How to pick a disaster recovery plan that aligns with your business needs

How to pick a disaster recovery plan that aligns with your business needs

Businesses in Chicago might be safer from natural disasters than those in coastal areas, but data breaches and other man-made catastrophes are just as big a risk in the Windy City as they are in any other part of the country. Last year, the number of cybersecurity attacks that crippled businesses all over the world made 2017 one of the worst on record. Disasters will happen, or your company may be the next victim of cybercrime. If you’re unprepared, chances are your company may end up closing its doors for good.

Fortunately, there are managed IT service providers dedicated to minimizing the cost of an unforeseen event. Disaster recovery is about creating and implementing a plan that prevents prolonged company downtime with data backups and cloud solutions.

A robust disaster recovery plan will get your office up and running again almost immediately after any type of catastrophe. Let’s take a look at the four main models of disaster recovery planning that offer different approaches to business continuity:

Backup-only planning

The absolute minimum level of disaster-recovery planning is backup only, which copies your mission-critical data to a safe location. For home users and businesses with fewer than 10 employees, this is fine.

For larger businesses, backup alone is not enough, because it focuses solely on securing files rather than your IT infrastructure. This solution doesn’t take into consideration the recovery process. Data alone is not going to get your business operational again if you don’t have access to your apps, servers, desktops, or everything else you rely on.

“Cold-site” disaster recovery

The cold-site disaster recovery model involves renting an off-site premise where you keep a bare bones ‘copy’ of your current infrastructure. It’s like having a cheap, entry-level smartphone or laptop at home just in case your high-end desktop stops working or goes missing. It lets you carry out essential tasks, but nothing more than that.

Cold-site disaster recovery is one of the cheaper options because its hardware is inactive most of the time, but it’s not as responsive or flexible for larger businesses. It’s not the best option for businesses with stringent uptime requirements or complex IT infrastructures.

“Hot-site” disaster recovery

A hot-site plan is the next best thing to having an identical computer to the one you use every day, complete with the same apps and a byte-by-byte copy of all your data that’s kept up-to-date in real time.

Since most organizations cannot tolerate extended periods of downtime, particularly those with healthcare applications or patient portals, a hot-site disaster-recovery strategy is perfect for them. It greatly reduces, if not eliminates, downtime caused by unexpected disasters. However, this strategy is the most expensive of the three already mentioned.

Virtualized disaster recovery

Thanks to modern internet speeds and the rise of cloud computing, it’s now possible to build an entire technology infrastructure without spending tens of thousands of dollars on hardware. Almost any piece of hardware can now be defined by software, which means a provider can maintain one high-end server that performs as if it is actually several middle-tier servers.

Virtualized disaster recovery means you don’t have to pay for an entire server, only the computing power it needs to keep you running. This approach is much cheaper and allows businesses to access virtual servers and desktops over the internet within minutes of a disaster.

The best thing about virtualization and disaster recovery is that it eliminates the hassle of hardware decisions. You simply tell an IT support provider like MXOtech what applications and functions you need to continue operating, and they’ll set everything up. No expensive off-site facility; no hardware procurement. Everything will be handled by the IT services provider for a flat monthly fee.

If your company is experiencing long backup times or is lacking a clearly documented and up-to-date business continuity plan, then it’s time to change before it’s too late. That’s where MXOtech comes in. Call us today to get your free backup and disaster recovery assessment.