Thursday, April 3, 2014

Guest Blog: Disaster Recovery for Businesses

For small to medium sized businesses a solid disaster recovery plan unfortunately doesn't get much attention and for good reason, it can be expensive However, it’s just as important for a small business to have a plan as it is a large business. 

Disaster recovery is basically a plan to bring your business back up in the event that everything is lost. This plan would detail every action the business would need to take including a location to temporarily move to. The backup and replication methods available to protect the data in your environment range from Tape Backup to High Availability services. 

To break it down here are the different scenarios available to you: 
  • Tape backup: Tape is a dying breed, I still have clients who do tape backups but most have transitioned to some other form of media. Tape is slow and in the event that everything was lost you’d normally lose a days worth of work depending on timing, and that time includes getting the tape that is stored off site. The standard backup model here is backing up your data to a tape such as an LTO or other type of tape. 
  • Disk Based Backups: Disk based backups are quickly becoming the media of choice. An example of a device would be a SAN (Storage Area Network). You’d backup your data to an array of disks which then could be replicated off site to another SAN. This is the ideal situation. Advantages are increased capacity, quick restores and replication capabilities.
  • High Availability: High availability is the replication of your live environment in real time. An example of this type of scenario would consist of 2 servers, one production server that’s in use and one recovery server located typically at a another location. Data is replicated in real time to the recovery server and in the event of a disaster business could resume at the chosen location. This is the ultimate in disaster recovery. Products such as Double Take software can be used to accomplish this. 
The method you chose to use depends on your budget but consider the sales that would be lost due to unfortunate down time as the result of a disaster. Disaster Recovery is a topic your business should implement and continually review.

Daniel Doucette is the owner of IT Link Maine, LLC, a BBB Accredited Business since 2014. 

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