Even if some of your business solutions are ‘cloud based’ such as Salesforce.com or Hubspot, you still likely have other servers in your office(s) that are used for other business critical functions like email, accounting, manufacturing, collaboration, file storage and the like.
Because of this, virtually all (sane) businesses have some type of backup solution. Whether it be tapes, hard drives, or even with a cloud service like Carbonite or Mozy. However, what many people don’t realize is that backup solutions are designed to allow you to retrieve you data in the event of a data loss, not to actually minimize your down time in anyway.
There are two types of backup models. Files based, and image based.
As a business, most ‘consumer grade’ desktop and online backup solutions aren’t adequate. For example, Carbonite is primarily a file based backup solution which is great if you accidentally overwrite an important powerpoint presentation you are working on. But if your whole server hard drive crashed, you would multiple problems relative to being able to be up and running again.
Although typically very inexpensive typical online backup solutions like Carbonite have the following problems for business applications:
Business grade backup solutions like VaultLogix or Backblaze for Business typically cost significantly more than consumer solutions and rarely include ‘unlimited’ data capacity.
Statistics show an average SMB (Small and Mid-sized Business) loses $15,000/day of down time. A two week server outage could cost $150,000 or more (assuming a 5 day work week). That doesn’t take into account the lost customer goodwill or possible complete customer loss due to a lack of service on your part.
Even if you use traditional backup like tapes or hard disks and reliably rotate them off-site, you still have this days or weeks of downtime waiting for replacement hardware, technicians, re-installation etc in the event of a serious failure. If you suffer a relatively minor problem like a virus or bad patch and if you have in house IT folks, it can still take hours to restore and test your backups.
In addition, the vast majority of current backup solutions are typically a ‘daily’ backup so if your server crashed at 4pm, you could easily lose a day’s worth of work once the system is restored from the night before.
Most traditional backup solutions rely on you or your IT people to regularly test the restoration of your data to ensure everything is working ok. The vast majority of backup problems are discovered when you try and restore your data. Just think about what that means… How often are you doing test restorations to a separate server to make sure that in the event it was needed, you can fully restore everything and that it works ok?
Mark Chinsky is Managing Director at Clients First Technology solutions, a division of Clients First Business Solutions. Clients First markets and supports Business Continuity solutions like EverSafe! as well as line of business solutions such as ERP & CRM solutions from vendors like Microsoft, SAP, Epicor and Sage.