The Cure for Adversity: Backup and Recovery

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In recent years, Mother Nature has certainly dished out a lot of adversity, and the smartest-run businesses have taken note and prepared for the worst with comprehensive disaster recovery strategies. Any business without one is playing with fire.

Consider some of the natural disasters that have wreaked havoc across the United States since the devastation of Katrina in 2005:

  • In May 2011, a deadly tornado destroyed about half of Joplin, Mo., killing 158 people and causing nearly $3 billion in damage. It was one of our deadliest tornadoes ever.
  • In October 2012, the massive Superstorm Sandy, spanning 1,100 miles, tore up the Eastern Seaboard, rearranging the New Jersey coast, drowning lower Manhattan and leaving scattered damage in New England. The estimated cost: $70 billion.
  • And this Summer, wildfires in Colorado have devoured hundreds of homes and consumed more than 110,000 acres. They are the state’s worst ever.

Whatever the reasons, storms seem to have intensified in recent years, growing larger and more destructive. No matter where your business operates, you must have a plan to reopen should a natural disaster shut down your business. If you think your location is immune, think again. Take a drive up Route 16 in New Hampshire, a state as far from Tornado Alley as you can get, to see remnants of a tornado’s 50-mile (!!) path in 2008.

Adversity is the mother of progress.

–Mahatma Gandhi

Sometimes there’s no escaping nature’s fury. No matter the location, no matter the size of the business, every company must implement – and regularly test – an effective disaster recovery strategy.

A study by TechValidate found only 19 percent of companies have a disaster recovery plan covering the whole business, while 26 percent have coverage for their mission-critical servers. Seventeen percent have no plan at all. Clearly, that 19 percent must grow.

Having a plan AND the right backup tools to meet the requirements of your plan offers peace-of-mind and enables quick recovery in the event of any size disaster, whether caused by nature or humans. Here at Kaseya we took the fully integrated approach so that IT administrators get centralized management and full visibility of the critical system and application backups to ensure everything is working properly including verifying off-site backup, which many companies require for maximum protection, is available.

Historically, backup and recovery have been a bit of a gamble. With as many as 50 percent of recoveries from tape failing, companies often have discovered their tapes are damaged when they need them. Believing the backups are taking place in the background as expected, some IT administrators learn the ugly truth only when trying to recover lost data.

IT admins MUST develop dependable disaster recovery plans that take into account all of a company’s needs – backups for servers, storage and all other systems; monitoring and backup metrics with built-in trouble alerts; and rapid recovery. How many times have you been running backups on a machine only to find out they weren’t really protecting ALL the data or that the backup media was full, or ___________.  A key part of any DR plan ends up being the ability to validate and recover the data/systems that have been lost.  It’s not a question of IF it is simply a question of WHEN.

We’ll leave you with one last data point:  According to the TechValidate study, 57 percent of companies had suffered a critical system failure in the previous 12 months.

Don’t let adversity catch you off guard.

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