When Disaster Strikes, Choose a Provider That's ProvenWhen Disaster Strikes, Choose a Provider That's Proven
Unlike overprotective parents sending a child to her first day of kindergarten, today’s businesses don’t spend all their time thinking about the worst-case scenario. Still, with the numbe
October 29, 2012
By EVault Guest Blog 2
evacuationUnlike overprotective parents sending a child to her first day of kindergarten, today’s businesses don’t spend all their time thinking about the worst-case scenario. Still, with the number of natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires in just the last year alone, many companies are beginning to recognize that living without a disaster recovery plan is truly risky behavior.
Backing up data is only one part of the story. Today, not just data but also systems are integral to almost all business operations, which means that in the event of a disaster, workflow would grind to a halt if data and systems could not be quickly recovered. That means that antiquated forms of data backup such as tape backup won’t hold up when it comes to maintaining business continuity in the face of crisis. Your customers need a solution that gets everything they have on their systems back up and running within their RTOs. Data backup alone won’t cut it.
The Disadvantage of Tape
For years, all companies backed up their data using tapes. This involved extensive night and weekly backups with lengthy trips to store tapes at offsite locations, and history has shown this solution to have a high margin of error. In the event of a disaster, someone has to travel to the offsite location to retrieve the tapes and go through the long process of transferring data from tapes back onto machinery at the office. If a disaster is severe enough that access to offsite data is blocked, a company has no course of action other than to wait.
The Advantage of the Cloud
The cloud offers numerous advantages. Chiefly, data can be backed up to the cloud — and it can be restored — in minutes or hours. Unlike tape backup and restoration, restoring data from the cloud can be done from anywhere with Internet service, which is critical in situations where travel is limited or prohibited, such as hurricanes.
Data, systems and infrastructure, all critical to operations, can be replicated in the cloud and restored within hours if need be. Through virtualization, entire systems exist in the cloud, making a bare-metal restore possible.
Can You Trust the Cloud?
The cloud has clear advantages in terms of time, money and accessibility, but for some people, there is still a question mark when it comes to whether the cloud can be trusted. In fact, there are more errors and data losses with tape backup, but for many, tape seems like a more trustworthy choice because it’s familiar and proven. Cloud-connected backup is regulated by strict compliance standards. But how can you give your customers and yourself peace of mind?
Choose a Provider That Tests Your Environment
When it comes to setting up a cloud-connected backup solution for your customer, you want to be able to assure them — and yourself — that it’s trustworthy. “Failproof” sounds good on paper, but the truth is not all clouds are created equal. When you present a solution to your customers, you want it to come with a guarantee that the provider will run tests of a customer’s environment before, during and after implementation. Your vendor should:
Be your partner for every step of the implementation process. It’s critical that they first help you develop a disaster recovery test plan to ensure compliance with your customer’s corporate and industry DR directives.
Help you run a DR test to validate the DR process, which will identify issues to be resolved before a disaster strikes.
Assist you in documenting these issues and resolutions, which will give you guidance on the steps to follow in the event a disaster hits.
Settling for anything less than this three-step approach means leaving your data insufficiently protected.
Choose a Provider with Happy Customers
Your provider should have a long track record of helping companies back up data and recovery from disaster. They should have happy customers and case studies to demonstrate successful work. Nothing speaks to the capabilities of a cloud provider like real-world examples and prior experience. Read through their current and former customer stories, find one of a similar size with comparable data needs and one with a similar issue to one you may face, and read up on how the provider helped them back up and recover their data in a disaster. If you’re not wowed, pass. The decision is that important.
Conclusion: Prepare for the Worst Case with A Provider Proven to be the Best
The days of tape-based backup are behind us, giving way to the efficiencies of the cloud. But it’s a crowded market, with hoards of providers offering everything under the sun. Choosing the right cloud provider for your disaster recovery solution can be a tricky decision, and a number of key factors must be considered. But remember: When the worst hits, you’ll want the best.
We’d love to have you on the EVault team. Contact us today to find out how you can start delivering a proven cloud-connected solution to your customers.
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