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Is a simple data backup ENOUGH for your business?

Today we are talking about backups vs disaster recovery solutions. How they are the same, how they are different, and what you need to be successful. The primary difference between a backup and disaster recovery solution is as follows.

What’s the difference?

Backups: A backup could be something that uses a thumb drive to copy a certain set of files. Or, it could be something that uses software, such as Acronis or Carbonite to backup files, settings, pictures, documents, and program files on a regular or incremental basis.

Disaster Recovery Solutions: This solution is a little more complicated. Instead of needing something else to restore your files, like a backup, with disaster recovery solutions the system is a small computer or server that resides on-site with your server or other computers. And, in the case of a server or computer failure, that disaster recovery appliance kicks in and spins up an exact replica of whatever was on the failed computers and server. A disaster recovery solution helps to alleviate downtime.

Off-Site Operations

Disaster recovery systems can also function off-site. So, let’s say you have a flood or a fire, and everything in the building is destroyed. A good disaster recovery system will allow you to virtualize in the cloud everything that was on that server or computer and then create a tunnel (or VPN) to wherever your new temporary work site is. So, you get to continue your day-to-day operations using the cloud until a suitable server or computer replacement can be found and installed.

Real-World Examples

Now, let’s talk about two different real-life customer scenarios that we have experienced recently here at Intechtel. We had one customer who has a server that contains a variety of data such as financial systems, sales data, etc. They would do backups when they would upgrade things, but they were on the fence about getting a disaster recovery solution. Well, their systems and server failed and the data was gone forever. The best we can hope for is some kind of forensic data recovery where the drives are sent off to be physically taken apart and transplanted into host drives. There is no guarantee it will work and it’s very time-consuming. This data loss is a big deal for this client.

On the other hand, we have another client who has invested heavily in a data recovery solution. When they accidentally wiped out a year’s worth of data, we were able to go in at the granular level, restore that data right back where it was. We told the disaster recovery appliance operation exactly what was missing, and we told it to restore. Everything was put back as it was before the data wipe.

Comparing the Cost

The difference in cost between backups and a disaster recovery plan is that with a high-caliber disaster recovery plan there is typically an appliance or a server needed on-site that backs up all the data from a computer or server and then transfers that data off-site to a secure cloud location every day. So, you’re going to have a higher upfront cost for something like that as well as an ongoing monthly cost that may be a little bit higher than your typical backup service, like Carbonite. The advantage of paying a little more is that you’re almost never going to be down for long periods of time.

Just Need One PC Covered? Lower Cost

At the PC level, we have a product that will back up a single PC and do the same thing without that physical on-site appliance. So, it gives you similar features such as backups, off-site storage, and virtualization, at a fraction of the cost. Keep in mind, this does have storage limitations of up to about a terabyte. It’s great for individual computers where you’re not tying up expensive server storage on-site.

For more info about backups and disaster recovery solutions, visit our website intechtel.com or give us a call – (208)635-4400.