One of the most crucial things Optimum Networking does for our clients is ensuring their systems and data are securely backed-up. If an IT professional or Managed Service Company is not doing this, they are not doing their job. Business owners and people in charge of IT for their companies cannot, and frankly should not sleep well at night unless they have a reliable, secure and monitored backup process in place. There are too many things that can impact your business and data, from user error to hardware failure, and the potential natural disasters. Currently, the most dangerous threat is everyone’s vulnerability to cyber-attacks. Backups play a critical role in cybersecurity and will be discussed more in a future article.
So, what is the ideal backup solution? How would a non-technical professional know if their backups are where they need to be? And what should their expectations be when it comes to retention and recovery?
To answer these questions, we need to start by defining different levels of backups and expectations. Optimum Networking works with our clients on each of these levels depending on their budget, need, and expectations.
To ensure you have a basic backup, you need to cover these three bases:
- You are backed-up locally
- You are backed up in the cloud including disperse geographies
- The backup process is monitored and tested periodically
If you are not doing these three things, I have bad news for you. You are not backed-up. Optimum Networking’s basic backup plan ensures all these critical elements are managed on an ongoing basis, and we have dedicated engineers keeping an eye on the process. This includes but is not limited to all the files and data on your premise and cloud servers, data saved on workstation hard drives and emails on Exchange—cloud or local.
The advantage to basic backup is it is affordable and unlimited. Optimum Networking’s plan offers an unlimited amount of storage in the cloud and covers all the bases. We also include a Microsoft 365 backup that covers your hosted Exchange (email) OneDrive, SharePoint and TEAMs environment.
The disadvantage is time to recover. For small, corrupted, or lost files or emails, our Support Desk team can do a quick recovery. If a more catastrophic event occurs, however, it could take anywhere from 1-5 business days to recover depending on the amount of data and type of systems.
Disaster Recovery (D/R)
Disaster Recovery plans take your backups to the next level. These plans typically employ on premise devices from partners like Barracuda or Datto, and while they check off all the “basic” boxes, these devices allow us to recover your data much more quickly. Recovering data from these systems takes anywhere from a few hours to a single business day. We are also able to better test these systems, and their reporting often meet higher compliancy standards than the basic backups.
These systems are more expensive to set up and maintain; however, if your IT systems are mission critical to your business process, or if you have stringent compliancy requirements, the short-term cost will mitigate a potential disastrous outcome.
Business Continuity is the highest level of Disaster Recovery plan. These plans ensure redundancy of systems so that if anything goes down, your systems will continue to function either automatically or at the flip of a switch. This often includes multiple sources of bandwidth and cloud systems, data centers and other providers. These plans are designed in such a way that if anything catastrophic happened at your HQ office, your employees could simply go to a different location, home or to a coffee shop, anywhere in the world, and continue to work seamlessly.
These plans are best suited for companies who would be in a situation where they could lose thousands or even tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars if their IT systems would break down. The investment in Business Continuity would have to be justified by this level of potential loss.
What is the best backup/Disaster Recovery plan for your company? As you can see, the answer is the same as the answer to many quandaries in life: It depends.
What is your budget? How much would your business suffer if you could not access your business-critical data for an hour or a day or several days? What regulations do your company fall under?
The Sales and Engineering team at Optimum Networking will help you answer these questions for your business and get the right system and plan in place.