Joe Roosevans – “How to Save More than Data with an up-to-date Recovery System”

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Developing and implementing a business continuity and disaster recovery plan seems like a no-brainier for most IT shops.  For many organisations these days, if the servers are down, business is down as well. But even with all the advances in technology, a surprising number of organisations rely on the out-of-date tape-based backup systems because at the surface they appear to be a less costly disaster recovery solution than newer technologies. This coupled with the fact that many companies don’t have the budget to insure the availability of their entire infrastructure results in ineffective recovery plans when disaster strikes.

The reality is that the time it would take to restore your servers from the tape-based method, the amount of downtime ultimately costs more than the cost of running the servers and the recovery solution. Think about this, a client that comes to your site to check an inventory will be highly dissatisfied with unplanned downtime and could lead to one less client for you and one more for a competitor. It’s true that disaster recovery solutions can be costly to implement and tricky to test but there are a few options that are faster than outdated recovery methods and cheaper to implement.

The first to consider is Virtualisation. IT shops can implement physical-to-virtual recovery in which a physical server can be recovered to a virtual server or Virtual-to-virtual recovery, which is sometimes more attractive, where virtual production servers are recovered to other virtual servers, slashing the need for a lot of additional hardware and specialised software.

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VMware reports that over 50 percent of its customers use its virtualisation software for business continuity solutions and 67 percent of small and mid-sized business report that virtualisation has notably improved their business continuity infrastructure. So when you are pondering the best way to protect your critical data assets, don’t ignore the virtues of virtualisation as one valid strategy.

Over the past year or two, companies of all sizes have also begun to consider a new approach—disk –to-cloud or disk-to-disk-to-cloud backup. The Enterprise Strategy Group projected that the amount of data stored offsite in the Cloud will increase four-fold by next year. The advantages of putting a backup tier in the Cloud include avoiding capital expenditures and having experts on hand at the Cloud provider to maintain the infrastructure.

Take a few moments to review your current backup infrastructure. It may be time to upgrade. In the event of a disaster, downtime will cost you money and preparing yourself with a faster data recovery solution will ultimately lower your expenses and reduce costly downtime.

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