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Press Start Ltd has been serving the East Anglia area since 1996, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Which Backup Strategy is Best?

Which Backup Strategy is Best?

It has reached the point that if you have a business, you had better have a backup prepared. Otherwise the digital data that modern businesses like yours rely on is vulnerable to loss. Of course, depending on the age of your business you may have data that no longer applies to your operations. That’s why we’re going over how to select the data you should continue to back up.

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BDR Needs to Be a Business Priority

BDR Needs to Be a Business Priority

Of any of your business implementations, a data backup and disaster recovery system is a serious contender for the most important. However, many neglect to prepare for a data loss event or disaster, which means they leave their business vulnerable to the ill effects of both. Protecting your business begins with a data backup and disaster recovery solution that prepares you for a worst-case scenario.

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Is Your Data Recovery Plan Going to Work?

Is Your Data Recovery Plan Going to Work?

If you’re ever asked about your data backup solution, the last answer that you want to give is that you don’t know what measures you’re implementing to keep your organisation safe from a worst-case scenario. There are different kinds of data backup and disaster recovery, but they almost always depend on two specific benchmarks: Recovery Point Objective and Recovery Time Objective.

We’ll walk you through the various differences between RPO and RTO, as well as discuss the major strengths and weaknesses of both in regard to the various types of data backup practices out there.

Recovery Point Objective
How much data is at risk in the event your organisation suffers from a data loss incident? If you’re not taking advantage of data backup services, it’s likely that all of it is at risk. Either way, it doesn’t matter if it’s only a handful of files or your entire infrastructure; data loss is data loss, and your organisation could lose precious productivity and efficiency because of it. You should never assume that any amount of data loss is acceptable. After all, you never know when you’ll find certain information useful. Your ultimate goal should be to minimise damage loss whenever possible.

In a sentence, you can consider your recovery point objective the amount of data that your organisation should strive to reach following a data loss scenario. In almost every case, you shouldn’t settle for anything less than 100% of your data. Modern data backup solutions can help your organisation accomplish this through the use of frequent snapshot backups which are designed to minimise data loss as a whole.

Recovery Time Objective
The other half of a data backup and disaster recovery solution is how long it takes your organisation to recover. It goes without saying that if your organisation can’t recover its data in a timely manner, you stand to lose out on a lot of productivity. Workers who no longer have access to important data or infrastructure services won’t be able to do their jobs, making their existence in the office a moot point. Any situation where your organisation can’t function as intended can be classified as downtime, and by extension, an operational deficit.

Your goal should be to minimise recovery time so that you can get right back to work following a disaster. The ideal data backup solution should utilise the cloud to advance these efforts because of how intuitive and functional its options for data backup are. By utilising the cloud to deploy a backup in the event of a loss incident, you can almost immediately recover as long as the data has somewhere to be deployed to.

Does your business need a cloud-based data backup and disaster recovery solution that can help your business optimise RPO and minimise RTO? Press Start Ltd can help. To learn more, call us on 01638 603204.

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How a Data Backup Can Be Used, No Disaster Necessary

How a Data Backup Can Be Used, No Disaster Necessary

Data backup may not directly help you boost your productivity, but it is a core component of any responsible business’ continuity plan. Each year, thousands of businesses that don’t take threats into account are forced to close their doors because they didn’t have a contingency plan in place. For every business that plans for the worst there are two that don’t, either because they see the strategy as too cost prohibitive, or because they just don’t understand the amount of threats that could put their business in the position where they would need to close.

There are several aspects of a backup and recovery strategy that business owners (who do see reason to implement one) have to square away. By breaking the strategy into three core parts, your organisation can secure a positive ROI from a backup and recovery system that, with any luck, you’ll never have to use.

Data Backup
Deciding on a backup platform is obviously the first step in the process. There are several strategies a small business can use to cover its assets. They could use cloud storage, network attached storage facilities that use hard disk drives or tape backup drives, or even a manual system where people protect the data by backing it up to a hard drive and then take a copy with them when they leave. No matter what platform you choose to utilise, you have to understand that if you look at your data as an asset, it stands to reason that you would want to protect as much data as you can. At Press Start Ltd, we offer a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery service that utilises network attached storage that pushes copies to the cloud in real-time. This not only provides the kind of data redundancy every organisation needs, it allows our clients to thoroughly plan their data recovery strategies.

Before we go into recovery, we’d be remiss not to mention that some data simply isn’t important. Small businesses often have a lot of data they collect but don’t do anything with, so it just sits on their infrastructure taking up space. Some businesses look to data analytics to cut down on dark data, but for the small business that doesn’t have a backup strategy, it might just be putting the cart before the horse.

Data Recovery
If you are looking for a positive ROI, this is where it begins. A business needs to establish acceptable parameters for the recovery of their data. To do this, an organisation is going to have to establish what are known as their recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO). Before we elaborate, we should say that if you are in a position where you need to restore a large portion of your data whether it be because of malware, natural disaster, sabotage, or blatant negligence you absolutely have to have these plans made (and tested).

The recovery point objective defines how much data your business could reasonably afford to lose in order to be able to sustain operational effectiveness. Recovery time objective is the maximum time you believe you can go without your data before your business fails. Each figure isn’t static throughout your business. Some of your data is more important than other data, of course, and has to be weighted this way. Therefore, some systems that hold more crucial data will have different RPOs and RTOs than less critical systems.

How the System Provides a Calculable ROI
This is where you can put it all together. How do you calculate the return on investment on systems that you hope you will never ever use?

  • Establish your organisation’s hourly realised revenue. To do this you take the amount of revenue your organisation has taken in over the past year and divide it by the total working hours you and your staff have logged for that time.
  • Figure out how much you would stand to lose both with and without a backup and recovery system in place.
  • Multiply the hourly realised revenue with both scenario-specific figures you’ve calculated in step 2 and take the difference. This number represents the total avoided loss, in dollars.
  • Finally, plug that figure into this formula to measure your backup system’s ROI:

ROI = (Avoided loss - Cost of backup and recovery system x 100%)

Without a disaster hitting your business, you may think that backup and recovery strategies are a waste of time and resources, but the ROI is clear.

If your business is looking for a backup and disaster recovery solution that can seriously save your business in the event of a disaster something no ROI calculator will ever tell you call the IT professionals at Press Start Ltd today on 01638 603204.

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Data Recovery Is an Important Part of the Backup Process

Data Recovery Is an Important Part of the Backup Process

How does your business manage its data backups? How about restoring them in the event of a disaster scenario? These are questions that no business wants to have no answer to on the spot. You want to have both data backup and disaster recovery put into place to avoid losing a considerable amount of progress.

It can be difficult to see how data backup and disaster recovery are two different things, but the fact remains that they fulfill a very important role for business continuity. Data backup is the process of actually taking the data backup that you will then later restore to a workable state. Disaster recovery is when you restore a working data backup so that it can be used to get your organisation into a state where it can operate following a data loss incident.

A business continuity solution needs to include both data backup and disaster recovery, both of which should be used to achieve an ideal recovery point objective and recovery time objective. Here are what they are:

Recovery point objective: The recovery point objective, or RPO, is how much data needs to be restored in the event of a disaster. Basically, the more data that you need to restore to get your operation going again, the larger your RPO is going to be.

Recovery time objective: The recovery time objective is the amount of time your organisation has to restore data before your business is in trouble. Every moment wasted waiting for your data to be restored is costly, but there reaches a point where if you don’t have your data, you can’t sustain operations, and the business begins to fail.

Not all data backup and disaster recovery systems are the same. In some cases, they are just inferior to others. Take tape backup as an example. While it may have been the standard solution for quite some time, it’s an inconvenient manner of taking data backups and restoring them. Not only is it time-consuming, but it’s also not automatic and prone to user error. You could potentially lose up to an entire day’s worth of data in the event of a disaster scenario. Network-attached data backup and disaster recovery with cloud functionality is better, as it allows for fast data recovery and for multiple backups to be taken every single hour. In fact, you can take backups as often as every fifteen minutes, making it much better than the singular large data backup that can only be taken once. This helps to minimise downtime and data loss in the event of a disaster.

Does your business need a better way to approach data backup? Press Start Ltd can help. To learn more, reach out to us on 01638 603204.

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Protect Your Organisation's Data with Backup and Recovery

Protect Your Organisation's Data with Backup and Recovery

Let’s take a moment to imagine the worst-case scenario for your business. You’ve been struck with a crippling disaster and your infrastructure is rendered inoperable. Maybe it was a fire that burned your office to the ground, or a hardware failure that wiped out any information located on your local network. Maybe a hacker infiltrated your IT infrastructure and installed ransomware on your network, or a user error led to a compromised account and infected network.

Regardless of the incident, you need to implement measures like data backup and disaster recovery to keep the worst from occurring. Yet many businesses still consider data backup and disaster recovery to be largely the same thing. There is actually a major difference between data backup and disaster recovery. While one aspect focuses on accumulating data in the event a disaster wipes your company off the face of the planet, the other focuses on the deployment of the data backups. One thing is absolutely certain, though; you need both of these aspects of business continuity if you hope to keep your organisation running during the worst of times.

Data backup comes in many different forms, but the most common system that had been used was tape backup. Data would be stored on magnetic tapes, which would then be kept somewhere on-site for use in the event of an emergency. These data backups would generally only happen once a day, as more than once would be enough to drag operations to a halt. With the only opportune time to take a backup being after hours, an entire day’s worth of data could potentially be destroyed in the event of a data loss incident, assuming that the disaster hasn’t also destroyed the tape! Add in a rather slow restoration time and you have an overall inconvenient and risky backup solution.

While tape is certainly not the ideal backup and disaster recovery solution for your organisation, it’s better than nothing. Yet, cloud-based data backup and disaster recovery is far superior in just about every major part of business continuity. For example, the issue of the amount of data recovered becomes a non-issue due to smaller backups being taken more frequently throughout the day, leading to a smaller loss in the event of a disaster. Furthermore, you can store data backups in the cloud and off-site for later implementation, which is great for securing your business’ future.

Perhaps the most important part of data backup and disaster recovery from Press Start Ltd is that you can restore data at a moment’s notice through the cloud. You can even deploy a backup directly to the BDR device that’s hooked up to your network in the event your server isn’t available or is no longer functional. This gives you valuable time to implement new hardware or find a new temporary office. Could your business use some help with implementing a backup and disaster recovery solution? Press Start Ltd can help. To learn more, call us on 01638 603204.

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World Backup Day Highlights the Importance of Backup Practices

World Backup Day Highlights the Importance of Backup Practices

March 31, 2018 is World Backup Day. Data is a commodity, but unlike other commodities it can be replicated without hurting its value. As a result, data backup has become a critical need for the modern business. World Backup Day has been created to remind people to protect their assets by backing up their files.

Data Backup is now a mission-critical process that is neglected far too often, unfortunately. In fact, studies show that 30 percent of people have never backed up their data - despite being inundated by a myriad of situations where data could be lost, stolen, or corrupted. With 113 phones being stolen every minute and 1-in-10 computers being infected with viruses and malware every month, protecting your data has to become a priority. Frankly, data is a very easy thing to lose without the right precautions in place, which is precisely why World Backup Day was created to promote data protection.

Nobody wants to see an organisation fail and the statistics for a business’ survival after a data loss event indicate that if you are not strategically protecting your digital assets, your company is one situation away from catastrophe. Maintaining a comprehensive data backup can negate the effects of such an event, allowing your business to bounce back.

In order to do so effectively, however, there need to be certain standards met by any backup solution your business puts in place. They include:

Redundancy
It isn’t uncommon for businesses to streamline their operations, eliminating redundancies wherever they can. When it comes to data backup, the opposite is actually preferable. To optimise your data’s survivability, your backup should consist of more than one copy of your data - safety in numbers, so to speak.

Frequency
Of course, there’s a limit to how useful an older data backup will be for your business. The progress that would be lost between the time of the backup and the time of the data loss incident would be less effective than one that is current. The best data backups are taken frequently enough to protect your progress without causing downtime.

Off-Site
Your backup won’t do you much good if the same disaster destroys it along with your original data. To keep this from happening, you need to make sure that your backup is kept separate and disconnected from your network.

Your business needs its data in order to be successful. Observing World Backup Day is a great opportunity to ensure that it will be safe. Visit the official World Backup Day website for more information.

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What Does Redundancy Mean for Your Business

What Does Redundancy Mean for Your Business

If you were to lose your business’ data, would you be able to continue operations? The answer is almost always “no,” so you need to take precautions before you inevitably suffer from an unpredictable threat like a hardware failure or hacking attack. Unfortunately, the average small business might have trouble affording such comprehensive coverage, which is a trend that we’re trying to help local organisations. If you’re stuck on data recovery, we want to help you better understand data redundancy.

Redundancy is a term which has increased in usage thanks to the business world. Generally speaking, redundant means not needed or superfluous, but when it comes to data, having a second copy of it can’t hurt. It’s better to be prepared for the worst, just in case it happens.

Thus, you have the term data redundancy, the act of having a second or third copy of your data in the event that something goes wrong and your data is unavailable. Here are some of the most important aspects of data redundancy to keep in mind when thinking about data backup and disaster recovery.

What’s the Data Amount?
Your data backup solution can likely only handle so much. For example, a traditional tape backup system could potentially take an entire backup of your infrastructure, but you’d have to wait several hours to do it, lest it interfere with your normal operating hours. Plus, since you’re only taking one data backup every day, you could potentially lose out on an entire day’s worth of productivity and effort. Ideally, you want a data backup solution that can take a backup as often as every fifteen minutes, as this minimizes data loss. The snapshot-based data backup solution provided by Press Start Ltd allows for smaller, more frequent backups taken throughout the workday, fostering redundancy of your data.

The Time It Takes to Recover
As previously mentioned, the amount of time it takes to recover can be a major challenge for some businesses. Since tape backup can take ages in order to fully restore your data, you’ll want to opt for a system that can practically instantaneously restore your business’ data to any able device. A comprehensive backup and disaster recovery system (BDR) that uses cloud technology, can accomplish this, providing your organisation with minimal downtime and maximum redundancy.

Your Data Backup Locations
Redundancy is all about storing your extra data in places where it is safe from harm. You should generally follow what’s called the 3-2-1 data backup rule, which states that you should have three copies of your data in total, with two of them being off-site in a secure data centre or the cloud and one on-site for an emergency event.

How does your business ensure data redundancy? We know how you should be doing it, with Press Starts Data Backup and Disaster Recovery solution. To learn more, please call us on 01638 603204

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