ARE LOCAL AND OFFSITE BACKUP SOLUTIONS ENOUGH?
Over the years, hurricanes have shown businesses what can happen when you don’t prepare for a disaster. But aside from all of the structural and equipment damages, there is the issue of data and all of the other IT assets associated with your business. Could you lose your data? Your email? Your servers? According to the National Hurricane Survival Initiative, 40% of small businesses that close due to hurricane damage will never reopen. So if you want to avoid becoming a statistic, the time to start planning is now. The first step: Exploring local and offsite backup solutions.
Protecting Your Data
Data is like your business’s DNA, its identity, its life force. If you lose that, you may never recover. So what’s the plan? How and where will you store your data? Many businesses back up locally to magnetic tapes or other types of storage devices. In the event of a hurricane, business owners take these devices and restore their IT environments offsite. Another option is to back up your data to the cloud. Although, the cost of backing up to the cloud may be comparable to traditional tape, restoring a large amount of data could take significantly longer. If a flood or fire happens, and there are no tapes or devices to restore from, you’ll be happy that your data is safe and sound elsewhere. In fact, some companies will use two different backup methods, such as local and cloud backup, just to make sure they’re covered.
When it comes to disaster recovery (DR) plans, there is no such thing as one size fits all. However, before you put your plan together, there are a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself:
1. What do I want to protect?
Do you want to protect your data? Your servers? Email? Make a list of all of your IT assets and check it twice.
2. What do I want to protect my business from?
The answer might seem obvious (a hurricane) but what happens if there’s a fire, theft or flood? Are you willing to assume the risk, or do you need something more comprehensive?
3. How long can I afford to be down?
Some businesses can be out of commission for a few days — no problem. But for others, being down, even for a few hours could prove to be disastrous.
4. What kind of technology do I need?
You may need to consult with an IT specialist to ensure you have the right technology in place. Need help? Connect with one of UDT’s virtual client advisors.
5. How often do I need to test my plan?
The best time to catch a technology failure is during a disaster recovery test. Trust us on this. You’ll want to test your plan regularly.
Riding Out the Storm
Now that you have a disaster recovery (DR) plan you’re all set. Right? Not exactly. A DR plan is one piece of your overarching business continuity plan (BC). BC plans help you maintain business functions or quickly resume them after a hurricane or other major disruption. A BC plan identifies key personnel, backups, contacts, equipment and documents. It also includes step-by-step instructions for operating during the business recovery period. Like the DR plan, your BC plan should be tested, retested and adjusted, if needed.
Is your business hurricane-ready? Contact UDT to discuss personalized plans for your business, including local and offsite backup solutions.