Back up and Disaster Recovery (DR). Some very simple concepts that businesses have always needed and always will need.
However, the ‘how’ is changing rapidly as technology surges forward in an uptrend pointing up at the clouds; pun intended.
Can you answer these backup and DR questions comfortably?
- How long could your business go if your critical systems/data was unusable or unavailable?
- How much would each hour of downtime cost your business?
- What is your process in the event of disaster causing the above scenarios?
- Have you completed a successful, documented and repeatable test in the last 6 months?
- Who is ultimately responsible for your businesses DR or backup strategy?
The answers to question 1, 2 and 5 are for you to consider and vary from business to business. Though if you struggled to answer questions 3 and 4, don’t fret and read on!
We’ll map out some key points for back up and DR that you may find useful:
Recovery Time Objective (RTO). This refers to the amount of time it will take from the point of disaster to systems/data availability recommencing
Recovery Point Objective (RPO). This term refers to the point in time your data would be restored from in the event of disaster.
Retention. This refers to how long data is held for. It enables companies to roll back if needed.
Customer A has an RPO of 24 hours and an RTO of 4 hours. They back-up once daily at 12am, meaning the maximum data loss that could occur is around 24 hours. Their Disaster Recovery solution enables them to take the last night’s back-up and restore into a useable state in just 4 hours.
Customer B has an RPO of 4 hours and an RTO of 1 hour. They back-up every 4 hours, meaning the maximum data loss that could occur is around 4 hours. Their Disaster Recovery solution enables them to take the last 4-hour back-up and restore into a useable state in 1 hour.
Not every business will need the same solutions. Your solutions need to be appropriate to how you answered the above questions.
Now we’ve familiarised you with RTO and RPO, have you considered Return To Service (RTS)? That’s the time it takes you to input all the lost data from between the last backup and restore. If you have paper-based backup processes you will need to input them before you can fully return your systems, applications and people to service. That will give you the full cost of downtime and if your business can’t accept that impact, maybe you need to look at a high availability solution?
If your business can go a week offline, then your back-up/DR solution can be fairly low-level. However, if the cost of downtime to your business would result in bankruptcy within a day – then it’s essential that a solution that fits those needs is in place.
To get maximum assurance on the protection of your vital business data, speak to the experts on backup and disaster recovery solutions.