Category: business continuity

Overconfidence in Disaster Recovery: Common and Costly

As reported in CloudTech, a recent study in the UK of 250 businesses finds that 95% experienced outages or data loss in the past year, with 87% needing to go to failover systems. There is a mismatch between expectation and reality when it comes to disaster recovery. Of the 87% that executed a failover, 82% […]

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Rethinking Risks and Responses

Malware, Ransomware, Natural Disasters and More Keep Hitting SMBs Hard Never have we had a greater ability to work together to get things done than we do right now. As our cloud and hybrid environments expand, the ease-of-use encourages us to share ideas and information and to collaborate in new and exciting ways. Never have […]

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When the Single Point of Failure Actually Fails

  While the heavy, wet snow continues to fall and cling to the power and fiber optic lines in our area, today’s Internet outage was not due to the first real storm this winter. Being fully in the cloud, any Internet outage could be a disaster, bringing business to a halt. In reality, the “single […]

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In IT, Every Season is Hurricane Season

Hurricane
June 1st is the official start of Hurricane Season for North America. Every year, we hear predictions for the number of storms and the number of major storms expected to hit landfall here in the U.S. And yet, every year we seem to over-prepare for storms that never become a major problem and under-prepare for storms that become truly dangerous.

Such is the life for IT Hurricanes

Unlike physical hurricanes that can cause power and system outages, IT “Hurricanes” are climate changes that impact your business, and its IT needs and priorities.

As with physical hurricanes, IT Hurricanes often start out as smaller disturbances that are seen and identified well in advance. Some lose their energy and dissipate, some get carried off by changing currents, and some turn into storms.

Even with the advanced notification, dare I say warning, we often struggle to assess the size, scope, and impact of IT Hurricanes until just before they are about to hit. All too often, IT Hurricanes gain unexpected power and momentum as they approach landfall. Decisions on how best to prepare are often made too late for effective planning and execution, leaving IT staff scrambling to mitigate the impact and repair the damage.

For many businesses, our infrastructure and systems are not well-prepared to withstand IT Hurricanes. They are too rigid to adapt to changing winds and tides, too difficult to move to a safer place, and/or unable to withstand the tidal surge of change forced upon us.

Look to the Cloud for a Better Way

Rather than just focusing on improving our warning time and how well we can predict the direction, size, and strength of IT Hurricanes, we should create IT infrastructure and systems that can adapt to changing conditions more easily, with less time required.

Moving to cloud solutions can …

  • Simplify your IT infrastructure — your network and systems — making it easier and less expensive to adapt to changing currents
  • Reduce the amount of capital captured in physical assets with sunken costs that resist change
  • Let you raise or lower you capacity and utilization as needed to ebb and flow with the tide of your business
  • Add, or modernize, applications and systems without having to airlift in a solution
  • Improve mobility, so your team members are never displaced by geography or device
  • Provide a platform, that lets you create an IT ecosystem for your business focused on the future and not the past

While cloud computing cannot prevent IT Hurricanes, cloud solutions can help mitigate the impact and make it easier for you and your business to adapt and respond. After all, staying ahead of the storm is better than having to pick up the pieces.


Using the Google Apps for Work ecosystem, our CumuluSuite packages provide cloud computing platforms that are easily customized to keep you out of the storm.  Contact us to learn more.


 

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Changing the Focus on Backup Protection

Recovery-Point-Objective-RPO
As we’ve stated before, “Backup is easy; Recovery is hard”.  Every business should, at this point, understand the risks of poor data backup and protection. The risks come from the types and amount of data that is lost and, if it can be recovered, how long that recovery takes. And remember, recovery often takes more effort than simply restoring files from a backup set.

Perspective = Priority

When looking at how well your backup system is protecting your business, two factors should be top of mind:

RTO: Recovery Time Objectives — How long will it take to return to normal operations. RTO is not just the time it takes to load your data back onto your systems, RTO includes the time it takes to repair and recreate damaged information and data created or modified since the last backup.

RPO: Restore Point Objectives — Your RPO determines how much data you are willing to lose, or can afford to lose. Most small and mid-size businesses backup daily. On average, a system failure will result in half a day of lost data. For an office worker editing a report, this is traumatic and inconvenient. For a manufacturer or retail business, half a day can represent hundreds or even thousands of orders and financial transactions.

As always, quicker RTOs and smaller RPOs come with trade-offs.  Recovery methods like image snapshots, for example, can provide rapid RTOs and small RPOs. In exchange, you are likely losing granularity — the ability to recovery individual files.

Understand the reasons  you are protecting your data.  Protection from system failure, in which you need to recovery a full server, lends itself to imaging and other snapshot methods.  Recovery of files or data lost to program error, malware, or user activity, needs a solution with granularity.

Start with an understanding of the type of protection you need and your RPOs and RTOs.  From there, you can pick the solutions (yes, you may want or need more than one method) for recovering data and your business.


We offer  a range data protection solutions, with a range of products, for on-premise and cloud-based data. Contact us for a free assessment of which type of solution is best for you.


 

 

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