How to Make a Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan in Three Steps

February 8th, 2017 by admin

140,000 hard drives crash each week and 60% of companies that lose critical data are forced to shut down because they are unable to recover their information. Reliable backups should be every business' best friend. Unfortunately most companies don't realize the importance of actively managing their backups until it is too late. Creating a B&DR plan doesn't need to be hard. We've simplified it into three simple steps.

Why are Backups Important?

Did you know that 140,000 hard drives crash each week? Data disasters don’t care if you’re running a business. 60% of companies that lose critical data are forced to shut down because they are unable to recover their information. From a business perspective, that’s nothing but bad news.

The Three Step B&DR Plan

The top causes of data loss are hardware failure (44%), human error (32%), data corruption (14%), cyber-attacks (7%), and natural disasters (3%). Unfortunately, all of these things are common AND difficult to foresee. We at Equinox IT Services are firm believers in preparation – a prepared business is an efficient business! There are three important things to keep in mind when planning your backups: 1. List your important data and where it is located. The best practice is to save it centrally, so that it can be backed up centrally. 2. Decide on a Recovery Point Objective (RPO). Your RPO determines how often you back up your data and how far back in time you can go to recover it. Ask yourself if I were to lose my data, what would I have want to have backed up weekly, daily, or hourly? 3. Decide on a Recovery Time Objective (RTO). In other words, if disaster strikes, how quickly do you need new servers and your data restored? You’ll want to make sure you have a plan that gets the part of your business with highest financial impact running first. Once you’ve carefully considered each of these steps, you’re ready to make the best backup decisions for your company. Generally, the best practice is to keep your data in three safe places: production, onsite backups and offsite backups. There are hundreds of backup options available but here are some of the most common.

Onsite Backups

Every business should have onsite backups in place, no excuses! Onsite backups allow for quick and efficient file and folder retrieval (half an hour max). Onsite backups will be able to recover OS corruption, however, if your building or servers are damaged by a natural disaster such as theft, fire, or flood, then you won’t be able to restore your data. Onsite backups can have a 30% failure rate if they are not managed properly, but they are an absolute must for businesses to allow for a fast, easily accessible recovery.

Local Offsite Backups

Equinox IT Services can provide local offsite backups. We’ll keep a second copy of your onsite backups so that if your site is ever affected by hardware failure, a broken pipe that fries your network room, or theft, you can still recover quickly. We monitor these backups to make sure that you will be able to recover. We also provide loaner servers which allow for a rapid restore of all your servers (4-12 hours maximum).

Disaster Recovery Sites

There are many companies that will store your data in a distant location on the cloud. This is an excellent place to store data in case of a large natural disaster like an earthquake or hurricane. The idea is to have a temporary offsite server that you can quickly start up and work off from in case of an emergency. Unfortunately, it’s never as easy as it should be and can take up to 2-3 days (or more) to recover. These distant off site servers also tend to be more expensive, but if a disaster happens they can make the difference of you being in or out of business.

Server Replication

Server Replication can turn a 2-5 day hardware recovery into a 5-10 minute recovery. Replication provides super-fast failovers, meaning when one server fails, a second one that contains identical information will start running. Server replication will defend against hardware failure but will not protect your data from OS corruption. This is a best practice in any environment that has the budget for it.

Shadow Copy

Another best practice to follow is to make sure all of your data shares have Shadow Copy enabled. Shadow Copy will track each time a file gets modified and allow you to roll back to previous versions of that file. This type of backup will not restore at an OS level or protect you from hardware failure so you’ll want to ensure that you have a plan that includes other options as well. Every situation and every business is unique. Equinox will help you decide what backups are necessary for your business to thrive in the face of adversity. Call us and learn about more options and how we can help you! Don’t ignore your business’ need for backups. As they say: better safe than sorry! Contact Equinox today! We’ve got your back...and your backups.  

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