There is a scary misunderstanding most business owners have about their backup systems.
Most people know that we all should be backing up our computers and servers. However, here’s something you probably don’t know, that will come back and “bite” you.
Are you ready?
Simply having a backup of your data is NOT ENOUGH to guarantee you could be back up and running fast in the event of a disaster.
Having a data backup merely means that you have a copy of your company’s data stored somewhere; it does NOT mean you have a way to instantly restore your network back to normal – shocking stuff, but most business owners discover this after they’ve experienced a major network crash or data-erasing disaster.
For example, if your network dies because of a hardware failure, your entire company is down. Period. No email, no accessing your database, company records, and more. Until whatever caused the problem can be fixed, which might involve ordering replacement parts, your business is deader than a doornail.
So, you reach for your backups only to discover….
Your information is there, but without a server, you have nowhere to load that information, and no way to access it. On top of that, a backup only holds your data, not your operating system, settings, or software applications. So even if you can load data, you can’t actually use it without re-loading all the software applications. Even if you have all the software disks and key codes, it could still take days – possibly weeks – to rebuild, and the costs can run into the thousands.
The three most common causes of server downtime are hardware failure, software corruption and human error.
A disaster recovery plan covers more than just a backup. It maps our how to get your business restored and running again in every possible scenario.
For example, if another company in your office building has a fire, the police may quarantine your building preventing you from even entering your office. Or if a major storm knocks out power, Internet or the phone lines, you need a plan B for servicing customers, taking orders and keeping things rolling.
The 3 Crucial Components To A Disaster Recovery Plan
1.Have a Plan!
“If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” When it comes to disaster recovery, nothing could be more accurate. If something happens to your office, will your employees be able to work from home? Do you have an alternate plan for your phones? Where would you temporarily set up shop? How quickly could you get technology equipment you need to function like computers, scanners, or printers? How will you access the Internet?
2. Onsite Server “Virtualization”
In a downtime situation, virtualization is basically a business owner’s lifeline to his or her business. If the disaster doesn’t take out your whole office, virtualization can have you back in business the same day. Here’s how it works. A second server makes exact copies of everything on your server – operating systems, software applications and data – every 15-60 minutes.
This server replica, also known as an “image,” can take over if your main server fails or gets corrupted. No need to re-load software, reconfigure your network, or re-load your data. In just a short amount of time, everyone in your company can get back to or, just as they were before the downtime. Without virtualization, this could take days or even WEEKS.
3. Offsite Image of Your Server
Fire, flood, theft, natural disasters, or even faulty office sprinkler systems can physically damage your office equipment, including your server and your backup system.