It is easy to see that data is the foundation of a successful business. While most businesses back up their data to removable media, tapes or USB drives being the most common, many businesses leave the backup tapes right next to the server. The risk they fail to foresee is destruction of the office by fire or flood.
Both the server and the backup will be useless if the room no longer exists. Unfortunately, some owners discover that getting back up and running is beyond their cash reserves.
Disaster Recovery Preparedness Starts with a Data Recovery Plan
A data recovery plan should include creating backup tapes and then storing them in an offsite storage location. The tapes should be rotated regularly, handled properly, and stored in a secure, climate controlled facility. This provides insurance and gives the business continuity after a disaster.
While this may seem like an easy process, the pitfalls for not doing it properly are deep. Tapes not securely transported and inventoried may come up missing or be stolen. Unaccounted for backup tapes is a data breach. This breach must be disclosed to those affected by laws in thirty-six states. This bad press can be as damaging as losing the data.
Where Are Your Backup Tapes Stored, and How Can You Access Them?
A second pitfall is how the tapes are stored. Without the proper environmental controls of a media vault, moisture and temperature fluctuations will degrade tapes and leave them un-readable. A worst case scenario is counting on a tape that can’t be read after a server fails. Tapes must be stored properly and changed out occasionally.
A third pitfall that may seem trivial but is also crucial is the ability to physically access the tapes. Backup tapes are useless if they can’t be found or returned. A vacation or the inability to reach the employee who stores the tapes can leave the company in a lurch until they are located.
With attention to detail and good communication two of these pitfalls can be eliminated. It is setting up a climate controlled media vault that poses the biggest expense for a small business. They are expensive to build because they are not designed for the limited space that a small business would require.
Avoiding Pitfalls in Data Disaster Recovery
To avoid these problems, many businesses outsource their tape rotation to an offsite tape storage provider. On a regular schedule a uniformed employee rotates the backup tapes from the business location. Once the tape is picked up it is scanned into a tracking system just like an overnight delivery service uses. The tapes are transported in un-marked vans and stored in secured, climate controlled vaults. A tape rotation service also offers twenty four hour access to the tapes and delivery to a recovery location of the business’ choosing.
A second solution is to use an online storage service. The data is backed up, encrypted, and then sent via the internet to a secure location. The issues with transportation are eliminated as long as the data is properly encrypted. With small amounts of data this is a good solution but loses it economic benefits as the volume of information grows. The business just needs to make sure there is large bandwidth at the recovery location.
Even more important for the small business owner can be the consulting a service will offer. How to set up backup software and hardware can be a mystery to the uninitiated. This disaster recovery expertise helps assure that the data is saved correctly and when needed will be easily loaded onto a replacement server. If a hard drive or server is damaged, you also have the option of hiring a hard drive recovery service to try and recover the data from computers that you thought you lost.
No matter what solution you choose, make sure your business data is backed up periodically and stored in a secure offsite location.
Get Free, No-Hassle Quotes on Disaster Recovery Services Today!
Record Nations provides document and data management services via a network of highly specialized partners nationwide. We have over 20 years of experience in document and data management services, and will help you select a customized Document Management Solution that fits exactly what you’re looking to do for your company.
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