People have been creating backups since the 18th century. Of course, back then the backups were written on paper, but people valued the idea of business continuity.
Organizations have been calling our help desk recently asking to utilize their backup for a variety of reasons: accidentally deleted files, ransomware viruses, server or laptop completely died, and more. Would you believe me if I told you that it is only a matter of time before one or all of these scenarios happen to you? Well, according to statistics, it is only a matter of time. So the question is: are you prepared? Do you have a reliable backup solution? But more importantly, do you review or test your backups to make sure they are valid? If there is a loss, are you prepared or equipped to handle the restoration?
With more and more valuable data being created, the importance of data backup can’t be emphasized enough. It’s important to know that there is a backup solution that fits every budget. Solutions can range from simple and reliable file and folder, to robust solutions like image based backup. Which solution is right for you? First, let’s review how to establish your cost of downtime (COD), which will then reveal the proper solution.
What is YOUR cost of downtime (COD)?
When choosing a backup solution, it’s smart to know what downtime actually costs your organization. First, set a recovery time objective (RTO), which is the amount of time your organization can be down without it affecting revenue. Is that seconds, days, never? Consider for a moment what the costs are when all internal processes stop: lost revenue with no access to data, lost employee productivity, no email/communication, cost to restore IT systems, financial loss due to customer dissatisfaction, potential compliance violations, and the list goes on. Next establish a recovery point objective (RPO) – RPO is focused on data, and your loss tolerance in relation to your data. RPO is determined by looking at the time between data backups and the amount of data that could be lost in between backups. Your RTO and RPO combined with recovery process times, and employee costs = your TRUE cost of downtime. You may be very surprised to learn that downtime can cost more than a quality backup solution.
What Solution is Best for Your Organization?
The two most prominent backup solutions today are image-based backup, and file and folder.
What is an Image Based Backup Solution?
Initially, full backup images are taken which include the operating system, applications, databases, user data, and all configuration data. After the initial backup, efficient incremental snapshots are taken, and the images can then be stored locally on the Business Disaster Recovery (BDR) Appliance and/or stored in the Cloud. An image based solution will provide you with a fast recovery.
What is a File & Folder Backup Solution?
A file and folder backup solution protects only the files and folders that you specify. It typically gives you the option of preserving one or more older versions every time it backs up the latest set of updated files. File and folder is generally more cost effective because you are only backing up selected files and/or folders that you consider important – creating less data for storage. Although it can take more time to restore when using this method, it is a proven and reliable solution. You can also perform this type of backup on premise or off site.
Should I Choose Onsite, Offsite, or Hybrid?
Again that depends on how much downtime you can withstand.
Onsite: In the event of a downed server, the affected server can be virtualized and hosted via the appliance. Onsite enables a quick and efficient recovery. It is faster because you do not have to worry about the speed or bandwidth restrictions you may encounter working across an internet connection.
Offsite: In the event of a disaster or site-wide outage, users are re-routed to offsite data centers and can continue to work by accessing the protected infrastructure.
Hybrid: Of course a combination of both creates an even better solution. It combines the speed of onsite, and the reliability of offsite to create the best solution possible.
The right solution will be different for everyone. However, one thing will remain the same for all: Protecting your data is essential! Backup is like having a business insurance plan, but the odds of you needing your data backup are far higher than you actually needing your insurance.