Downtime is a business killer. The global downtime spurred by COVID-19 led to nearly 100K US businesses closing their doors for good, proof of how quickly businesses fail when there is a sudden shift in the marketplace. That’s why every business continuity plan must be focused on maximizing a business’s uptime, regardless of the issues it might face. Certainly, data protection and disaster recovery solutions are crucial ways businesses can address some of the most common causes of downtime. Let’s look at three steps you can take to maximize uptime using the latest data protection tools and strategies.
1. Understand Backup and Disaster Recovery Metrics
First, you need to develop a plan. Most backup and recovery experts recommend building a strategy around two metrics. Your recovery time objective (RTO) will help you understand how much downtime your business or one of your systems can tolerate. Your recovery point objective (RPO) helps you understand how much data your business can stand to lose. Once you’ve set these objectives you can begin to implement solutions that help you keep data loss and downtime within these preset, tolerable parameters.
2. Evaluate Backup and Recovery Solutions
Finding the best vendor is critical. In the realm of backup and disaster recovery, there are all kinds of solutions, ranging from simple, basic backups all the way to advanced cloud-based recovery platforms. As you evaluate vendors, consider the objectives you’ve set. Ask yourself: will this solution meet our objectives if we get hit by a small or large disaster? Here are a few key things to look for in a backup and disaster recovery solution:
- Flexibility for Physical and Virtual Machines
Your infrastructure might require backups for physical and virtual machines. When it comes to recovery, you may want to be able to recover physical machines as virtual machines, or, for that matter, virtual machines as physical machines. Be sure to find a solution that gives you the flexibility to back up and recover any type of machine.
- Remote Management and Administration
Time is one of the biggest factors during a downtime event. That means admins have to be able to act immediately, from anywhere. Many of the top backup and disaster recovery solutions give you the ability to manage everything remotely. With policy-based administration, it’s easy for you to create backup protocols appropriate for a given system or network. An SLA-driven dashboard and analytics reports help you make sure you can meet your recovery objectives when needed. Be sure the solution you adopt has the remote management capabilities you need for speedy recoveries.
- Advanced Recovery Options
If you are hit by a larger disaster or sitewide failure, a local system recovery might be impossible. That’s why having a robust set of recovery options is wise. Many of the latest backup and disaster recovery solutions will let you boot backup images as virtual machines, enable full site-wide failover using the cloud, or recover to dissimilar hardware or virtual environments. Remember, backups are important, but they might not matter if you can’t recover quickly.
3. Implement and Test Your BDR Strategy
Once you’ve selected a vendor, it’s time to implement your data protection solution. Whether your team does the work or you outsource implementation to a BDR expert, it’s critical that you test your plan. Many solutions will let you test individual backups by spinning them up as a virtual machine. But that’s not enough. It’s best to fully test your ability to recover. Some businesses even simulate a disaster and test a sitewide failover. That is the only way to be sure you can meet your recovery objectives when you need to, so be sure to set time aside for regular and comprehensive recovery testing.
You may not be able to completely eliminate downtime, but you don’t have to go down without a fight. The latest backup and disaster recovery solutions can protect your business’s precious data while giving you many ways to maximize uptime.
Take a look at StorageCraft ShadowXafe if you’re interested in a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery solution that can help you keep downtime to an absolute minimum.