Evaluating Backup and Disaster Recovery Amidst Storm Season

One of the worst feelings in the world is the moment you realize your business must rely on your backup solution for your server.  For many people, this ends up being an unplanned disaster recovery (DR) test, because without the proper tools or an expensive duplicate of your infrastructure you would have to break your servers to verify that you could recover if your servers did indeed break.  If that's not enough to induce hysterics, how about when you find out that your backups haven't been successful since Ricky Martin was on the radio. Sound familiar? We can help.

As a Managed Service Provider (MSP), ProTech works to provide peace of mind to all our clients. Having a solid Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) plan is at the top of our list in this regard. When evaluating what BDR solution we would propose to our clients, we made sure to choose a solution with that in mind.  This post will explain how the ProTech BDR solution alleviates worry about whether or not you could recover your data and how our approach ultimately reduces lost revenue, lost productivity, and even lost faith in your company's ability to service your customers.    

Exploring your Backup and Disaster Recovery Options

When exploring your Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) options, there are a few different methods, but the two most common are file-based or image-based backups.  With file-based backups you choose which files are most important and make copies of those. Some of the limitations of this is that systems often use technology such as the Windows' Registry where the settings for applications are stored in a database, instead of a configuration file.  

This means that you can't just restore all the files that were on a system and expect it to boot up.  Instead, you would have to rebuild the Operating System (OS), install all the software that was on the system, and then, restore the files.  Oh, and cross your fingers.  This method can prove to be extremely time consuming, and the longer your users aren't able to work, the more money you are losing. 

But there is hope, when virtualization technology matured, vendors began using it to take images of a server.  They used this as a method of backup that had a shorter restoration time.  This is similar to the method engineers use to move an OS installed directly on the server to a Virtual Machine (VM).  We call this Physical to Virtual (P2V).  Essentially, your files and programs are saved to a virtual server every time an image of the server is taken.  So, if your server dies, becomes corrupt or gets Ransomware, we can boot up your last successful backup on the BDR device, confirm it is on the network, and then, call to tell you that your users can get back to work.  All that is accomplished in the time it takes to boot the server(s).  We've been able to get clients back to work within 10 minutes of a major server outage that would normally have them down for days or, in some cases, weeks.  While the backup image is running on the BDR device, it will continue to take backups so you're covered if some sort of software corruption occurs during the recovery period.  

Speaking of recovery, we have to get that data back over to your new or repaired server hardware at some point.  With an image-based backup, it’s as easy as transferring a file, and ProTech can do that after hours to minimize downtime for your users.  Our decision to provide our clients with an image-based BDR solution allows for less downtime and less lost revenue resulting in happy clients.

But what about Disasters? 

Backup and Data Recovery - Cloud based IT solutions | Protech SolutionsSo, we put a shiny new BDR device in your office, and if you had one of the issues I mentioned above, you could recover pretty quickly.  But, what happens if there's a flood or fire that destroys all your servers and the BDR device?  No problem!  Your backups are automatically sent offsite to bi-coastal data centers.  If there was a regional disaster, such as an earthquake, you're covered.  We can provide remote access to your servers allowing us to boot up in the cloud.  If there was a flood at your office and another disaster along the east coast that took out the data center, maybe Godzilla shows up, you would still be covered by the west coast data center.  Now, if all three locations suffer simultaneous disasters, we probably have other things we need to be worried about, like the impending apocalyptic society.

Ideas for a SyFy channel movie aside, in the more common scenario that you have a localized disaster like a flood, earthquake or fire, you call ProTech and let us know where your temporary recovery is located.  We will contact the BDR vendor who will, then, load your latest backups on a new device.  It ships anywhere in the world overnight.  You receive it, and we boot up your servers to get you up and running again so that you can get back to Livin' La Vida Loca.  So, maybe Ricky Martin is still relevant? 

Do you need help with your Backup and Disaster Recovery solution? If you are uncertain if your BDR solution is effective and can withstand storm season, contact us for more information today.

Posted by Adam Blankenship at 9:18 AM
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