What would happen to your business if your server crashed and did not come back up?
Certainly, you have some type of backup in place so you do not lose your important files. How long would it take to get replacement hardware, set up the new server, copy your files over from the backup, and configure the workstations in the office to connect to the new server? If you have a substantial amount of data, and depending on your solution, it could take several days to get back to a normal working environment.
Today, more and more companies are moving to virtualized environments such as XenServer and VMware. These physical servers can host multiple virtual servers. Your company can have an email server, a file server, and some specialized servers for SQL or Citrix all running on one physical server. Now imagine that hardware fails...... Now you are looking at recovering multiple servers. The time lost begins to compound.
Time is a valuable commodity in today's fast paced business world. The inability to access critical business assets can quickly begin to take a tangible financial toll on a company. Workers sit being paid while being unable to work. Client projects go untouched and unbilled. Deadlines can start to tighten. This is in addition to the bill that will come from the IT professionals who help to get you back up. So how do you prevent this kind of financial loss?
The answer of course is to move from the Backup, Disaster, and Recovery (BDR) model to Business Continuity, or as I like to call it BDR+.
There are now solutions available which work as a traditional BDR in that they create backup points from which you can recover files and also can use the old method of server recovery, Bare Metal Restore. However, these new solutions also allow you to virtualize your backup points into a working copy of your server(s) at the time of backup. You can work off of the virtual backup copy temporarily while you wait for replacement hardware or another permanent solution. The temporary solution would be transparent to your users.
The best part? The process to create this virtualized server can take mere minutes. This completely negates the lost time and money aspect of a disaster situation. If your server crashed and did not come back, you could be up within 15 minutes. Ultimately, of course, the goal is to get you back onto your normal systems. The process takes a little longer but can be done over a weekend when there is less work that needs to get done and downtime isn't such a detriment.
One of the fastest growing and most well regarded vendors in the Business Continuity arena is Datto. Datto was founded by current CEO Austin McChord in 2007. Since that time, it has grown into a trusted vendor that many Managed Service Providers nationwide, like DCNC, turn to for a solid Business Continuity solution. DCNC, Inc. has been partnered with Datto for over 4 years and in that time we've had to virtualize a client environment about a half dozen times. So, while our client servers are not dropping off like flies, there are still instances where a good Business Continuity solution has saved our clients down time and the money that goes with it.
Traditional backup solutions like tape or backing up to an external hard drive are fine if you are not at all worried about the cost of down time....at least for now. Soon enough, Business Continuity solutions will be the only acceptable standard.
If you would like to learn more about Datto and how DCNC can help protect your company from unprofitable downtime contact us at the office at (303) 920-9472.