The Dangers of Not Using Offsite Disaster Recovery
It’s no secret that backing up your data is essential to surviving an IT disaster. But it’s only one part of the picture. How and where you perform those backups is just as important as having the backups in the first place. If you’re not using offsite disaster recovery to store and restore your data, then you’re putting your organization at risk.
In this article, we look at the importance of offsite backups, the perils of not using them, and what to consider if you’re comparing cloud storage solutions.
What is Offsite Disaster Recovery?
Let’s start with the basics. How is offsite disaster recovery different from traditional backups on your own servers?
The critical difference is, with offsite recovery, your data is being stored away from the office. In this case, you backup files to cloud-based solutions, rather than keeping them onsite, where they could be compromised in a disaster.
So in the event of a critical event, in which your onsite servers have been destroyed or rendered inaccessible, you would still be able to recover your data from the cloud, thus minimizing downtime.
Why are Your Onsite Backups at Risk?
One in four businesses do not reopen after a disaster, according to data highlighted by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Consider the consequences of losing data at your organization. Perhaps all your customer data, emails, sensitive internal files – everything. If that data could not be restored, how would it impact the business? For most organizations, the aftermath would be devastating.
In a recent post, we told the story of a South Carolina IT company that nearly lost everything. A fire destroyed the company office, including its IT infrastructure. Until recently, that infrastructure included servers for more than 200 clients. But thankfully, the company had recently moved these client servers to an offsite data center. This decision ultimately saved the business.
How are You Backing Up Your Data?
If your organization is diligently following a business continuity plan, then you are probably already backing up your data regularly. But even the most redundant systems are still vulnerable if all that data is being stored in a single server room.
Imagine for a moment that your onsite servers have been flooded. Or, the entire office has been torched in a fire. Or, perhaps your systems have been infected with ransomware.
Without offsite disaster recovery, you will likely lose all that data – including the onsite backups. In the case of ransomware, you’d need to shell out a pretty penny to regain access to your files.
But with offsite backups, your data would still be safe, accessible and recoverable in the cloud.
Can You Have the Best of Both Worlds?
Absolutely. In fact, for many businesses, it is recommended to store and virtualize your backups both onsite and off-site. This process is sometimes referred to as hybrid cloud recovery.
Enabling data backups and recovery in both locations – in the cloud and on your internal servers – protects against worst-case scenarios while also ensuring the fastest recovery time possible. For example, in situations in which the onsite backups can be used, you’ll be able to recover data almost instantly from your internal servers. And if the onsite backups are inaccessible, you’ll still be able to recover data quickly, from virtually anywhere.
When comparing the best small business backup solutions, pay attention to how and where your data is stored, as well as the process for recovery. Since traditional backups are notorious for being corrupted, look for solutions that automatically check the integrity of the data on a regular basis and also perform mock recoveries. It is also a good idea to research security and reliability of the data center(s) at which your offsite backups will be stored.