Offsite backup is a minimum requirement. Proper DR planning requires much more.

Apr 2010

Offsite backup is a minimum requirement. Proper DR planning requires much more.


Many companies today do not have any sort of comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place. Especially among small businesses, there is not only no defined DR policy, but also no defined plan or policy for providing offsite data protection of mission critical company data. This is despite the extensive evidence to support the fact that most companies do not recover from a catastrophic data loss. Here are just two examples -

  •  According to research by the University of Texas, only 6 percent of companies suffering from a catastrophic data loss survive, while 43 percent never reopen and 51 percent close within two years.
  •  93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. 50% of businesses that found themselves without data management for this same time period filed for bankruptcy immediately. (Source: National Archives & Records Administration in Washington)

This data loss may or may not be combined with the loss of the physical office location. If this is the case, the survival rate of the company diminishes even more. The ability to quickly recover mission critical data at a DR location so that a company can continue its day to day operations is critical to the continued success of any business that experiences data loss.

Current practice for many businesses is the same as it has been for the last 20 years or more. Writing backup data to tape and then sending tapes offsite to be stored at a remote location. There are companies that specialize in the secure transport and storage of data (both printed and electronic). However, there are significant costs associated with the transport and storage of data that is kept on backup tapes. There is also the possibility that the data can be stolen, lost, or damaged both during transport and in storage. In fact, more than 75% of companies that have tested their tape backups have found failures on their backup tapes.  As well, a quick Google search on “lost backup tapes” reveals a lengthy list of banks, hotels, and even companies in the business of protecting data that have suffered lost tapes and the resulting security breaches.

Any company that is interested in ensuring that they can remain in business following a catastrophic loss of data whether due to natural disaster, equipment failure, or malicious activity, needs to implement proper disaster recovery planning.  Make sure to consider the following -

  • For proper DR planning, you can’t afford to use tapes due to the various limitations mentioned above.
  • In order to truly protect your data and business, partner with a managed service provider for your offsite data protection needs and send your data to their secure data center.
  • Additionally, you need to have the option of further replicating the mission critical data while moving older, less valuable data into cheaper storage.

By using a Managed Service Provider to provide secure, encrypted offsite disk based data storage at a remote SAS-70 certified data center, your business can protect itself from both data loss and exposure of sensitive company and client data. Automated remote offsite backups provide a fast, simple, secure method of protecting your data without the management headaches associated with traditional tape based solutions. The MSP becomes your partner to assist you with all aspects of protecting your company and its business critical data.

So make sure your business is protected!

Image Source: Flickr User:
Rusty Boxcars

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