Data Backup

Test Your Backup Before You Regret Not Doing It

If there is one thing that you could take away from our blog it is that data backup is an integral part of any business continuity strategy. Unfortunately, there are so many different parts to it that it’s not surprising some data could slip through the cracks if not maintained properly. If you’re not actively taking measures to keep disasters from derailing your business’ progress, you stand to lose more than some data. Let’s take a look at some of the critical parts of a data backup and disaster recovery process and why it is essential to give them a test regularly. 

What Are the Key Parts of Data Backup?

The ideal data backup solution consists of three major parts, all of which have important roles to play in its eventual success. These three variables are:

● Incremental backups: Backups that are taken periodically throughout the workday are your best bet to minimize data lost to disasters. The more data you can protect, the better, after all. These backups should be taken as often as every fifteen minutes to guarantee minimal data loss.

● Quick data recovery: Your ideal backup solution needs to have rapid data recovery that can be implemented within a moment’s notice. This is to minimize downtime, which can be devastating to a business’ bottom line if it is left unresolved for any amount of time.

● Testing to ensure proper backups: Your organization should periodically test backups to make sure they are working effectively. 

Why Testing is Important

Testing any system for problems is a good practice, but this goes double for data backup. Your business relies on its IT and its data, and there are dozens upon dozens of potential situations that could lead to data loss. Something as simple as a power surge can fry the components of a system, creating a scramble to get the data off of the device. Sure, there are steps you can take to protect all of your IT infrastructure against threats, but the BDR (backup and disaster recovery) service gives you a chance to protect your assets with one solution. 

If you don’t test your backup system, you could think that you are protected when you aren’t. When a circumstance comes where you need to recover data--and it will come--if you don’t have a properly functioning backup system in place, you are going to lose assets. It’s that simple. Testing your backup ensures that your backup platform is working as intended. Not only does it give you the peace of mind that you are protected should something happen, it actually works to find functionality problems that can literally save your business.

At Jackson Thornton Technologies, our technicians want all of our clients to have a backup platform that makes data backup and recovery simple. If you want to protect your company’s assets to ensure that, should something happen with your data, your organization has the resources in place to be back in action fast, call us today at 334-834-7660.

 

A Solid Disaster Recovery Strategy Can Save Your Business

Not all businesses will look at disaster recovery the same way, but if you want your business to have the kind of continuity that will allow it to get through tough situations, doing your best to formally create a disaster recovery policy will put you in the position to weather any storm you encounter.

A Brief Explanation of Disaster Recovery

Every business has some type of business continuity plan, and if they don’t, they should. It outlines the actions that need to be taken to ensure that your business isn’t mortally affected by negative situations. Within this plan is disaster recovery, which is a specific plan to get your operations up and running after a “disaster”. Here are a few examples of disasters that could affect your business’ continuity:

Natural disaster - Flood, hurricane, tornado, wildfire, electrical storm, worldwide pandemic; the list goes on and on. 

Human error - Accidental, negligent, or deliberate situation an employee puts the business in which causes a disaster-like result.

Cyberattack - Data breaches can be some of the worst, especially when people’s sensitive information is involved. 

Failing Hardware - If the right component goes out at the right time it can have devastating effects on your business. 

No matter what problems your business has to deal with, getting your resources back up and running as fast as possible should be one of the core priorities of any negative situation. The reality of the situation is that every minute your business breaks continuity is a massive problem, and can lead to some very unpleasant results. 

The Importance of DR

The first thing you need to know about your disaster recovery policy, is that it has to be created with the notion that it’s a matter of when, not if, you will need to use it. The statistics reinforce this idea. Three-out-of-five businesses that experience a prolonged system outage will be out of business within two years of the event. So, even if you are able to get back up and running again, the lost revenue may eventually catch up and ruin your business.

With that knowledge, the first suggestion we’d make is to stay calm. A business owner—who has toiled and taken his/her business from a one or two-man operation to an organization that people and their families depend on—needs to make calculated decisions to get their business back up and running properly. Acting impulsively will often lead to making decisions that will further hurt your business’ chances of returning to normalcy.

The first real action that needs to be undertaken is to contact the people that will need to know that a disaster has occurred. Setting up a call list to notify people that need to know is a good practice. Since the focus has to be on getting data accessible, once department managers are notified, they can decide how and when to notify their subordinates. Regardless of how you plan to set this up, communication will be key to get your business back up and on track. 

One of the most important parts of a disaster recovery strategy is to have digital copies of everything. We suggest using a Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) service that backs up data incrementally and saves multiple copies of data in a network-connected device, as well as in an offsite data center. Having a comprehensive backup is a core strategy of any disaster recovery platform. 

Depending on the disaster, you may need to find alternative means of managing your workforce. Being able to provide your staff with that ability in the face of a disaster is extremely useful to keep revenue flowing in. You may not be a fan of remote working, but when disaster strikes it may be your only outlet; and, you may be surprised just how productive your workers will be from outside the office.  

The end result will be systems up and running, your data and applications able to be accessed by remote workers, and your business’ data intact. Outside of this, your business continuity policy will handle the rest. DR is about getting your business’ assets up and running in the face of a disaster, whether that is a deleted file or a worldwide pandemic.

If you would like to talk to one of our IT professionals about your disaster recovery policy, call us today at 334-834-7660.

 

Backup Is a Critical IT Function

Businesses generate and collect a huge amount of data and some of it is practically useless. Other files, however, are critical to your business and operations. The important files require redundancy. This is why it is important to back up your data. 

Data loss is a negative situation, regardless of the importance of the files. This is precisely why Jackson Thornton Technologies offers comprehensive data backup and disaster recovery solutions.

Backing up your data allows you to sidestep the potential catastrophes that would come with the loss of your most critical information. Here, we’ll review a few situations that could put this data at risk to demonstrate how crucial having a backup really is.

Actual Disaster Event

Just about every business on Earth could potentially be impacted by some kind of weather event. Some deal with hurricanes, some deal with high winds and tornadoes, others with earthquakes and floods… you get the picture. Unfortunately, whichever one impacts your business, there isn’t very much you can do at the moment, which is why it is important to prepare now, so you can reopen again after the fact. Many don’t prepare, and therefore, don’t reopen.

Acting proactively and maintaining a backup allows you to more quickly bounce back after a disaster has struck, allowing your business a second chance.

Data Corruption or Theft

Cybersecurity is a huge topic today, as there are many, many threats out there designed to target businesses. Take ransomware, for example: all it takes for you to lose access to your files is for an employee to click on the wrong thing. Not good.

Using a BDR (in conjunction with a comprehensive business continuity plan) to keep your files safely backed up enables you to quickly restore data from an onsite backup copy of your data, while keeping another copy offsite for redundant protections and simplified migrations. This keeps you safe from a variety of threats, including ransomware and many other forms of malware. 

User Error

The BDR is supremely useful in that it gives you an on-demand resource to pull your data from, on demand, as it is needed. This is particularly handy if a team is collaborating on a project, and somebody accidentally deletes something absolutely critical to the project. With a backup, your progress won’t be lost to bad luck.

A BDR allows you to breathe a little easier about your files and their security. To find out about adopting one for your business, reach out to Jackson Thornton Technologies today. Call 334-834-7660 to get started.

 

Backup Can Really Save Your Business’ Bacon

The question this article will present is simple: Does your business have a dedicated data backup and disaster recovery system? A comprehensive backup and disaster recovery platform (BDR) can turn out to be one of the most critical parts of managing a business’ IT infrastructure, and if you don’t have one, you should absolutely get one. 

With a BDR, you get the convenience of having a network attached copy of your data coupled with the redundancy you need to ensure that your data is protected. Best yet, the BDR can run automatically at preset intervals so that your company doesn’t risk losing more than 15 minutes’ worth of data. Furthermore, 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 utilizes snapshot-based data backup, which only updates the current backup if the files have been changed, making it truly the best way to go about protecting your organization from unforeseen threats.

 For those businesses that currently operate without a data backup and recovery strategy--especially if you’ve been in business for some time--you may think that it’s just another cost that you are taking on that will hurt your business’ ability to turn a profit. You may not think you have enough data that you think is important enough to warrant additional investment in protecting it. You are probably mistaken, however. You have important data, and if you lose it, you stand to lose your business. In fact, 94 percent of businesses that fall victim to a major data loss incident fail within two years of the incident. If you consider six percent of all computers will fail in any given year, it stands to reason that it’s only a matter of time before you are dealing with a data loss catastrophe.

Keep your business out of harm’s way with a backup and disaster recovery strategy. Call Jackson Thornton Technologies today at 334-834-7660 to learn more.

 

Businesses Need Data Backup to Manage Risk

If there is one thing we tell every would-be client of ours, it is that it is essential that they secure their data with a comprehensive backup and recovery system. This is not to make our lives easier or to sell products, it is a fact, and said strictly for their own benefit. Even the smallest organizations need protection against situations that could put all their staff’s hard work in jeopardy. Let’s take a look at why backup is so important.

As IT technicians that work with businesses every day, we understand that business owners and managers don’t have a lot of time to concern themselves with data backup. Despite the fact that the data is used every day, in the context of a business’ operations, backup isn’t always top of mind, until something terrible happens.

The issues that can lead to losing data are numerous, and these situations can put a major strain on your business. Something as seemingly benign as a power outage can set off a series of events that could put your whole endeavor in jeopardy. Why then continue operating your business with that amount of risk, when the solution to that problem is not only simple to set up, but relatively affordable? To answer that, first you’ll need to understand why any business owner or manager responsible for the well-being of others wouldn’t consider the facts surrounding data loss. Namely, 60 percent of businesses that experience major data loss close within six months, and 94 percent close within two years. 

Those figures are in normal times. Imagine the risk you are taking today, during a global pandemic, by not backing up your company’s data. Somewhere between six-to-eight percent of computers just up and fail every year. Can your business afford to lose data from a workstation or server failure? How about a natural disaster, a malware attack, or simple mistake gone way wrong? The answer is no. Regardless of what your business’ IT profile is, you have important data that you need to protect.

There are several backup strategies that work, but we believe that the BDR (Backup and Disaster Recovery) system is the best for the modern small business. Essentially, the BDR is a device that connects to your business’ network and backs up your data incrementally. That means that after the first full backup, the BDR will only back up the changes you and your team make to the assigned data. This provides two major benefits:

1.The backup can run more often

2.The backup process can run while your team works

These benefits ensure that more data is protected. What’s more, the BDR also uploads a copy of that data to an offsite data center. The benefit of doing this is that if something should happen to your onsite BDR device (as can happen in a disaster), your organization’s data is backed up and available for recovery. With your business’ data protected, your business is protected. It’s as simple as that.

If you would like to get started protecting your data and want to talk to one of our IT experts about Jackson Thornton Technologies' BDR offering, call us today at 334-834-7660.

 

There’s No Disaster Recovery Without Data Backup

It doesn’t take a deep thinker to know that your business is extremely limited without its data. There are dozens of antivirus solutions on the market for this very reason. One of the best ways to protect your digital assets is to back up data using a reliable backup platform. In today’s blog, we’ll go over a few basic considerations to make if you want a data backup that you can trust.

Secure Your Data with Multiple Backups

Your backup is more than just an insurance policy for your business operations. In the case of a disaster or other cause of data loss, your backup essentially takes your business’ place, allowing you to recover more quickly with fewer consequences. This means that your backup needs to be kept safe. The first step to doing so is to make sure your data backup is stored separately from your primary data storage. We suggest using the 3-2-1 rule, which is three total copies of your data, with two available onsite and one stored offsite. This will help you avoid a situation where the same disaster that damaged the original data wipes out your backup too. Cloud-based backups are especially effective at preserving your data in a major disaster.

Create a Disaster Recovery Strategy

How quickly could your business return to full operation after undergoing a disaster? While establishing an off-site backup to preserve your data is a good start, you also need to have a plan in place that will allow you to put that data to use as quickly as possible. This is where it is useful to have a disaster recovery strategy, as it allows you to proactively prepare for circumstances that would otherwise lead to data loss and wasted time and productivity.

Make Sure Your Backup is Working

Imagine what it would be like to go through the entire process of establishing an offsite backup, only to have it fail when you’re relying on it. Fortunately, this can be avoided through some simple tests to ensure that the backup works effectively. You’ll be happy you did if you ever find yourself in the position that you need to restore from a backup and it works.

If you can’t trust your data backup, it needs to be modified. Jackson Thornton Technologies can help. Reach out to us at 334-834-7660.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Have a Plan for What's Next?

If you have been running a business for any length of time, you definitely don’t need to be told how important risk management is. One problem you see from business owners today is that while they understand just how many problems there are--and which ones they need to find solutions for first--they want to grow their company fast, and as a result, they overlook potential problems and end up hurting their business as a result. 

One of the major problems a business owner needs to confront is the situation surrounding sustained downtime. Business continuity demands a lot of assessment and a whole lot of action be taken in a short amount of time. After all, downtime is a business killer. The establishment of a continuity plan not only solves the immediate problems (e.g. a server failure), they return your business to a productive state, fast.

All businesses struggle with hiccups of continuity. Something as simple as a cloud application being down for 20 minutes can cost a company a lot of money. When downtime is sustained, however, the costs add up by the second. A business that is forced into stagnation by downtime can fail within days. 

Modern Continuity

Today’s business continuity plan is not much different than it was 50 years ago. The assets have just changed. Today, most of the assets that need to be protected are through reliable digital means. This means that if you want to look for a place to start, look at your organization’s IT. 

 

Like you would have done with established business continuity methods, you will want to make a list of the people who need to know if continuity is broken, and who is in charge of relaying that information down the corporate tree. Typically, there will be one person that is tasked with relaying information to department heads, and they will take it from there. Ensuring that there is a plan in place to mitigate cost in the case of sustained downtime is essential to mitigating problematic situations.

Take Action

In business continuity, action is the name of the game. Depending on the situation, after your people are informed of a breach of continuity, the next step is to mitigate the problem. Some situations are more difficult to rebound from than others, but ultimately a solid business continuity plan is an incremental approach to getting your business back up and running properly. It could take a minute or a couple of weeks, but ensuring that every mission-critical resource is covered under your plan, and that there are defined actions that need to take place will work to return operations to normal more effectively. All continuity tasks should be assigned a specific timeline for completion, with the highest priority tasks coming first.

Customer Relations

Customer care is a big part of a business’ continuity strategy. In fact, if you are dealing with a major outage, keeping your customers supported can work to stem service mutiny. You’ll need to contact your suppliers and vendors to keep other company’s supply chains from grinding to a halt. Keeping your relationships solid will alleviate one big headache if you are dealing with sustained downtime.

Technology and Data

You will want to have identified what hardware and software are essential, as well as have a good idea about how long it will take to restore your data and other systems into working condition. This also applies to any equipment that is necessary to restore operations. You’ll want to make sure that you know exactly what tools you need and the length of time that it will take to get things back up and running.

You will also want to have identified your data needs and have a data backup and recovery platform in place. Business continuity is best when your data backup is bulletproof, as being able to access all of your data quickly, and ensuring that all of your data is always backed up will make a big difference when you need it. While migration to new hardware will extend your timelines, your business can function in an acceptable capacity with the right data backup platform in place. 

Assessment, Testing, and Training

To complete your business continuity process, you will absolutely want to continue to assess and test all aspects of the platform. If you know that your BC practices are solid, you can save your business from a downtime disaster.

If you would like more specific information about business continuity, or if you would like to talk to one of our consultants about having Jackson Thornton Technologies help your business put together a BC platform that works, call us today at 334-834-7660.