Backup Solutions and Disaster Recovery – Two Birds With One Stone

Posted on Oct 18, 2013

Many IT professionals in the Washington, DC metro area consistently identify backup and disaster recovery as two major priorities for them and their organizations.   With that being said, many of these IT professionals have a tendency to view both backup and disaster recovery as two completely separate  items, with one being more day-to-day operations and the other being a longer-term strategic item.  This is why it is not uncommon to see organization that have two separate budgets and solutions address them.

Times are changing. More and more backup providers are leveraging virtualization to develop comprehensive and COST-EFFECTIVE solutions that can handle both the backup needs and the disaster recovery requirements of organizations. At the end of the day, this translates to considerable cost savings for organizations as well as a reduction in planning and management needs for IT professionals.

Typically, these types of backup and recovery solutions combine a local appliance (server) and an offsite datacenter. Data is kept locally in the appliance and is also replicated offsite in the datacenter. Single files can be quickly restored from the local appliance and entire systems can be restored in the cloud by leveraging virtualization.  These tiered solutions are flexible and efficient and can handle both the backup and disaster recovery needs of organizations. There are a variety of vendors that provide this service. We use two vendors in particular: Barracuda and Axcient.

In this short article we take a quick look at how a single backup and disaster recovery solutions can be used to resolve three different IT scenarios.

Simple File Recovery

The reality of the matter is that accidently losing files on your computer or fileserver is very common. Whether it’s that Word doc that was lost or the important email that was accidentally deleted, users need to have the comfort of knowing that you can restore missing documents fairly easily. Whereas the loss of a file at a single user level does not constitute an organizational disaster, it can still pose a “mini-disaster” for the user. Most backup solutions will come with a local appliance that will have your last backup with access to the files that could be missing or deleted.

Hardware Failure

The last thing IT professionals want is for all of their servers to crash, leaving the onsite appliance with its backups left for recovery. The recovery process could take a long amount of time. You have to either fix the failed servers or order new hardware. Once you do that, you can restore the servers and business can continue. However, options now exist that can make this transition happen in a much more business-friendly way. With our solution, you run your IT infrastructure through the onsite backup appliance. You can run your entire infrastructure as if it was always there. This buys you time to continue allowing employees to be productive and you can work out the issue with the failed hardware.

Total Disaster Recovery

Some IT professionals only plan for the first two steps in severity. However, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters can literally destroy your business.  If your business depends on being open during all times and cannot take a break while you rebuild, you must have a recovery solution that can get you up and running as soon as possible. In the past, you would have to get a new backup appliance that would let you run virtual servers with your backups. This requires expenditures of time and money for your company. At FedSolutions, we offer companies a solution from the Axcient Group that will allow them to run their complete infrastructure in the cloud. You would access your virtual environment even without the onsite hardware appliance. You would access your IT infrastructure through a web-based client, which allows users the chance to continue to work as long as they have access to a computer with Internet access. This means that your business will continue operating as if nothing happened and it will buy you time to get your office up and running again.

As many executives understand, no company can survive a long downtime due to a natural disaster, let alone a minor hardware failure. Losing productivity and time can be crippling. A comprehensive backup solution that covers all levels of severity is the most cost effective way to recover from a disaster. IT professionals should look into a smart solution to handle their complex infrastructure.  A business continuity solution such as the one available from Axcient will handle everything from simple file recovery to the worst-case scenario. Disaster recovery solutions are like insurance. You don’t need it everyday, but when something catastrophic happens, you want the best possible coverage. In the business world, having the best available coverage could be the difference between closing your doors and continuing to thrive.

Disaster recovery should be a top concern in your IT infrastructure. If you’re not prepared, don’t wait until it’s too late!