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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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To Save Your Business from Disaster, Backup is Crucial

To Save Your Business from Disaster, Backup is Crucial

Businesses generate and collect a huge amount of data some of it, practically useless and some critical to your business and its operations. It is this latter group that makes it so important that you have a comprehensive backup plan ready to go.

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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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The Right Data Recovery Strategy Is Important to Protect Your Business

The Right Data Recovery Strategy Is Important to Protect Your Business

Data recovery is a major consideration that every organisation that depends on data has to plan for as a part of their business continuity strategy. Since there are so many ways that businesses can lose data, there needs to be a plan to recover data for any possible reason. Today, we will take a different look at operational data loss and talk about how your organisation should consider strategising data recovery.

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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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Your Business Absolutely Needs BDR

Your Business Absolutely Needs BDR

Have you ever wondered what it would take to knock your company out of business for good? It might surprise you if we said that, in theory, it doesn’t take much at all, perhaps a thunderstorm or a hacking attack to cause irreparable damage to your data infrastructure. Is your company prepared to handle any and all data loss incidents? With a business continuity plan and data backup, you’ll have as great a shot as ever to bounce back following a major disaster or data loss incident.

Most notably, a business continuity plan includes much more than just data backup and recovery. While these are certainly important, a business continuity plan includes other critical aspects of running a business, including keeping your staff and personnel safe, as well as having a communications infrastructure and a place to do business in. If you’re not taking these measures into account, you could be exposing your business in such a way that a very random event could knock you out of existence.

While all of the above aspects of business continuity are important, we’re going to focus on data backup and disaster recovery, or BDR. With BDR, you can ensure that your business can survive even the worst threats. Here are some of the major considerations you’ll need to think about regarding your data backup situation.

How Much Data are You Backing Up?
There is no such thing as having too much data backed up. You should be backing up all of your data, or as much as you possibly can. This is so that you never have to guess whether or not important information has been backed up. Even losing a small amount of data, like a couple of contacts, can be a major annoyance, as you will have to waste countless hours replacing the data that has been lost.

Tape backup might take complete backups of all your data, but it can only do so in a limited capacity due to how resource-intensive this process can be. A cloud-based BDR system can take backups much more frequently and as a result, you’ll experience minimal data loss in the event of an incident. BDR only takes backups of files that have changed since the last backup was taken.

How Often are Backups Taken?
If your data isn’t taken often enough, you might encounter issues where data is lost due to the backups not being up to date. For example, a tape backup system only takes one backup and it’s at the end of the day. Since the process is long and resource-intensive, it needs to happen after hours so that operations aren’t disturbed. Unfortunately, this leads to a situation where you could lose out on a lot of data and productivity, either due to an unforeseen loss incident or taking backups too often and causing downtime in the process.

Cloud-based BDR offers a great opportunity to help your business take advantage of much more frequent backups, all without sacrificing any uptime. Backups will only update files that have been altered, so more backups can be taken periodically throughout the workday, as often as every fifteen minutes. This helps you keep data loss to a minimum.

How Quickly Can You Restore Data?
You can’t waste any time when data loss is a problem. To minimise the damage done to your business, you’ll need to restore your resources and assets as quickly as possible. However, if you don’t have an office (or the technology to get back to work), this can be a problem. Tape backup can leave you without data for hours on end following a data loss incident, as it takes a considerable amount of time to restore. Your business can’t spare this time and cloud-based BDR is the solution to this dilemma.

With Press Start Ltd’s BDR, you’ll be able to restore your data directly to the BDR device rather than a spare server unit (assuming you have one in the first place). This keeps you focused on operations without having to worry about replacing your hardware immediately. You can minimise downtime and keep your business in proper working order, even when the world is stacked against you.

Do you want to ensure your business can survive even the most poorly-timed data loss incident? Press Start Ltd can help you implement a data backup and disaster recovery solution that preserves your business’ data incrementally and efficiently. To learn more, reach out to us at 01638 603204.

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Cloud-Based Backup and Recovery Works

Cloud-Based Backup and Recovery Works

The cloud is one of the best modern technologies that a business can use to its advantage, but nowhere is it as important as it is for data backup and disaster recovery. How does your business ensure that its data remains redundant and secure from situations outside of your control? We know of one way that you can take back control of your business’s future and that’s with a cloud-based backup and disaster recovery solution, also known as BDR.

Before the cloud, businesses had to rely on the manual task of backing up their data on tape. Data storage tapes were the primary mode of keeping data safe in the event of a disaster. However, tape is outdated and much less convenient for a business that has their “eye on the prize,” so to speak. Tape backup requires that your employees set the backups manually every single day and since the backup uses so many resources, you can only take one backup every single day during off-hours.

Since an employee needs to initiate the backup at the end of the day, there’s always the risk of it not being set, or not deploying it correctly in the event of a data loss event. User risk is one of the many variables that you don’t want to worry about when your business’ future is on the line. Even in the best-case scenario with tape backups, you’re only backing up data once a day, which means that you could lose up to an entire 24 hours' worth of data in seconds. We’ve all had the insanely productive days where a considerable amount is accomplished, so consider how much this worst-case scenario could cost you.

Unlike tape backup, a cloud-based data backup solution delivers a quick and efficient process for recovering any data lost during a disaster. You don’t have to rely on your employees initiating the process, either, as BDR provides an automated way to accomplish the goal. Since it doesn’t depend on a manual setup, you’ll be more likely to recover following a disaster.

Furthermore, cloud-based BDR makes it much easier to recover data mostly because you can take much more comprehensive backups. Snapshot-based backup like BDR lets your business take backups as often as every fifteen minutes, which significantly reduces the amount of data that’s lost in the event of a disaster. Backups are only taken of files that have been changed since the last time a backup was taken, so at the most you lose fifteen minutes worth of data a considerable improvement over 24 hours, to be sure.

Finally, cloud BDR offers a faster way to recover from a disaster. Tape backups can take as long as several hours of downtime before they are properly restored. However, cloud-based BDR can make it happen almost immediately. You can restore data directly to your BDR device rather than wait for a replacement server, if need be.

Don’t waste any more time and resources on data loss disasters. To learn more about BDR, contact us on 01638 603204

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Is a Data Backup Really That Necessary? In a Word: Yes

Is a Data Backup Really That Necessary? In a Word: Yes

Does your business have a dedicated data backup and disaster recovery system? It’s one of the most critical parts of managing a business, yet some don’t have a plan in the event of the worst. If your organisation were to suddenly lose a significant portion of its data, would it be able to continue functioning as needed? With a data backup and disaster recovery solution, you won’t be dealing in the realm of “what if,” and instead focus on “when” you experience a data loss incident.

Traditionally, tape backup has been the go-to solution for small businesses. Tape backup is the process of storing data on magnetic tape, and at one time was considered the most prominent type of backup in the business world. However, tape has its own set of inconveniences that can hinder operations in times of disaster.

The number one reason to not use tape is that it’s not automatic. One of your employees has to set the backup at the end of each work day so that it can run. Furthermore, when it comes time to activate the backup, it must be performed manually as well. This means that even the slightest amount of user error could completely demolish any chances of your recovering from a data disaster.

The second biggest reason to not use tape is that it doesn’t take a full backup of your data. At the most, it only captures data that has been changed over the past 24 hours. The reason for this is because the data backup can only be performed once a day. Due to the immense strain placed on your network, a tape backup is generally reserved for after-hour implementation, so up to 24 hours of data could potentially be lost in the event of a disaster.

The third and final reason why you shouldn’t implement tape is that it takes considerably longer to restore from in the event of a data loss incident. Tape backup can take several hours to restore, and that’s assuming that you still have an infrastructure and hardware capable of running your organisation (let’s face it-natural disasters like floods can damage more than just your building). This type of downtime can be an issue even for businesses that do have the required hardware to get back in business, as it’s just more wasted time and resources that must be accounted for.

A better solution for small businesses is an enterprise-level Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution from Press Start. BDR uses the cloud to perform data backups, which provides a significantly better system for getting back in the game following a critical loss incident. The cloud allows for faster restoration times, less downtime, and more complete data backups. The cloud utilises snapshot-based data backup, which only updates the current backup if the files have been changed. These snapshots are taken every 15 minutes or so, significantly reducing the amount of data lost in the event of a data loss incident. It’s truly the best way to go about protecting your organisation from unforeseen threats.

To get started with BDR, reach out to Press Start at 01638 603204.

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Do You Have a Data Backup In Place?

Do You Have a Data Backup In Place?

Take a moment to imagine the absolute worst disaster scenario for your business. Does it involve a catastrophic event destroying your office building? Does it include key staff being absent from the office for extended periods of time? Does it include your business suffering from data loss or security breaches?

Most businesses that fail to recover their data following a data loss scenario go out of business within a year of the incident. Furthermore, there are a lot of small businesses out there that don’t necessarily see the value in a proper data backup system. Most just assume that they will be able to survive a loss incident, or they feel that a data loss incident won’t happen to them. This is not the right mindset to have for a business owner--especially not one that has the future of their business at heart.

 Instead, you need to imagine the worst-case scenario and ask if your business continuity plan includes a data backup solution to minimize damage and downtime. Here are three ways that a cloud-based Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution can help your business survive even the worst data loss incidents.

Multiple Backups Daily
Traditionally, businesses have relied on tape backup for most of their backup needs. Due to the increased strain on your network, tape backups need to be performed during off-hours and only once a day. The problem with this is that you could potentially lose up to an entire day’s worth of data and progress. Cloud-based BDR takes multiple backups as often as every fifteen minutes, which allows for higher redundancy.

Cloud-Based Storage
There’s something to be said about the cloud and its ability to make data backup storage far easier. Thanks to the cloud, a BDR device can take and store multiple backups in secure, off-site locations for later access. After all, you can’t store your backups in the same location as the rest of your data. What if you were to experience a major disaster, like a flood or ransomware infection, which leads to the destruction of your in-house data infrastructure? When this time comes, you’ll be glad you’re storing data in the cloud and away from the site of the incident.

Reduced Downtime
When your business can quickly restore data in a moment’s notice, the amount of downtime suffered drastically falls. This helps your business stay active even under the worst circumstances. BDR can instantaneously restore your data to the network-attached device, allowing your organization to quickly get back in action following a downtime incident. The BDR device can even act as a temporary server while you make more permanent arrangements.

How does your business protect itself from data loss? Let us know in the blog's comments, and be sure to reach out to us at 01638 603204 if your business needs help with its technology.

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