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What Backup and Disaster Recovery Resources Do You Really Need?

Not sure what backup & disaster recovery resources are necessary to keep your organization protected? This blog outlines 3 ways to determine the tools and services best suited to your business. 

It goes without saying that businesses need to invest in systems to recover their data and operations in the event of an incident. However, the marketplace of technology solutions can be confusing.

Many products tout their speed of backup or recovery, or the best bang for the buck, or reliability standards that are beyond their competitors. The problem is that for most people, these statistics and measures don’t mean much. Most people just want to know that they will be protected if something happens. Period.

So how do you know what Backup and Disaster Recovery solutions you need?

Like most things with technology management, the first part is asking the right questions that in many ways have more to do with the business than technology itself.

Identify the Types of Incidents That Could Impact Your Organization

Disasters

Backup and Disaster Recovery solutions work best when they address specific circumstances. To get started, map out common incidents that are plausible for your business based on what you know, as well as gaining insights from the technology experts who manage these types incidents.

Cyber-security incidents like ransomware might come to mind first, but you need to go beyond that.

Many completely plausible incidents have nothing to do with cyber-security, such as flood, fire, data corruption, user error or just system failures. Some of these incidents also may be more or less likely based on your circumstances, such as being located below sea level or prone to wildfires.

You probably won’t be able to anticipate everything. That’s OK. When it comes to Backup and Disaster Recovery design and planning, it’s always a work in progress. When new or changing risks pop up, you just need to revisit or revise the approach.

 

Understand Your Operational Needs

Business Operations

Most successfully deployed technology solutions start with business questions that are not technical in nature. Before looking at any products, think about what you need to protect your interests specifically.

Here are the questions that must be answered before proceeding:

  • What is it you are trying to protect and why does it matter?
    • Is it just about getting your business back up and running, or do you have more significant obligations that are regulatory or ethical in nature?
  • What is the urgency of restoration of files/systems?
    • Does that urgency vary depending on what you are trying to restore?
  • What is more important, access to files or access to entire systems?
    • Some organizations just need to be able to access normal files, but they can use a variety of different devices and applications to do it. Meanwhile others might need the actual database application restored in order to work again.

What Resources (not just money) Do You Have to Support Backup and Disaster Recovery Solutions?

Resources written in search bar on virtual screen

Yes, you need to come up with a budget for these tools, just like you need a budget for anything else in your technology stack. But for a successful implementation, you need to look beyond just “how much does it cost?”

Here are some ideas about resources that perhaps you haven’t considered:

  • Time.
    • If you have a local asset that you are trying to backup in some fashion, there has to be a window of time to do this. How much time do you have? If the operation runs 24/7 and systems are always operational, you may need a different kind of solution than one with more traditional business and off hours.
  • People.
    • Do you have people who can help support your backup solution? Most organizations are past having the person who changes the tapes every night, but there may be some tasks you still need to do on a regular basis to make sure your backups are running properly.
    • At the very least, there needs to be eyes on the backup solution to make sure it is working as intended. Even if it’s working correctly technically, you need to check on your solutions to make sure they are capturing what you need. Not much is worse than a “working” backup copy that is missing data.
  • Data Growth and Retention.
    • Over time, the natural tendency is for hard drives to fill up and storage space to be used. The reality is that most of the time people are reluctant to delete data just in case they need it later. Sometimes even if you don’t need the data for your day-to-day operation, you need to hold onto it anyway because of legal and regulatory reasons, which leads to significant design considerations.
  

Wrapping Up

There are other considerations aside from the ones mentioned here, but the point of all these questions is to create the parameters you need to use when designing and evaluating solutions.

When it comes time to actually look and pick products, you need to refer back to the questions you asked yourself early on.

A successful solution checks off all the boxes brought up earlier:

  • It addresses the practical incidents you might reasonably expect
  • It will restore you to a place where operations can return to an acceptable level
  • It is something that matches the resources available to your business.

We understand that your organization can’t afford to lose its mission-critical data. DP Solutions can implement a disaster recovery solution that automates scheduled backups for seamless data preservation.

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