As a Seattle business owner, you’ve definitely heard of business continuity by now. You know it can help you recover from ransomware and natural disasters, you know it’s different from traditional tape or disk backup, and you know that IT professionals swear by it.
But aside from that, you’re kind of fuzzy on the facts about business continuity.
Ready to learn more and get a handy tool that’ll help you decide if continuity is right for you? Well you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy your coffee, because that’s what we’ll be talking about now in Part 5 of the in-depth Seattle Business Owners’ Guide to IT Security.
Get up to speed with the rest of the guide when you learn what an MSP does (Part 1), whether you should choose outsourced or in-house IT (Part 2), determine if you need an IT security assessment (Part 3), and start figuring out which MSP services you might need (Part 4).
Originally known as “backup and disaster recovery (BDR),” and now often called “business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR),” this service has evolved into a tool that’s more than mere backup and more than mere disaster recovery.
Let’s get into the details.
Business continuity services are comprised of two main parts, both of which can be set up by a good managed services provider (MSP):
In short, business continuity is exactly what it sounds like: a way for your business to continue operations within as little as 5 minutes after any disaster, large or small.
Truthfully, since most disasters are big, messy things, it could take about 4 hours to restore all your data 100% and get you back on track… but that’s not bad when you compare it to tape or disk backup which typically take days or weeks to restore.
Of course, you have options. As you research continuity services online, you’re likely to run across a tool called “DRaaS,” or “Disaster Recovery as a Service,” but since that tool is priced for massive enterprises, we’re not going to cover it in this guide. (You’re welcome to contact us and ask about it though.)
We’ve talked before about how Seattle business owners face special tech problems, including the need to maintain an up-to-date web and technological presence 24/7/365 in order to compete in our high-tech city.
Since around-the-clock business operations are so important here in Seattle and the surrounding areas, your business probably can’t afford to waste time waiting to restore your systems after a ransomware attack, a flood or fire, or a power outage.
In other words, effective backup for today’s fast-paced companies requires a quick restore time. These days, it’s not enough to have a copy of data – business leaders need a quickly accessible, fully reliable copy of their data. Think about it: if your clients had to wait days or weeks for you to restore operations and resume business, would they trust you with their cash?Didn’t think so.
Quick data recovery is the main differentiating factor between business continuity solutions and the other 90% of the backup solutions out there, but the key to business continuity’s fast restore process isn’t solely the fact that it offers replicated backup. After all, if you’re willing to put enough time and work into it, you can manually save your data locally and to the cloud.
See, traditional backup solutions place the burden of backup testing on you, the busy business leader – which means most backup testing never gets done. Since physical media is prone to data corruption (disk is especially notorious for this), your best bet for true business continuity must include nightly testing.
Testing is critical because it can mean the difference between a quick, effortless restore or a pain-in-the-neck, time-consuming restore. If your business goes down for a day and a half because you have a less effective backup system that doesn’t replicate or test… well, that’s not exactly business “continuity” now, is it?
To keep business running smoothly, Seattle business owners like you choose business continuity because it helps get you and your organization back on your feet fast, no matter what happens.
Of course, the decision to purchase a backup appliance and BCDR services from an MSP in Seattle is a totally personal decision. We can’t tell you whether or not you need continuity… but we can help you make the choice yourself by providing a handy DIY tool.
The Recovery Time Calculator helps you figure out, objectively, whether a BCDR solution is important for your company.
With the calculator, you’ll be able to clearly understand how much downtime your organization can truly afford while waiting on data recovery, which will help you decide if BCDR holds a strong return on investment for your business.
Get the Recovery Time Calculator here, so you can check that business continuity research off your list once and for all.