Does your “backup” solution really protect your data?

No matter what your business is, in today’s digital world, being without key IT systems or business data is almost guaranteed to cause significant disruption in the event of system downtime or failure. While hardware can be repaired or replaced, data, the life blood of a business, is not so easily recovered unless suitable plans have been made.

You may have heard or be familiar with the terms; Disaster Recovery (DR), Business Continuity (BC), Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (PRO) but do you understand what they are and how your business would cope in the event of a disaster?

Business Continuity describes both the processes and procedures that a business must instigate to make sure the mission-critical functions can continue during and after a disaster. When talking about Business Continuity (BC), the importance is on maintaining operations. While BC and DR are different and should be considered so, they are closely related and therefore need to be considered simultaneously.

One of the most important stages of planning is to understand your Recovery Time Objective (RTO). The RTO is the acceptable length of time which a business process must be restored in order to avoid unacceptable business consequences generated from a loss of service. When a business understands the RTO, it is then possible to build a “Disaster Recovery” plan that deals with protecting an organisation from the effects of substantial disruptive events. Events which need to be considered include but are not limited to:

  • – Crippling cyberattacks such as Cryptolocker
  • – Hardware/equipment failures
  • – User errors such as accidentally deleting data
  • – Environmental issues such as fire or flood in the building

While the likelihood of some of these events hitting your business may be low, you need to understand the impact that it would have and how your business could respond to deal with the issues while the issues are rectified. A good BC/DR plan must consist of actions intended to minimise the negative effects of a disaster and facilitate a return to normal operations quickly with limited disruption.

To help with this planning, Zenzero recommend that all servers should be backed up using an online imaging solution.  The benefit of doing so means that in the event of serious server failure or disaster we can restore your whole system quickly, and if required, to different hardware. The backup data should be stored off-site in a Zenzero data centre, ensuring that whatever happens to your site and/or equipment, a copy of your data will be protected.

The backup solution deployed by Zenzero uses technology from StorageCraft called ShadowProtect. This software creates sector-level backup images of your Windows server disk drives. ShadowProtect takes a regular image of your server, including all the software installed.  Backup images are taken every hour within business hours then at the end of the day these hourly backups are consolidated into a daily file which is uploaded off-site to a secure data centre.  Another benefit of this backup solution is that by being fully automated, it does not require interaction from your staff.  By implementing this solution you do not need to worry about starting a backup or the security/safety of any external media (such as data tapes) which are prone to damage or even falling into the wrong hands.

In December 2014, Jigsaw Complete Communications Services suffered a critical server failure that could have resulted in hours of lost productivity, however due to a solid DR plan with an understood RTO the service provided by Zenzero allowed services to be restored over night with less than 60 minutes lost productivity. This story is explained in the Case Study, “Zenzero and StorageCraft to the rescue” which can be downloaded from this link.

To find out how Zenzero can help your business with Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity planning or to learn more about the StorageCraft product range, please call our sales team on 0333 3209 900.