I'm sure you've heard that data is the new currency, but, do you really believe that? What if I told you, "data loss or unavailability of critical business applications will cost your business a whopping $1.7 trillion in revenue and over $53 billion in productivity losses."
Let's face it; every second counts when it comes to recovering from a disaster. Every minute that goes by without access to data and applications costs your business more money.
The question then becomes "How can you make sure your business is protected?" The answer is simple: A strong, highly available backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution.
But how do I know what to look for in a BDR solution?
I'm glad you asked: there are many different ways to evaluate the features of BDR solutions, but here's a checklist you can use.
1) You need your solution to be easy to deploy and manage. The last thing you want is a complicated system that requires hours upon hours of implementation, nor do you want to have to hire a team of engineers to manage your environment. Make sure the solution is easy enough for an average operations staff member to use and administer.
2) You need your solution to be flexible enough that it can scale with your business as it grows. If you're just starting out on your business journey, make sure the solution you choose can grow with your business and be easily upgraded. The last thing you want is to have to start over when it comes time to upgrade your system.
3) You need a solution that's simple enough for any level of user in your organization obtain the information they need from it; ideally, this will include end users as well. If you're unable to provide answers promptly, expect dissatisfied employees and customers. Transparency builds trust.
4) You need a solution that has high availability (HA). No one wants their system down for hours at a time or days on end because there was a failure or a bug in the system. Make sure the solution provider guarantees systems availability through an SLA.
5) You need a solution that provides real-time data replication and data protection. This ensures you have an up-to-date copy of your primary system in case there's a disaster. With data replication, you have the ability to restore lost files or protect against ransomware attacks (and other malware).
6) You want a solution that can be purchased as SaaS (Software as a Service), which makes it easy to manage upgrades, patches, etc., without having to commit any staff members to managing it.
7) You want fast recovery times; how quickly can you get back into business after an outage? Your BDR solution should guarantee minimal recovery times. Although estimating recovery time is difficult, depending on your environment, you should expect to be able to resume business within two hours or less.
8) You need your solution to provide granular recovery options for each and every application. Make sure the BDR solution can recover individual items, from a single file to an entire system if needed.
9) You need your solution to not disrupt current operations. This means that any work done during a disaster recovery situation must not cause additional downtime. For example: Your company is currently running production on Application A; but due to a major outage it's necessary for Application B (a redundant production application) to take over while things are fixed with Application A. The moment you switch over from A to B, your employees are unable to do their work or your customers can't place orders. This, of course, is not acceptable. Make sure the solution doesn't disrupt current operations.
10) You need to be able to easily recover from ransomware and other malware attacks without disrupting business continuity. If you don't have a plan for this, you'll lose data; you'll also likely suffer in terms of brand reputation as well as operation downtime and financial loss. A good BDR solution will be able to help prevent these types of attacks by encrypting sensitive information and protecting it with a unique key that's safe under normal conditions but is released (and the files unlocked) only when recovery is needed; thus eliminating any concern about erasing valid data during recovery. It should also include a way to delete encrypted data in the event of a ransomware or malware attack, meaning you'll still be able to access your data when you need it.
11) You want a solution that can replicate application code, databases and file systems. This is important because it allows you to perform granular recovery of applications during disaster recovery situations as well as move running applications from one location to another with zero downtime. In addition, this feature makes it easy for you to migrate workloads – all without interrupting current operations.
12) You need your BDR solution to provide ongoing protection against accidental deletes, changes in permissions and hardware/OS failures; all without negatively affecting system performance. Through real-time incremental backups , these problems are avoided while also ensuring your data is secure.
13) You need a solution that can be run on-premises or in the cloud . This gives you the ability to choose which environment is best for your business at any given time; whether it's for cost savings, backup performance or disaster recovery management.
14) You want an easy way to recover from hardware or software failures. If a hard drive fails, do you lose everything? Or if a server encounters errors, does the whole system go down? With a BDR solution, this isn't an issue because of its advanced application and recovery point objectives (RPO/RTO). For example: If you have an RPO/RTO of five minutes, then whatever files you were working on just five minutes ago are guaranteed to be recoverable.
15) You need the ability to protect private and public virtual machines and file systems , including physical servers, virtual servers and desktops/laptops, as well as applications and databases running in the cloud . With a good BDR solution, you're not limited to specific vendors or architectures; it works with all of them. Additionally, it integrates easily with your current infrastructure so minimal changes are needed before implementation; this is important because unexpected downtime can be very costly.
16) You want a recovery time objective (RTO) that's driven by business needs rather than technical limitations. An RTO focuses on resuming daily operations after a disaster without manual intervention and should be based on a clear assessment of how fast the business can resume full operation. For example, if you're in the retail industry and know it takes customers an hour to drive to your location but you have no way of contacting them or ways for them to contact you once they arrive, then your RTO should be within an hour. In this case, with five minutes or less recovery time, reconstituting resources is not efficient because there's not enough time to update information before customers get there.
17) You want a solution that supports multiple hypervisors , such as Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware vSphere, Oracle VM VirtualBox and KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine). This ensures physical servers running in the cloud and virtual machines running in various environments can all be protected, including physical servers that will be used as guest systems.
18) You want a solution that has the best support team available to answer your questions when you need it. With 24/7 global support options , you're assured of having someone nearby to assist you with any questions or issues related to your BDR solution. If continuous support isn't needed, then this feature is easy to disable because it only charges for what's used – ensuring price stability over time.
19) You want a solution that has low storage cost . Since only stored data is backed up, all redundant data blocks are eliminated from the main storage pool. This reduces storage capacity without impacting application performance or backup time, which helps lower costs through reduced hardware purchases and less power consumption. It also ensures that all recoverable files are available immediately after a disaster – further reducing business loss while increasing productivity.
20) You don't like being forced to use an expensive SAN for your backups because it increases cost without improving performance. Also, with software-defined storage , you pay only for what you use. Since costs are predictable, it allows you to plan more effectively and consider upgrading storage capacity as your requirements change over time.
21) You want a solution that provides complete data protection with no single point of failure . This improves reliability and reduces risk for the organization because any failure is resolved quickly without affecting other areas.
22) You want a solution that protects your investment in existing infrastructure while reducing power and cooling costs by eliminating excess hardware from the environment. In addition to less hardware being needed, all backup software runs on virtualized servers so they don't use physical resources; this includes dedicated RPO/RTO copies running in the cloud or on-premise.
If your company needs a strong backup and disaster recovery solution, you should consider investing in an appliance server. This will allow you to protect your data while changing your RTO based on the business needs instead of just technical limitations. Additionally, it has 24/7 global support available and is cost efficient by eliminating redundant data blocks that add no value.
With all of these benefits, your company needs a strong backup and disaster recovery solution. Call one of the palmiq experts today if you are looking for a robust backup and disaster recovery solution.