Report: Data Protection and Disaster Recovery for the SMB

Report: Data Protection and Disaster Recovery for the SMB

December 4

SSG-NOW and StorageCraft present: “Data Protection and Disaster Recovery for the SMB.”

In this report, you’ll learn everything you need to know about SMB data protection, from a brief history of disaster recovery, all the way to more advanced topics such as essentials for an effective disaster recovery plan, how to use the cloud for recovery, and how virtualization enables businesses to reduce the cost of downtime more than ever before. Read the summary below, or download the full report by clicking “Download” below.

Management Summary

Cloud computing capabilities are challenging basic IT truths that have held constant almost since the advent of the 8” floppy disk in 1971. As virtual versions of applications, networks, phone systems and storage capabilities migrate to and become commonplace in the cloud, opportunities abound for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to save money and take advantage of cloud-based services. One of the most significant business opportunities for SMBs is the ability to utilize the cloud for disaster recovery and data protection.

Disaster recovery has traditionally been an afterthought—or a cost-prohibitive wish-list item—for SMBs since the dawn of personal computers. Disaster recovery has always been an expensive, complicated process that requires companies to rent access to a facsimile of their IT infrastructure in a distant, protected facility with backup power, networking and phone systems. The complexity of disaster recovery planning in the unlikely case that something bad happens, whether it be a natural or man-made disaster, widespread virus infections, or even an errant squirrel frying your local electrical transformer, has prevented most SMBs from taking advantage of this critical protection of the computing core of their businesses. Cloud-based disaster recovery is in the process of permanently changing the SMB dynamic from “Gee, wouldn’t it be nice” to “Our company cannot afford the business risk of not having a cloud-based disaster recovery strategy in place”. For SMBs, cloud-based disaster recovery has become a no-brainer.

Just as disaster recovery has always been a financially-elusive option for SMBs, data protection has also been a major challenge for SMBs. Fortunately, the proliferation of online backup and restore services makes tape-based data protection a thing of the past for most SMBs. Of course, many SMBs didn’t or still don’t have the technical expertise to perform regular backups and restores of critical business data using a tape-based data protection strategy. Cloud-based data protection now provides companies of all sizes with a viable, cost-effective, easy-to-use option for backing up—and most importantly restoring—critical SMB data. Just as with disaster recovery, cloud-based data protection is not just a nice-to-have, the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of cloud-based data protection is now a no-brainer for SMBs.

The disaster recovery plan for many SMBs—if they even had one—was for many years as simple as the owner taking home the server backup tape in his briefcase, then exchanging it for an older backup tape kept somewhere at home. This manual method of rotating tapes was certainly better than nothing, but it left much to be desired if a disaster ever struck. Was the backup good? Could the file or files be recovered and restored? Does anyone even know how to restore files from the tape backup? What if the server itself was damaged or destroyed in the disaster? Did the company have access to server hardware to which backups could be restored? As, many SMBs quickly discovered when theywere hit by data loss in the era of tape backups, the answer to some or all of these questions could easily be “No.” Failure to restore and recover from data loss typically meant failure of the business itself.

Cloud-based disaster recovery and backup/restore offer intrinsic insurance from these historical vagaries of SMB data protection. You get daily confirmations that your backups are successful. If you have a data loss, you can restore to any PC with an Internet connection, not just a server. Most cloud-based disaster recovery services offer testing of the recovery process in a virtual sandbox using network, storage and application infrastructure that simulates as a company’s production environment. Cloud-based data protection is such an easy process that SMBs can empower individual users with the ability to restore their own files at the user’s discretion. There is no longer any need to call a support number or fill out a form in triplicate just to restore a deleted file. In both cases, there is usually not a requirement for specialized, expensive IT expertise to initiate the recovery or restore process. In a business environment that typically struggles to find, retain and pay for IT expertise, online data protection and disaster recovery is the perfect solution for SMBs who recognize the importance of having a plan in place to protect the company.

If you own a pizza restaurant or run a doctor’s office or work in any of the thousands of small businesses in this country, you likely do not have dedicated IT staff. Some small businesses grow to become medium-sized businesses that might require more full-time IT expertise but that is certainly not a given in an uncertain economy. Owner-operators and other small business managers likely have just enough computer skills to keep the company operating day-to-day, but most SMBs have no idea where to turn when they suffer a disaster or significant data loss. With these factors in mind, this report highlights the available answers to this common SMB question: how does our IT staff protect the company’s computing assets if we can’t even afford an IT staff?

To read the rest, download the full report below.


DP And DR In The SMB (506.5 KiB, 1054 downloads)



Photo credit: Fleshas via Wikimedia