How to plan a reliable backup strategy for your business
Contributed By: MXOtech, INC
In the event of security breaches or natural disasters that could disrupt your day-to-day operations, all small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) should have a reliable disaster and backup recovery plan (DRP). When disaster strikes, how can you ensure that business continues as usual?
- Backup speed
Backup speed refers to how quickly your system backs up or saves data. The first complete backup is expected to take a bit of time, because you’re migrating all your data, but subsequent backups shouldn’t take more than a few seconds. In fact, your backup should be barely noticeable by the end users. Look for solutions that don’t cause network slowness which will negatively affect user experience and productivity.
- Recovery Time
If something happens, how much time does it take to get your systems up and running again? Recovery time objective (RTO) is the ideal time by which systems should be restored after a catastrophe. The quicker your RTO is, the better, because losing time means losing money.
When you set your RTO, you also need to consider your recovery point objective (RPO), or the minimum data you need to restore so you can resume normal business operations. Usually, this means most critical apps or data. You don’t necessarily need to recover everything at once; you just have to retrieve the essential files or software first.
Reliability means your backup DRP will work every single time. The only way to ensure this is to have an infallible infrastructure that can support your strategic plan. SMBs might find that the cost of purchasing and maintaining their own high-quality hardware and software for backup and recovery can be high and require special expertise. In those cases, they can opt to partner with a reputable managed services provider (MSP) that specializes in business continuity.
Your DRP should be easy to implement. If it’s too complicated, it will take longer to execute and leave more room for human error. An effective backup strategy is clear cut and easy to follow: all personnel involved can easily explain and act out their role in the plan.
- Cost efficiency
Here are some costs involved in rolling out a DRP:
- File storage costs — the cost of buying hardware and software to house your data
- Maintenance costs — the combined cost of maintaining and protecting your data
- Upgrade costs — the cost of scaling up your storage and/or fortifying your security
If you’re asking, “Is it worth it?” then your plan isn’t cost effective. Apply the concept of tiered retention, or the system of keeping data based on their importance. You don’t need to store all your data forever: some data get outdated, and some data have negligible impact on your business. By choosing only the necessary data to replicate, encrypt, or archive, you can save on costs.
MXOtech is a technology consulting company that delivers Managed IT Services, Custom Web Application Development and System Integrations. Started in 2005, and built on the core values of clarity, inspiration, trust and accountability, MXOtech works every day to help their clients use technology to grow their businesses.