Company data being accessible to employees is the lifeblood of all modern businesses. If that data becomes inaccessible, how will you respond and what impact will that have on your operations? Do you have a disaster recovery plan in place for outages, data loss, and corruption? Solutions to these questions will be presented and should be seriously considered if your business doesn’t currently have one in place that’s tested and confirmed viable.
As reported by Michael White, from Veeam in an article called Business Disaster Recovery Strategies: Succeeding Where the Odds say you will fail, explains the statistics that most frequently impact businesses of all sizes in a DR scenario.
“See below for some statistics on the effects of a DR event:
- 94% of companies suffering from catastrophic data loss do not survive, 43% never reopen and 51% close within two years (University of Texas). Gartner says something similar and so does Continuity Statistics.
- 18.5 hours is the length of an average outage. The cost for a small company to recover is $8,000 and is $700,000 for a large enterprise (IntraScale 2015).
- A five-hour computer outage costs $150 million (Delta — 9/7/16).
- In the Veeam® 2017 Availability Report, one of the findings was that four out of five organizations have an Availability Gap. This means that 82% of the respondents recognized the inadequacy of their recovery capabilities when compared with the expectations of the business unit.
- Also, within the Veeam Availability Report was the fact that 72% of respondents are unable to protect their data frequently enough to ensure access to the data.” – Michael White, Veeam
DR plans should be tested by your I.T. department on a regular basis for viability and stability and adjusted as the scope of business evolves. Test failovers are an important tool for all businesses to ensure their hardware and software, not just company data, can handle a real failover if it occurs.
Having proprietary applications already running on a backup server or Virtual Machine is a good way to reduce overall impact to a site and expedites the recovery process. Processes such as hosted email (Exchange) could be permanently moved to the recovery device and most end users wouldn’t notice, as it’s already engaged in the recovery device, along with their business-critical applications already being installed in preparation for a DR. This is the optimal, simplified DR plan that small businesses should consider adopting sooner than later. Granted, most smaller businesses cannot afford a full I.T. staff, so many often chose to perform their own I.T., which where Mult-T-Tech as an MSP is the better fit.
With our 25-years of experience, we have worked with all sizes and types of companies. Typically we are 60-70% less expensive than a full time on-site technical staff member. Our solutions work hand in hand with the business owners and are always looking to the most-effective and reliable solutions
One thing to consider is how valuable your time is versus taking that time to troubleshoot I.T. situations like DR and how familiar you can make yourself to the numerous options and plans that can be set up. This can easily overwhelm most, which is why it’s recommended to at least have 1 trained I.T. technician on staff or at the very least, on-call, for a DR situation and for routine DR plan testing. Performing these tests at least 1-2 times per month is ideal for most smaller and medium-sized businesses (under 50 employees) and enterprise-level companies (50+ users and up) would typically run at least one test per month, if not multiple tests, due to the cost of downtime and data recovery.
DR failures can be most commonly attributed to the following: Failure to practice, Missing application knowledge or BC is needed. These can easily become major issues within any DR plan and without knowledgeable I.T. technicians on-site to do these practice failover tests, it’s unknown whether the plan will be successful in a real outage situation.
Executing DR plans is critical, when the time comes, to be simple and quick measure. Using a variety of methods such as Scripts, Batch files, and checklists as well as 3rd party utilities, allow I.T. technicians to perform complete backups on a regular basis to secondary storage such as a NAS storage device or cloud-based backup service. Having these back-ups routinely running allows the most current version of company data to be accessible during an outage, combined with hardware and software running on back-up Servers or Virtual Machines, will allow an almost seamless transition during this type of situation. Provided that there’s still power to all devices or a UPS for all hardware, end users will still be able to work and the overall impact will be greatly reduced.
DR strategies are a great, practical way of securing your software, company data, and hardware in almost any scenario imagined. By being proactive and having a routine failover test performed by qualified I.T. technicians, will give you that peace of mind at night and allow you to focus your energies into other projects.