Anyone want to talk about backups?

Backups.  Not the first topic businesses want to discuss but something that can have serious consequences if not addressed.  Because businesses today, almost without exception, depend on their data to continue in business, a complete backup and disaster recovery solution is essential. Whether it’s a natural disaster such as a tornado, hurricane (hopefully not this year!) fire or an accidental file deletion, the need for a backup plan is real.   Most businesses agree that there is a need for a backup and disaster recovery plan, but how to go about accomplishing this can be very confusing.  The type of backup and disaster recovery solution you choose will depend upon several issues: 

  • How long can you afford to be without your data and services?
  • What data and services are essential for business during a disaster?
  • How quickly does the data not necessary during a disaster need to be available after a disaster?

The answers to these questions will determine the disaster solution that should be implemented. 

Tape drives have been the standard backup solution for many years.   Tape technology has greatly improved over the years and there are tape drive solutions that will provide a reliable backup.  Tapes do give you the option of taking data offsite as well as providing unlimited retention.  However, a tape drive does not provide a good solution for a business that needs to be quickly restored after a disaster or server hardware failure.  A server would need to be ordered and setup and then the tapes would have to be restored.  This could take a few days.

Disk backup is becoming the most popular backup choice because of the relatively low cost of disk space and its reliability.  The downside of recover time (ordering a server and recovering the data) applies to a disk backup solution.  An additional downside is not being able to take backups offsite, but that can be offset by means of an offsite backup solution that backs up data over the Internet.

An Internet based backup solution takes care of the need for having data offsite in case of a disaster.  If this is the only backup, however, it does mean that the restore will require an Internet connection as well as the time it takes to transfer the data over the Internet.   In addition a server would need to be ordered and the data recovered.

Thinsolutions offers a backup and disaster recovery solution which addresses of all these requirements.  Our solution consists of a local backup as well as an offsite backup.  We will setup a backup device which backs up all of your servers and data, and then sends the data securely offsite to a data center.  This data is then replicated to two other data centers in different geographical locations.  The backups are taken in snapshots every 15 minutes, allowing for very time -specific restores.  In the case of a server failure the BDR (backup and disaster recovery) device is able to bring the server online virtually so that users can connect to it and continue working until a new server can be setup.  In case of a true disaster where all of the servers are destroyed including the BDR device, a new BDR device will be shipped and the servers can still run virtually.  This is truly a complete backup and disaster recovery solution.

It’s important to clearly define your up time and recovery time requirements before a disaster or server failure occurs.  Thinsolutions can guide you through the process of answering these questions and assist you in developing a backup and disaster recovery solution that meets your specific needs.

– Luke C. Neuman

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