Protecting business continuity with data back-ups

With risks from insiders, accidents and acts of God, back-ups are key to business continuity

Recover It Fast

After a disaster, businesses are often left with anxieties and pressures to recover data quickly. While prevention of data loss is a must, system recovery is equally important. Traditional recovery methods can be cumbersome, with manual system rebuilds from bare metal taking hours or even days. Small businesses must be able to recover from system loss or disasters in minutes. What's more, they need to be able to recover servers, desktops, or laptops to dissimilar hardware and in remote, unattended locations.

Consequently, many small businesses are also deploying system recovery tools that capture the operating system, applications, system settings, configurations, and files of a live system in a recovery point that can be saved to a wide variety of media or storage devices. An administrator can schedule how often data recovery points are created and can retain specific recovery points for different time periods in accordance with business needs.

Virtualization can help small businesses better leverage their disaster recovery strategy. With server virtualization technology, multiple operating systems can be run on a single server, which enables organizations to consolidate servers and make better use of existing hardware resources. This is particularly beneficial for organizations such as small businesses that typically lack a spare system to which to restore data.

Better yet, a growing number of disaster recovery tools actually streamline the process of converting physical recovery points to virtual servers, and vice versa. With these solutions, small business can easily and reliably convert entire systems at once or selective volumes at a time.

Finally, small businesses often work with a value-added reseller (VAR) in assessing the organization's disaster recovery strategy. These trusted, tech savvy advisors can offer invaluable guidance in selecting the most appropriate tools to support their client's disaster recovery efforts.

As today's data-driven global marketplace evolves, information volumes will continue to increase. At the same time, natural disasters, power outages, application failures, system crashes, and other potentially damaging events will likely remain a challenge for businesses of all sizes. Human error will never be eliminated. And downtime will likely become less rather than more acceptable.

Disaster recovery planning, in turn, will become a greater priority for small businesses as well as large enterprises. By leveraging next-generation data and system protection tools and service offerings, small businesses can prepare for disasters, allowing them to minimize downtime, and ensure efficient and rapid recovery.

Top 5 tips for developing a Disaster Recovery Strategy:

1. Document! -- Every element of your data recovery (DR) process is important. Make sure everything is documented and ensure it includes the locations of system and other critical disks and data. Key staff members-within IT and other areas of the organization-should be familiar with these documented storage locations.

2. Automate Processes -- Establish an automated system to notify critical staff of a disaster by text, phone or email. Train your staff on the system to perform basic DR/back-up tasks unsupervised. Symantec recommends enterprises have a complete disk-based data protection solution across all environments, offices and hardware.

3. Back It Up -- Backing up critical data seems like a no brainer. But if you neglect to do so, no matter how good your DR plan is it will be of no use. Don't just back it up-test it!

4. Protect from the Inside -- Internal theft is on the rise and usually undetected. Be sure to protect your company from random theft, vandalism and employee malice. Be aware of the data location, where it is sorted and where it is going. Place controls to automatically safeguard the data, according to corporate policy, like implementing a corporate policy that all traveling laptops are backed up.