Why Your Business Needs a Modern-Day Back-Up Plan

| October 29, 2019

Data is everywhere, and data drives everything. Without it, businesses and people wouldn’t be able to work effectively and efficiently, serve customers, and maintain day-to-day business operations. 

Today’s small and mid-sized businesses create and store massive amounts of data every single day, across personal and company laptops, desktops, mobile devices, servers, and cloud drives. That means the data that keeps your doors open and your business running is entirely vulnerable to hardware and software system failures and cybersecurity breaches. The cost of losing your data could cost you potentially millions of dollars, depending on the size and state of your business!

Modern-day back-up plans are crucial for maintaining your data and maintaining business continuity. Without these back-ups, you may not be able to recover from the data loss or keep your business running. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know about modern-day back-up and recovery planning. 

When you are evaluating your back-ups or considering implementing a new back-up and recovery plan, you need to address the following points. 

  • ComprehensivenessDoes the plan cover everything from local disk to my software as a service?
  • RecoverabilityHow quickly can I get my data back? 
  • PerformanceHow long will it take to get my systems back up and running?
  • ReliabilityHow can you prove or test to ensure back-ups work?
  • AffordabilityHow much will this cost upfront and long-term? 
  • ScalabilityWill my business quickly outgrow my investment?

Even if you have previously implemented more antiquated back-up and storage methods, like tape back-up, this is not going to ensure data retention and especially are no longer adequate for recovery time. Within a modern-day back-up and recovery plan, there are two main types of back-ups, file-based and image-based. Here’s how to differentiate between the two. 

File-Based Back-ups

File-based back-ups are exactly what they sound like–back-ups of files. These files can be your office documents, database files for your CRM system, or videos of your kids playing in the yard. A file-based back-up will back-up just your business and personal files. 

These back-ups are a good option if you are only concerned about being able to access data and can be restored to another server or another drive. The disadvantage of these back-ups is that they do not allow you to restore the entire operating system with applications. A server loss will require building a new server, with a new operating system that will not have your applications on them. Also, many of the cloud-based back-up programs will take many days to restore these files. 

Image-Based Back-up 

Imaged-based back-ups require more disk space than file-based but are considered the backbone of a comprehensive back-up strategy. With these back-ups, restoring the server in a disaster scenario is quick and easy and keeps the applications and files intact at the time of the back-up. 

Physical or virtual servers can host this type of back-up. In many cases, an image-based back-up can be restored to another host or even directly to a cloud provider, getting your system up and running within minutes, instead of hours or days. 

A modern-day back-up and recovery plan helps you control and avoid losing critical systems and data, which can cripple a business. Many physical and cyber threats can compromise systems, including fires, floods, or other natural disasters, human error (ie. someone deleted the data by accident) or cyber-attacks and security breaches.

The following can help you understand what you need to consider when it comes to choosing and implementing a back-up plan and partner.

  • Determine where your data currently resides. Also, pay close attention to where your employees store files. These files should be easily accessible to you. If employees store company data on their laptops, ensure those files are included as part of your back-up plan. 
  • Understand the cost of system downtime. Categorize those systems into critical and non-critical. Now consider, what is your tolerance during your busiest weeks for not having access to those critical systems?
  • Consider the cloud for your critical systems. Cloud-based services come with cost-effective and highly available systems. You will still need to ensure that the data is backed up properly and that it is accessible. In most cases, in small to mid-sized businesses, physical and cybersecurity controls at a cloud provider are more secure than the supply closet. 
  • Choose a back-up solution partner that can do and offer the following:
    • File-Based Back-ups (servers/desktops/laptops)
    • Image-Based Backups (servers/desktops/laptops)
    • Software as a Service (SaaS) back-ups, such as Office 365 and Google G-Suite data
    • Store encrypted back-ups locally and offsite or via the cloud.
    • Able to bring your systems back online within your tolerance for downtime
    • Able to demonstrate how back-ups are working, before a crisis occurs
    • Will monitor and resolve your back-up issues without your intervention
    • Can provide services at a cost that matches your budget

Your business needs a comprehensive back-up plan to recover from a data or system loss, and a trusted partner to help guide you through the process. Any solution that you implement should seamlessly back-up all of your data, whether it is on-premise or in the cloud. At Concensus, we’ll provide a thorough Cybersecurity review that will give you a clear view of where you are today so you can plan for tomorrow. Please contact our sales team or schedule your review at www.concensus.com/healthcheck.  

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