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Reviewing Your Company’s Backup and Recovery Plan   no comments

Posted at Apr 3, 2018 @ 11:00am backup

Backup and Recovery Plan

Is your company prepared for a catastrophe that could result in the loss of your data? You’ve most likely taken out insurance to protect yourself against natural disasters, robberies and similar catastrophic events. Your data should be no different. The only difference is that this type of insurance involves backing up your data and IT infrastructure, so that your business remains online and operational, even during one of those catastrophic situations mentioned above or something like a hardware failure or a disastrous infection. Here are some key things to focus on when reviewing your company’s existing plan or during the development of a new one:

 

What to Back Up

Determining what needs to be backed up should be addressed before you look at how you back it up. Do you want to back up everything that is located on computers at the office? What about data located on laptops or cellphones that are taken to and from home? Is your email or website backed up? Do you want them to be? Do you possess physical forms and documents that you want scanned into electronic form and then backed up in that form so that you are set if something such as a fire or flood destroys the hard copies?

You can back up everything, otherwise known as a full backup. This obviously requires the most storage space as well as the most time. However, it helps ensure that you will be completely back up and running in a timely manner if some disaster causes your primary data source to no longer be accessible.

However, this is not always necessary. In that case, consider an incremental or partial backup. An incremental backup involves the backing up of only files that had been created or changed since the last time your data had been backed up. This tends to be much quicker, but you do need to then ensure that you have access to several incremental backups in order to fully restore your data. It can also be difficult to organize your files or to find a specific one if you are downloading several incremental backups after disaster struck.

A partial backup means that you are only backing up part of your data, presumably the most valuable portion. However, the difference between a partial backup and a complete backup is usually minimal, meaning that, with a few exceptions, you might as well just back up everything.

Focus initially on the most important data, whatever would cause the most damage were the information to become inaccessible. These files should also be backed up more often. Of course, it does take time and money to back up your information, but it is well worth it when you consider the repercussions of losing access to it for a considerable time period or forever.

 

Local / Onsite Backups

Local or onsite backups involve copying and storing your data on a server or drive that is located on the same premises as your primary data source. The most significant benefit of this plan is that you can always have your secondary data right there. If something happens to your primary computer system, it’s normally easy to start utilizing the backup sources, and you don’t need to have an internet connection to do so. The cost of utilizing this type of data backup is usually relatively low, and the process of backing up your data with this method is normally pretty simple.

However, several significant disadvantages exist as well. A natural disaster such as a flood or hurricane that destroys your office or original data source will often take out your backup data too if it’s being kept onsite. And if somebody breaks in and steals your primary data, doing the same to your secondary data too can be done on the same trip.

 

Cloud Backup

Those taking advantage of cloud backup options will have their data sent to a remote data center on a regular basis. Probably the most significant benefit of going this route is that multiple copies of your data will can be made to stored on multiple servers located in a variety of places. That way if something disastrous happened to one place or server where your backup data was stored, you could simply access an alternate. Your data is safe at these locations as it is encrypted before being stored, and you have instantly scalable storage capacity. Another benefit is being able to automate the process so that you are not dependent on somebody remembering to back up the data.

An indirect benefit of utilizing a cloud backup method is that those who are authorized to do so can easily access the data, whether they are located across town or even on the other side of the world. This is a great benefit for organizations with multiple locations or remote staff. It’s also generally more cost effective than backing up your data onsite, due to not needing to purchase your own backup equipment.  However, make sure that you research and trust the data center provider you are using to back up your data remotely.

 

Cloud Replication

Cloud Replication allows for the restoration of data to a virtualized server. Utilizing an off-site data center’s cloud infrastructure, data can be made available instantly, then accessed remotely from anywhere in the world over multiple, redundant, high speed networks. This removes the bottleneck of local internet service providers bandwidth availability, and saves potentially hours of business critical time by bypassing the need to wait for your onsite systems to restore and be back in working order.

Should a disaster occur in which your infrastructure is no longer available or accessible to be restored, the need to purchase new hardware can be completely eliminated. Utilizing a Cloud Replication solution can have your business back online in minutes, not days. Employees can continue their work from home, remotely accessing images of their old workstations running live in the cloud, ensuring your business does not skip a beat.

 

Whether it be an office fire, hardware failure, employee error, or malware infection, IT disasters are inevitable. That’s why it is critical that you have a plan in place. Don’t gamble with your company’s data, call TurnKey Internet at 518-618-0999 and receive a free consultation of your company’s Disaster Recovery Plan. Learn more at www.TurnKeyInternet.net/myplan

 

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Written by David Maurer on April 3rd, 2018

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Data Center Solutions for Disaster Recovery   no comments

Posted at Jan 30, 2018 @ 10:08am disaster recovery

Data Center Solutions

Businesses that have the potential to be affected in some way by natural disasters can avoid the complete standstill to their services by preparing and planning out just what they would do if their facility suffered a catastrophic loss. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, snow storms, flooding, and fire are some of the most obvious causes of potentially disastrous losses that could halt the operations of a business. In fact, the property of a business does not even have to have any direct damage for a natural disaster to halt their business. For example, loss of electricity, telephone, or internet connectivity can cause problems with functionality, as those services are paramount. If you understand that any type of disaster could destroy your computing infrastructure – where all of your company records and data are stored, which could quite possibly destroy your business – then you should have a plan in place to alleviate that possibility.

 

Off-Site Backups

At the very least, any business that uses computing to manage their operations should have an off-site back-up of their most important data and records. This is not a very expensive strategy, it is something that can be entirely automated, and it does not even need to be accessed until you actually need to use it. There are automated back-up systems available from most data centers, which back-up your data as frequently as you desire. The incremental changes made in the time-frame chosen are then sent across the internet through an encrypted protocol, and stored in a managed backup system at the data center. Usually, the client is provided with a secure web interface to access those files as needed. These backups can also be used to restore individual data files that may have become deleted or damaged at any time, and downloaded back to the computers in your office.

 

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

The next step up from simply backing-up your data for protection from a disaster would be hosting some, to all, of your regular computing infrastructure in a data center. This type of solution is known as Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS. If you hosted your main office server in a data center and accessed your files over the internet from the PCs in your office, you could survive a disaster from a computing standpoint. All of your important data could then be accessed from a temporary, remote location, or even by having your employees work from home until the office is re-established. Many companies are now hosting their entire computing infrastructure in a data center; everything from virtual PCs to their application servers. These can then be accessed through just about any device that is connected to the internet, such as a PC, Mac, tablet, and smartphones.

 

Email and Phone

Communicating with your customer base during and after any disaster is vital in many cases. When your email and telephone systems are cut off, and you and your customers can no longer communicate, this could be extremely damaging to your business. By hosting your email server at a data center, you have access to your email system through almost any device connected to the internet. Another popular data center service is VOIP-based hosted phone systems. In a VOIP-based system, the PBX system normally nailed to the wall in an office is replaced by a PBX server in a data center. Management and administration of the system is then done though a web interface. All phone communication is channeled through voice over Internet protocol (VOIP). The advantage of this in a disaster is that your phone system is always intact. You can access your administration portal over the Internet and change any settings that may be necessary, such as adding additional extensions for remote users. Staff members can work from remote locations or at home, by accessing the phone system with a softphone on their PC or by having their calls transferred from their extensions to their cell phones.

 

Data centers are great solutions to the issues surrounding disaster recovery. The key reason is that they have multiple redundancies in place to provide 100% up-time guarantees. At TurnKey Internet, we have multiple fiber providers supplying our internet and bandwidth through diverse physical paths into our facility. We have complicated switch gear in place to maintain your connections, in case one or some of the fiber connections coming into the building are disrupted. Additionally, our power supply is backed-up with both a robust battery back-up supply to all servers and equipment, as well as dual on-site diesel generators that can power our facility long-term if necessary. For these reasons and more, anyone considering disaster recovery planning should consider the options available from TurnKey Internet, to insure that their business is not damaged long-term by a catastrophic event that had not been planned for.

To get started, visit https://www.turnkeyinternet.net/myplan for a FREE consultation.

 

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Disaster Recovery: Utilizing Offsite Backups   no comments

Posted at Aug 29, 2017 @ 10:21am disaster recovery

Disaster Recovery: Utilizing Offsite Backups

When it comes to protecting your business or organization’s data, you might feel as though an onsite or in-office backup solution is enough, but it’s not. If all of your files are stored on the same server or in the same physical location, you will still lose everything if that server or office encounters some form of a disaster (weather, malware, human-error, etc.). The good news is that you can combat this problem by utilizing an offsite backup solution.

 

This option involves uploading your data off-site to ‘The Cloud’ – a cluster of servers located in a remote, secure datacenter. If something happens to your main or onsite backup solution, cloud backups enable you to still have access to the files that you need. Best of all, your data will be available anytime, anywhere, and from nearly any device.

 

After learning about the importance of offsite backups, many businesses utilize a dedicated server or colocation solution to store their data.  Once you determine what data you’ll be backing up offsite, the next step should be to set a schedule. Some people backup their files one time each week, but others do so every night. The number of backups that you want to create will depend on several factors, but the important part is to remain consistent.

 

Once you have a backup schedule in place, you want to decide on the amount of time that you will store your data. Many businesses will delete some backups every few months or years, but you might need to keep some records for as long as you can. For example, tax records should be saved for seven years if you don’t want to encounter problems. Although deciding which files to keep is not always an easy task, prioritizing your data can help. The length of time that you will keep each backup will also depend on the amount of storage space that is available to you. So if your current solutions are not meeting your needs, then it could be time to consider upgrading.

 

Backing up your data is a smart move, but you also need to protect your files from unauthorized individuals. Criminals try to target servers that have the least amount of protection because they want to access data easily. If you don’t secure your files, then you could become a victim. If you own or manage a business, then you are also putting your customers’ data at risk, which is not acceptable. One of the best ways to secure your data is to utilize encryption. When you encrypt your data, you scramble the code in a way that makes it all but impossible to read. Even if someone can obtain your files, they will not be able to do anything with them. Only those authorized with the decryption key will be able to actually view your data. Most public cloud backup solutions will encrypt you data by default, however if your company has built it’s own private cloud solution, this may not be the case.

 

If a business loses its clients’ information, then that business could fail. Even if a company can recover from data loss, the fallout could have a lasting impact on its reputation. If customers don’t think that a business takes steps to keep their digital information safe, then they will find a company that does. Backing up your data offsite, in the cloud could be a choice that saves your business from failure.

 

Looking for the easiest way to get started with offsite backups?  Look no further than TurnKey Internet’s next-generation Cloud Backup solution – TurnKey Vault.  What makes TurnKey Vault the absolute best Cloud Backup solution on the market is our system was built from the ground up with business users in mind. From encryption so strong that even we can’t see your data, to the most advanced features on the market – like Live Cloud Replication, bare metal recovery and the ability to restore a server, PC or even an entire office of computers, live, in real-time, into a fully functional, cloud-based virtual environment accessible from anywhere over the Internet.

TurnKey Vault’s next-generation Cloud Backup technology offers true Business Continuity and peace of mind through cloud-based redundancy that allows you to restore anything, anytime, anywhere. For more information, visit TurnKeyVault.com

 

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Written by David Maurer on August 29th, 2017

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