Traditional backup protection may have been sufficient in the past, but the latest in a new generation of Online Backup methodologies moves away from just data protection to full system protection that is designed to keep firms running virtually 24 x 7. It really doesn’t matter what the risk is. These new Online Backup systems protect firms from virus, hardware failure or even hurricanes, thus allowing IT managers to sleep more peacefully.
A Business Continuity Solution is a hidden, but critically important business activity. It’s not just an IT activity but rather a total protection program that can help a firm survive. If you use ERP or CRM software in your day to day business cycle, you know how important these systems have become to the daily operations of your business. Have you ever thought about how you would run your business if these systems suddenly became unavailable for days, weeks or even months? Imagine, no ability to take orders, produce products, track inventory, enter shipments, track accounting etc?? Many of you today are sitting on this exact possibility and may not even know it.
Admiral Turcotti, who headed the Space Shuttle Columbia investigation made the following statement:
“Don’t confuse the likeliness of a problem with the consequences of it.”
Just because it’s unlikely that your server’s motherboard will short out or your building will burn down or if a $1.00 part in your sprinkler head in your server room breaks or a $10 O-Ring in the Space Shuttle would be defective, should not be confused with the consequences if it does.
Online Backup vs. Conventional Backup
Most business owners and IT managers assume because they use conventional back up on a daily basis, that all will be fine if something happens to your servers.
There are two key problems with this assumption.
The first is you are assuming that your current backup system is working 100%. Very few businesses properly test their backup preparedness. Some may do a test restore of a few files, or even a volume, but unless you keep an identical set of hardware nearby and completely restore to that hardware, you won’t know what problems you may encounter in the event of a real emergency. That’s why true Hybrid Cloud Continuity (a.k.a. Supercharged Online Backup) needs to be part of your disaster recovery thinking.
The middle of a disaster is NOT when you want to be finding out things aren’t working as planned. Statistics show that 35% of all restore attempts fail. About 50% are technical problems and 50% are human caused. One example of a human problem is adding an additional drive or server to your network but forgetting to add it to your daily backup routine.
The second problem is most executives, and even a large percentage of IT folks don’t realize how long it takes to get people back up and running in both a local failure scenario and especially a disaster scenario. Sure it’s nice to know you can restore to new servers and get your folks back on line, but did you know it can take days, weeks, or even months in certain scenarios? If you knew that, you would not sleep so well at night.
There are many different types of backup solutions and technologies, but that’s beyond the scope of this article. If you suffer a software type failure such as file corruption or virus, depending on the backup technology in use, you could be down a few hours to a few days.
However, if your servers suffered a problem that requires replacement of the entire unit such as a motherboard failure on an old, out of warranty server or fire, you would need to order a replacement server. In most cases, servers are built to order and can take 7 to 10 days to arrive even with rush processing and shipping.
Because the new server has a different hardware configuration, many existing backup technologies require you to re-install the operating system, patches, drivers, utility applications like anti-virus, anti-malware etc. Then you need to install database applications like SQL Server, your ERP or Accounting software, all the patches since your DVD’s were created, then restore your application data and reconnect your users. This process can add an additional 1-3 days to the recovery process
If your building became uninhabitable, say after a fire, flood or hurricane, the time it takes to find a new temporary office, purchase new hardware and restore you data can push into 30 or more days of downtime. And this assumes you’ve been rotating your backups offsite frequently or using an online backup (Cloud) based solution that can overnight a hard drive to you with your data since pulling hundreds of gigs or terabytes of server images via the internet can take a month or longer.
Based on the above problems, can your company work without its accounting and ERP software for days or weeks? The average Small to Mid-Size business can easily lose $50,000/day of downtime.
Online Backup – The Solution
Companies need a Business Disaster Recovery (BDR) or Business Continuity solution with online Cloud storage as a key component of a multi-tiered protection plan.
These solutions replace traditional backup which is only designed to protect your data, with solutions that are designed to both protect your data and avoid costly and possibly fatal downtime. One leading edge BDR solution designed by people who know accounting & ERP systems is EverSafe!
EverSafe! understands how complex ERP systems work with combinations of database servers, application servers and workstations as well as how mission critical these solutions are to a company’s daily operations.
EverSafe! Is a combination of hardware, software and services and provides what is known as Hybrid Cloud Continuity. EverSafe! takes ‘snapshots’ of your servers as frequently as every 5 minutes and stores them in a ‘ready to run’ format in an ‘appliance’ that’s installed in your server room. It also sends online backup copies of your servers to two highly secure bi-coastal data centers in the Cloud. So if you are on the East Coast and a major regional disaster occurred, your data would still be secure in Utah. Short of thermonuclear war, your data is safe.
On a daily basis, EverSafe! boots up the copies of your servers internally and tests that they can get to a Windows Server login screen and emails you a copy of the screen proving that the backup is good and ready to run at a moment’s notice. This daily testing offers peace of mind that is just not available with traditional backup solutions
If your server(s) suffer a software or hardware problem, you can fail over in minutes to the EverSafe! appliance that is sitting on-site in your server room. This appliance stands in for your down server and your users don’t even notice the difference. Should your server room or entire building be knocked out, you can failover to EverSafe’s Online backup servers in the Cloud that have copies of your servers waiting to be brought on-line in less than 30 minutes. Your employees can then access the servers remotely from home or temporary office space.
Once your servers are repaired or replaced, you can use either the EverSafe! appliance, or if it was destroyed, a free replacement unit with your Cloud data to restore the most up to the minute data to your production servers.
The net effect of this Hybrid Cloud Continuity Solution is for just a little bit more money than business grade online data backup, you get the benefits of instant onsite access to your backup data, peace of mind that your data is securely stored offsite (following HIPAA, SOX and other regulatory requirements) and most importantly, the ability to run your servers inside of the appliance and data centers while you repair or replace your production servers.
And since EverSafe! is a comprehensive service, should your IT staff be unavailable during your disaster, EverSafe’s technicians can remotely bring your backup servers online quickly.
In the end, the EverSafe! is designed to avoid any downtime, and not just backup your data.