the awareness of disaster recovery planning was 2005 when Hurricane Katrina destroyed thousands of businesses in the Gulf Coast Region with most not having a disaster recovery plan in place. Even now 2016, there has been unprecedented tornado, flood, earthquake and other disasters taking place all over the world; some regions receiving the worst disasters than others. Does your business have a disaster recovery plan in place? If not, do not delay after reading this article. Learn from others’ mistakes and put one in place ASAP.

Plan Well
Your plan must detail how your business will handle a disaster. One critical component of your plan needs to be putting a cloud backup and recovery system in place. For those of you that do have one in place, you need to start with a risk analysis. You need to consider risk factors like: malware infestations, virus attacks, human error such as accidental deletion of data or natural disasters. While these are obvious to most, your backup service provider going out of business is one that tends to get overlooked too often. You need to verify its viability the best you can. Unfortunately, we have learnt over the past several years that even the biggest of companies can fail almost overnight.

Prioritise Risks
Once the risk factors have been identified and listed, you must rank and prioritise them. Each one should be given a ranking that is determined on the basis of probability and impact and then given a risk rate of low, medium or high.

Show me the Money!
Budgets can have a bearing on disaster recovery plans, as every plan comes with an associated cost. If you are planning to get your data off-site to guard against the possibility of natural disaster, you need to ensure that your information is stored in secure facilities that are in different geographical locations.

Geographically Dispersed Data
Military grade security points that your data be stored at least 2,000 miles away from your business, the point where your original data is stored. If fulfilling this military grade security is not an option for you, then make sure your cloud backup service provider backs up your data to a secondary and geographically separated data centre. Ensure that the online backup company itself has its own disaster recovery plan in place. Ask them if they have performed any type of fail over testing to ensure they are adequately prepared.

Analyse Data for Shorter RTO
One of the most critical elements of your plan is detailing how your business will restore its data to be up and running in a short amount of time. It is often referred to as your recovery time objective (RTO). If you have a large amount of data stored online, you need to identify the most important and mission-critical information that would need restored first to get your business back up and running. This will imply that you need to spend time analysing and categorising your data. Upon doing so, you will know what data needs restored in the quickest manner based upon your business continuity needs and which data is not mission-critical.

Recovery Options
A critical element is to make sure your vendor provides multiple ways for you to recover your data. You should be able to restore data via local storage, the Internet, mobile vault or a virtual machine. You should never put your business in a situation with a data backup company that only provides the ability to restore via the Internet. If you have a decent amount of data, your restore time will not be sufficient to meet an acceptable RTO.

High Availability for Downtime
We live and work in such a way that our businesses cannot afford much, if any, downtime at all. You need to be absolutely certain how much time your business can afford to lose recovering from a disaster. If you determine you cannot afford to lose even a minute, you need to make the necessary investments in backups and high availability hosting so you are still running the moment a disaster impacts your business.

Support Hours
You need to know if your vendor has personnel available on call 24/7 and what their response time is; because you are definitely going to need some expert help in the event of a major disaster. Especially, if it occurs at odd hours in the night.

In short, the disaster recovery plan you develop, the kind of team, responsibilities and procedures you put in place, and the kind of online backup service you utilise will be tested at some point in time in your company’s history. Remember, it isn’t a matter of if, but rather when a disaster will take place.

Why BTL?
Backup Technology Limited (BTL) is a Cloud solutions company that provides cloud backup and recovery services to businesses globally. Your data is securely and automatically stored off-site in BTL’s privately owned, state of the art certified facilities. It is accessible 24/7 with monitoring and support provided by certified experts. Powered by Asigra’s industry leading technology, BTL’s cloud backup and recovery services are available to SMB and enterprise-level companies. BTL has been serving its global clients since 2005 and is proud to have major brands in its list of clients, including The British Red Cross, BBC, Siemens, Liverpool Soccer, and many others. For a list of additional BTL customers, go to: https://www.backup-technology.com/about-btl/customers

Backup Technology Limited is proud to provide a value-cost balanced cloud backup services to small and large enterprises globally. Why not give our services a try? Contact BTL for more details — https://www.backup-technology.com/about-btl/contact

Callum Huddlestone

About the Author: Callum Huddlestone is an Account Manager at Backup-Technology, an Asigra powered cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions provider.

 

 

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