Why your business needs a backup & disaster recovery plan
November 17, 2021

"It's not a question of if disaster will strike, but when. And when it does, most businesses are unprepared." There is no way to guarantee your business won't be faced with a natural disaster or other emergency that can leave you without power or access to crucial data for days on end. That is why every business should have an up-to-date backup plan in place to help ensure they survive any type of disruption unscathed. What steps need to be taken? Read this blog post!

What is a backup plan and why does it matter for your business?

Being prepared for a disaster is crucial for the survival of any business. While it is impossible to prepare for every disaster, creating a backup plan can provide your company with peace of mind that no matter what happens, it will be able to recover and continue its operations.

It is very important to have disaster recovery in your backup plan.  In case of a disaster, like a fire, you want to make sure all your business critical files are backed up, not just your operating system. This way you can recover all your files, including email accounts and other information that may be needed to run the business.

Why you can't rely on just one strategy, like cloud storage

While some companies choose to use cloud storage as their sole backup strategy, experts agree that this is not enough. Cloud storage provides an inexpensive way to back up your data, but it does have its limitations. Having a combination of cloud storage and other forms of backup can ensure you are well equipped in the event that anything were to happen to your primary copy of important files.

A backup plan should include multiple strategies for ensuring data protection - it's important to take advantage of cloud solutions, but it is also key to have a secondary backup in place.  

The three types of backups to consider

There are three main types of data protection you can implement in your company. It's important that every business has at least one form of each type of backup available to them should they face any type of disaster or power outage:

• Operating system and application backups:  These copy the data needed to restore a computer's core programs. This type of backup is typically done by creating a system image or cloning an entire disk, including all its files and settings on the machine.

• Server-based backups: These allow companies to centrally manage their data protection strategy. They store data on a central server so it can be accessed from anywhere in the company.

• Off-site backups: These allow companies to back up their information off premises for added protection. This type of backup is typically performed by placing a copy of your files and settings in a safe location away from the office, such as at an external storage facility or with a cloud storage provider.

How to set up your own backup plan

Now that you know the different types of backups, it is time to create your own plan - one that will accommodate your needs and allow you to sleep soundly if disaster strikes.  The following steps will help make this process easier:

• Set up a schedule of backups:  Meet with your employees to determine the best day and time to perform automated backups. Ideally, you want to back up files at least twice a day. Use software that can be accessed from any web browser or that is location independent so it doesn't matter which computer you are using.

• Identify what data needs to be backed up:  Create a list of all the data and programs that need to be included in your backup plan.

• Decide how the backups will be stored:  Once you figure out what needs to be backed up, it's time to decide where the files will go once they're copied. Will they stay on location or be sent off site? Will they go to a computer or be stored in the cloud?

• Determine what kind of disasters your business is susceptible to:  Some data, like anything that could potentially cause harm if stolen, should be kept close. Other items can be placed in the cloud where it's safe from any local disasters. Work with your employees to find a balance that works for your company.

Using the cloud to store backups

Using cloud storage is an excellent way to ensure you always have a recent backup copy of important information. While this strategy does come with some risks, it can be very beneficial when properly implemented. Make sure your business follows these four tips:

• Ensure encryption is being used: Before placing any of your data in the cloud, make sure it's been encrypted. Otherwise, anyone with access to the server could read your files and you would have no way of knowing.

• Don't upload anything you don't need immediately: Make sure not to overload the cloud storage provider with unnecessary information. Your data is only as secure as the server it's stored on, so make sure to take advantage of this backup solution for the files you need access to each day.

• Set up automatic backups: Set up your system to perform backups whenever possible. This will ensure that even if you do forget to do a manual backup one day, there's still a safe copy waiting to be used.

• Make sure adequate off-site backups are in place: Just because you're using the cloud for some of your data doesn't mean all will remain secure should something go wrong. Make sure that any files not stored on site are also backed up off premises.

Why you need to backup your data?  One of the most important things that businesses can do to protect their data is to make sure they have a sound backup plan in place. And while many people think this type of protection only applies to large companies, it's actually something every company needs - no matter how small. Why? Because you never know when disaster will strike and take out your business with it. A good backup plan ensures that even if all other systems go down, there are recent copies of your files waiting for use.

Here are some backup software you can consider:

1) Datto

Datto is a cloud-based backup service that offers features like remote monitoring and data protection. For small businesses, it offers an online backup solution that can be accessed by its employees at any time. The company also has a disaster recovery service for larger corporations with extended IT support.

2) Acronis

Acronis provides reliable tools to ensure your data stays protected. With their agentless approach, you won't have to worry about installing software on your computers - just install their product on your server instead. Whether you're working with Windows or Linux servers, Acronis will keep all of your information safe and sound.

3) Arcserve

Arcserve offers a simple and efficient way to ensure that every file is properly backed up, 24 hours a day. Their solution can be accessed from anywhere in the world, whether you're trying to access your files from home or on the road at a conference halfway across the globe. This simple and straightforward approach is one of the reasons Arcserve is such a popular choice among IT professionals.

4) Veeam

Veeam also offers its own cloud backup solution, designed especially for SMBs. By partnering with them, you'll receive multiple benefits ranging from affordability to flexibility. For example, as an existing Veeam customer, you can use your current Veeam solution with the Azure Marketplace to install and run this backup cloud software. This allows you to keep all of your existing licenses but still take advantage of the additional benefits that come from working with a cloud-based business process.

5) EMC Avamar

EMC Avamar backup converts all your data into a single virtual image that is accessible from anywhere in the world through a web portal. Backup administrators can use an easy interface to restore any lost or corrupted files from this backup solution. Plus, with support for both Windows and Linux servers, large networks won't pose a problem when it comes to backing up business data.

6) Rubrik

Rubrik combines on-site backup with cloud storage to simplify the data protection process for businesses of any size. This software creates a consistent backup experience across your entire infrastructure, whether you're working with physical servers, virtual machines or in the cloud. Plus, their built-in platform ensures that you won't have to install or configure any additional software - just install the appliance on your servers and you'll be up and running in no time.

7) Rapid Recovery

Rapid Recovery offers a cloud-syncing solution that keeps data safe through real-time backup technology that's accessible from anywhere in the world. For example, if you're about to board a plane and need to access your files, just log into their secure portal and you'll be able to get exactly what you're looking for. This easy-to-use software is the perfect solution for companies that rely on remote employees or branch offices located around the world.

8) Vembu BDR Suite

Vembu BDR Suite is designed for small and midsize businesses that need an affordable solution to protect their data. Their software has three different license levels, giving you access to everything you might need in terms of backup protection. Plus, with support for Microsoft Azure, Amazon S3 and Google Cloud Storage, it's easy to synchronize your data to the cloud and keep it safe.

9) Unitrends

Unitrends offers several different backup and disaster recovery solutions, depending on your company's size and the amount of data you store. For example, their unitrends One product is designed for small businesses that need an affordable backup solution with minimal IT support requirements. Plus, these products are cross-platform, allowing them to work with any operating system or virtual environment.

10) Zetta Data Protection

Zetta Data Protection is another powerful cloud-based backup solution, designed to provide small and midsize businesses with a simple way to protect their data. By partnering with them, you'll be able to get access to everything you need for data protection in one product at an affordable price point. Plus, this software protects both virtual and physical environments using a central management console.

11) StorageCraft

StorageCraft offers products that are designed to improve data security at every level of your business. This software protects all devices on both local and remote networks, ensuring that no matter what happens, you'll always be able to access the data you need. Plus, their technology works with Microsoft Azure so you can get more out of your cloud-based backup

12) Carbonite  

Carbonite offers businesses cloud protection to keep their data safe even in the event of a natural disaster. Their solution is easy to set up and provides users with easy access to all of their files, no matter where they are in the world. Plus, Carbonite backs up both personal and business-related activities, making it easy for you to use one solution for everything.

Businesses of any size can benefit from a backup and disaster recovery plan that will keep their data safe. These are just some solutions you could use to achieve this, but there are many more out there to explore. It's important for your business to have an IT department with the knowledge and skillset required in order to protect all company files without interruption or downtime if something goes wrong. If you need help choosing the right solution for your needs, let our experts know today!

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