Data Backup & Recovery – Back Up Critical Business Data

Here in Southern California, over the last couple of months we’ve seen quite a number of natural disasters. The Woolsey & Hill Fire, followed by rain that closed down some highways and streets, and mudslides inhibiting individuals from driving to work. Today is a good day to remind businesses having a backup strategy in place is a must in case a natural disaster occurs.

Every business, no matter what size, needs a data backup strategy. The data a business accumulates over time becomes a valuable digital asset that’s irreplaceable. For instance, if a bookkeeper were to maintain all of their customer’s financial data on her PC and out of nowhere the hard drive crashes. What steps does the bookkeeper have to restore the data? First, the bookkeeper can research the internet and perform the task on her own. Second, she can take the hard drive to a computer store to determine if the drive is recoverable. Lastly, work with a managed IT service provider who can help restore the hard drive back to normal. Notice the time and effort into recovering the data. Wasted productivity. Even worse, lost revenue due to time wasted on choosing a hard drive solution.

Backups are more then simply saving data on a PC. We’ll discuss backup strategy ideas for any size business.

Every business, no matter how large or small, needs a data backup strategy.

Backups require more then simply having a computer or server backup data. For example, a backup strategy can consist of backing up data to the cloud and having multiple backup points. In addition, if a backup is syncing to the cloud on a regular basis, you’re helping the business eliminate a point of failure. Cloud data backups fall into a higher level strategy better known as backup and disaster recovery. The business will need to look at the current workflow and determine what type of backup is right for them. When a business partners with a managed IT service provider, these are deep conversations that require management involvement.

A small business can implement an enterprise level backup system. First, the business will need the appropriate hardware. Hardware can consist of a server or network attached storage (NAS). Hardware will not be as expensive when comparing costs to a larger business. A small business of 50 users or less can get away with a NAS. Second, work with management on drafting a schedule to perform backups. Often times an IT provider performs backups during non-peak business hours and over weekends. Lastly, discuss cloud backup options. Cloud backups, in simple terms, push the backed up data to an offsite data center were the data is safe and secure. In fact, having data uploaded to the cloud helps a business restore data faster then traditional methods.

data center servers with cloud based backups

Cloud-based automated backup solutions are ideally suited to SMBs with limited IT resources

Cloud based automated backups is a topic we’ve discussed frequently throughout the post. The reason being data storage has become inexpensive. A business has collected valuable data over a course of the business’ life. Ignoring ways of keeping the data safe is foolish. Storing the data securely will help alleviate relying on hardware to perform all of the work.

For instance, implementing a backup process to store data in the cloud has many advantages. First all data is secure in the cloud. Meaning, if a hardware component were to crash, the data is safely backed up in the cloud (offsite data center). Second the data in the cloud is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. A traveling individual will continue to have access to the business’ important data. Lastly, say a catastrophe occurs during a weekend and the office burns down. What recourse plan does a business take? With the data stored offsite in a secure data center, the business will be able to download the data back to the new hardware.

A cloud backup strategy will require some thought from both the business and managed IT service provider. The manage IT service provider will develop a workflow of steps taken in order to prevent downtime. Examples include spare hardware, devices mirroring, and so forth. The goal of the cloud backup is to prevent any downtime and fast restoration. All data is imperative for a business no matter what size.

Downtime on its own is costly, but it can be devastating without a business continuity plan

No business likes to be down. When a business cannot operate fully, chances are high no revenue is being generated. How can a business combat being down? For instance an organization can implement the business’ continuity plan. For this purpose a business continuity plan (BCP) is a plan to help ensure that business processes can continue during a time of emergency or disaster. Such emergencies or disasters might include a fire or any other case where business is not able to occur under normal conditions. All businesses cannot be without a continuity plan.

For example, a BCP can help with a backup strategy. When a disaster hits what are the expectations for the business? How will the business recoup the data? The BCP is a set of technical instructions for the business and managed IT service provider. Depending on the disaster, the instructions will communicate what will be expected from all participants involved in the planning process. Here’s how data backups will come into play. With the hardware down, business’ setup with remote connectivity will be able to access the data. A business’ employees can use a browser to navigate to the appropriate files and continue to work.

While data backup incurs business expenses, it’s still less costly than a catastrophic data loss—especially one that puts a company out of business.

Andrew Lopez
Follow Us

Leave a Reply