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Backup & Disaster Recovery 101 – Everything You Need to Know

Hope for the best plan for the worst written on notepad

If you run a business in 2019, you need a backup and disaster recovery plan in place. This is not something you can do without. The odds are good that 99% of your company’s information and processes all happen through computers. That means you need an information technology (IT) infrastructure in place that allows you to save, share, and access your company’s workloads and data. What happens when something goes wrong within your IT infrastructure? That’s where a backup and disaster recovery plan comes in. In most cases, you’ll hear these two terms used together – because they, like peanut butter and jelly, are better together – but they are actually two separate things. In this blog, we take a closer look at what backup and disaster recovery are, why they matter for your business, and how to test your current system to ensure your business is ready if the unthinkable happens.

Is there a Difference Between Backups & Disaster Recovery Plans?

There is a big difference between backup and disaster recovery, but they are often lumped together because they address similar concerns i.e. recovering information and systems after a loss event. The goal of a good backup and disaster recovery plan for your business is to get as close as possible to a recovery point objective (RPO) of zero. That means that after a loss event, you will recover almost all of your data. This is done through backups and recovery plans that use either continuous data protection (CDP) or snap shots (periodic saving). Because of the variety of applications and technologies used by most businesses, the best backup and disaster recovery plans will leverage both of these options, depending on the requirements of individual components within your IT infrastructure.

Backups

Animation of backup plan components for business

Backups at the office level are duplicates of information that can be immediately accessed if you need to restore a single document or file or open alternate versions of documents or files when unintended changes are made. For example, most business communication programs have settings that automatically save work periodically, so if you have a power surge, a recently saved version of the document can be opened.  

On the whole-business level, backups are copies of files, documents, and other resources that can be accessed by more than one individual. Typically, this involves setting up individual computers and devices on a network where data is periodically retrieved and stored. This ensures even if an employee leaves, one computer is lost, or you otherwise need to get access to a document without the employee or system that originated the content, you can find it in your backups.

Disaster Recovery

Think of disaster recovery as creating backups on an even larger scale. Not just one file or document is saved for access later, but your entire business IT infrastructure is duplicated. This ensures that, after a disaster, you have a plan in place that allows for quick recovery of all of your systems, networks, documents, and processes. Where backups are generally made of individual items, disaster recovery is much more focused on the big picture function of your company.

During the planning stages of creating your disaster recovery plan, you’ll want to look at all of the systems, software, and processes your business uses on a daily basis. Then, you’ll plan to recover these systems quickly and efficiently. In most cases, you will want to get communication back online first. This ensures you can answer your clients’ questions, contact your IT support team for help, and perform other necessary communications right away. Then, you can start to pull in all of the other processes and systems your business needs like computer networks, specific software, and other parts of your IT infrastructure.

What are the Benefits of a Backup & Disaster Recovery Plan?

Red button that says recover data

The biggest benefit is clear – your business information and processes are protected and accessible after data breaches, malware attacks, or natural disasters, like floods and fires. While other businesses are still trying to find work arounds to get them through the day, a great backup and disaster recovery plan will have you back to full capacity more quickly, ensuring your bottom line is protected, your customer satisfaction is high, and your productivity never slows.

How do I Know if I Have a Good Backup & Disaster Recovery Plan?

Testing! When you have a backup and disaster recovery plan in place, you need to test it. You know when you don’t want to find out your backup and disaster recovery plan failed? After an actual data loss or disaster. You should regularly test your systems to ensure that they are working and your RPO is as close to zero as possible (it’s like golf – you want a low score). Your backup and disaster recovery team will perform testing regularly, and there are also third-party providers who offer these services. You can also spot check files and system backups independently by requesting access to the stored versions of your information periodically. However you test, make sure that you are testing the efficacy of these systems on a regular basis. 

Does IT ArchiTeks Offer Backup & Disaster Recovery?

We work with businesses of all sizes to create effective back up and disaster recovery plans. Our business is dedicated to helping your business succeed, and when it comes to the role of IT, protecting your business information and processes is essential. We can partner with you to create redundancy within your backups, so there’s always another version of your data somewhere. We also offer 24/7 disaster recovery from our industry-leading support team. All of our services are customized to your business and scalable to allow for growth. In short, we’re here for you today, tomorrow, and father down the road. When you’re ready to discuss backup and disaster recovery plans, call our sales team. We’ll get to work answering your questions, reviewing your current processes, and providing our expert recommendations to ensure your backup and disaster recovery plan has you covered no matter what.

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