Why Every Business Needs a Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan

Grade A Network Operations Technician Alec Mowat explains the importance of having a backup and disaster recovery plan for your business.case-office-fire

A business should have both a data backup plan and a disaster recovery plan. Not only is it important to have the backup information available when required, it’s important to have an action plan to get those backups available within hours and not days. Here are a few important questions to take into consideration:

Who is responsible for your data? Are they technical enough to get the ball rolling? Have they planned for any troubleshooting or point of contact in case of a recover mishap? It’s always important to have a point of contact within your business that is familiar with and understands how the backup process would proceed, and who to contact when the backups are required.

What data are you responsible for recovering? Do you really need your Windows install files, or can Windows be quickly formatted and your line of business software reinstalled? Some servers might require a full disk image, but remember that larger backups require more bandwidth to send offsite. Important servers can be ready to access within the Cloud, while storage data can be saved and added to a fresh install if required. Know what data you are backing up helps determine where your backups should be stored.

Where is your data? Did you store it onsite, or offsite? Are all of your peas in one pod?  In the case of a fire or catastrophic situation, do you have an offsite solution? Onsite data is great for quick file recovers or restoring a failed server. New servers can be added and the virtual machines reloaded almost instantly. However; if you find yourself in a critical situation with your office or server space completely damaged, offsite backups and Cloud solutions are the only recovery option.

When do you need this? Does your business absolutely depend on speedy accounting or IT based services, such as graphic design or audio/video? Hypothetically, if immediate access to email is crucial for your business, you will want your exchange servers operating immediately. Some businesses may not require instant access to their file shares and can safely upload to the Cloud to be retrieved once the servers are restored. It’s important to know what information you would need immediate access to; especially during a small scale server outage or a site damaging event.

Why do you need to back up your information? Do you need to backup all of your data, or only certain files? Do you need to copy your user folders off-site or just your information databases and exchange servers? Knowing why you need a backup of your data is the ground work for knowing where you’ll need it backed up, whether remotely, locally or on the Cloud.

So, a plan of action is required. What do you need and how do you plan on getting it?

Have good IT management and a designated contact. Plan a strategy. Consider your future growth and plan your backup space accordingly. Prepare for file recovery or ready for action virtual machines. For virus infections and missing files, onsite backups are quick to access. They also provide quick, full recovery in case of disk corruption or hardware failure. Offsite backups are required when problems become uncontrollable, such as building fires.

Also consider the Cloud. Data can be stored online and accessed from anywhere, at any time. Cost and speed restrictions may prevent the Cloud from being your only solution. Planning for disaster recovery or simple file recovery is the key to any successful business. With so much information being sent through the servers, as well as the constant updates and changes, backups are the difference between hours of downtime or years.

Grade A understands the importance of your data and offers both automated and monitored onsite and offsite data backup solutions. To learn more, please contact us by phone at (613) 721-3331 or by email info@gradea.ca