With half of Cumbria under water last week, our thoughts at Resolve turned to the many independent businesses effected and how important disaster recovery plans are. Whilst the clean-up operation is well under way, the real cost to businesses is yet to be calculated. It is only a few years since the floods in Sheffield flowed through dozens of industrial and business units in Hillsborough and the Don Valley. Even once the water had subsided the impact continued as businesses started to recognise the value of disaster recovery planning.
One integral part of disaster recovery planning is data backup. In the past companies got used to swapping tapes on a daily basis and taking them home at the end of the day. Nowadays, it's easier to swap hard drives or have a network attached storage drive located elsewhere in the building, or maybe even in a seperate building across the road. Others opt for offsite backup in the cloud or at a second remote site.
But, having a backup is only one part of the picture. Knowing how long it will take to restore the backup and how old the data will be when it eventually comes back to life are the key measures of how well we can recover from a disaster like a flood or fire. Your cloud backup may be convenient in terms of not having to remember to pick up the removable hard drive on the way out of the office, but if it is in a secure data centre and they aren't able to courier the data on a hard drive to you, how long would it take to restore all of your data? Could your business cope without access to critical data for several days whilst your I.T provider downloads a disk image?
If you are backing up to a network attached drive, will this provide a resilient recovery path in the event of a fire for example? If it is in the same building and you have no other backup, then the chances are if you lose your server to a disaster you could well lose the backup as well. And do you always remember to take the backup drive with you when you leave the office? If that is the only recovery path left to you and it hasn't been changed in a week, could your business trace all the orders, invoices and document changes completed in that time?
There are quite a few questions here to consider, but luckily, at Resolve, we have lots of answers! We can recommend a suite of different backup solutions tailored to your business needs, which are based around recovery objectives and not just ticking the box of backup without thinking about the practicalities of recovery in the event of a disaster. To find out more about the sort of support we can offer, visit our Disaster Recovery and Emergency Response pages on the website, or give us as call on 0114 299 4050.