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14th of December 2018

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The increasing importance of implementing fool-proof disaster recovery

With many businesses running several different servers, such as a directory server, a file server or an application server which is running some line of business software, losing applications could result in their business grinding to a halt for some time. This can have wide-reaching implications for the business, particularly if it is customer-facing. For instance, if a company experiences a significant outage in service or loss of data it can have a devastating effect on customer retention as customers who rely on their services may experience a significant impact on their own businesses.

It is impossible for businesses to prevent every disaster scenario that might be thrown their way, however, it is possible, and necessary, to be prepared for the subsequent recovery. For most businesses, losing applications and data could have a potentially catastrophic impact on ongoing operations, yet many firms are struggling to implement an effective backup and recovery strategy. In fact, our recent survey, 30 per cent of organisations still experience data loss, demonstrating that businesses need to go to greater lengths to successfully implement and leverage backup and disaster recovery solutions and best practices.

In my view, there is nothing more critical to a business than its data. Therefore, it is vital to implement an effective disaster recovery strategy to safeguard against any losses and ensure systems are up and running as quickly as possible after an outage. While we were once satisfied with simple file or folder backups, today there is an increasing trend of robust backup recovery systems. These robust backup systems are vital to ensure business continuity and security, with a direct correlation between deploying an optimal backup and disaster recovery solution and maximising uptime. With businesses recognising the importance of disaster recovery, we’re seeing greater adoption of more robust backup software which covers the full spectrum of processes needed for business continuity and disaster recovery. These solutions are vital to ensure businesses are secure, rather than just allowing for the recovery of deleted files.

Identifying the risks

When it comes to finding and implementing a software solution, businesses must identify the risks to their business and then determine the resource they can allocate to performing backups. For example, whether they will take control of the backup process in-house or outsource to a third-party who oversees all of their disaster management. Regardless of which option a business chooses, it is vital that backups are performed regularly to ensure they aren’t caught out by things such as Mother Nature causing a natural disaster, theft, cyber attacks and human error.

For these end users, an IT disaster is unacceptable, and everything should be done to mitigate any potential damage. If an organisation doesn’t do this, customers may decide to switch suppliers. This has long been a concern within B2C businesses but is now also common within the B2B realm. Businesses that aren’t satisfied that their suppliers are doing everything they can to protect their data and ensure a reliable service are becoming just as likely as consumers to switch suppliers. It is therefore far less expensive for businesses to prevent or recover quickly from a disaster than to regain lost customers as the result of one.

It is vital for organisations to implement disaster recovery software solutions that do not just recover files but also help secure the business’ very future. Adopting one solution that covers all systems will also make the processes of performing backups much easier and minimise both the time and knowledge needed to perform backups and any subsequent recoveries. Frequently, organisations use multiple different backup solutions to secure their IT environments. This typically means a variety of tools to understand, manage and verify, which is likely to lead to increased operational complexity and risk as things are more likely to be missed. Arguably, the best disaster recovery solutions should be fool-proof and easily implemented even by somebody who doesn’t have prior knowledge of how to do so.

Benefits of regular backups

By performing regular backups, it will be possible to restore data from before the event and help systems get back up and running as soon as possible with minimal disruption to process and customers.

Fortunately, it needn’t be a case of a user carrying out manual backups as many solutions perform automated backups on a daily or weekly basis as determined by the user. This removes the human error of forgetting to perform a backup and allows businesses to rest assured that disaster recovery is regularly being taken care of. These solutions also have the added advantage of giving organisations a better overview of all the systems within their IT infrastructure and how long it would take them to get back up and running following an outage.

Within the Managed Service Provider market, in particular, we are seeing a lot of excitement about this sort of software. For these organisations, disaster recovery presents the next growth opportunity and allows them to give businesses a wider range of options to best suit their needs. Businesses with systems running on a range of different platforms will find that many MSPs are now able to offer one solution to span the full spectrum of their systems. This removes the need to have multiple solutions, allowing the business to learn how to use one solution effectively for the entire organisation. For businesses, this has the potential to cut costs, increase ease of use and also increase ease of mind as they know they are relying on one robust system, rather than several solutions of differing capabilities.

The risks of disregarding disaster recovery could be devastating. Businesses, therefore, must do their utmost to safeguard against the consequences of disasters. As the saying goes, fail to prepare and you prepare to fail. This is certainly the case with disaster recovery. As businesses deal with increasingly large volumes of data, losing any of it from improper disaster recovery planning could be catastrophic. IT departments must identify the risks to their business and arm themselves with a robust solution to enable a quick and effective response to any data losses or downtime and minimise the impact on their operations and customers who may rely on their services.

Mike Puglia Chief Strategy Officer, KaseyaImage Credit: alphaspirit / Shutterstock

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