Every company should have a business continuity plan to help it prepare for, and recover from, times of trouble. A business continuity plan should cover all aspects of a company’s operations. In this article, we’ll specifically discuss your precious business data, and how it’s best preserved when something brings your computer systems down.
When it comes to saving your business data, there are many options. Most small business owners start by researching their hardware and software choices, but this approach can quickly send you down the wrong road and make you lose sight of what’s really important. Instead, you should start by determining how a data or service loss might affect your operations and bottom line.
How many hours’ worth of data can your business afford to lose? If you add only a small amount of information into your computers on an average business day, you may be able to tolerate several hours’ worth of data loss. If you’re constantly entering new information, you may only be able to tolerate a few minutes of data loss. According to HIPAA standards, the healthcare industry is not allowed to lose any data.
The maximum amount of time your business can tolerate data loss is called the recovery point objective, or RPO. The answer to this question will determine your frequency of data backup.
How long can your computers or network be down before your business is harmed? Some businesses can continue for a day or more, while others will start losing money in less than an hour.
The maximum amount of time your business can tolerate computer and network service interruption is called the recovery time objective, or RTO. The answer to this question will determine your tolerable computer downtime.
Why not just back up everything every single second? Two big reasons: cost and system delays. The technology used to back up everything in real time is not only the most expensive data replication option, but it causes your computers to work more slowly than they would otherwise. Even a short recovery point objective of ten minutes would not have the same slowing effect on your systems, and it would also be less expensive.
Do you need help figuring out the answers to the questions above? Your managed IT service provider can help you determine your data-preservation needs, and then provide the best backup and restoration services for your business.
Author: CMIT Solutions of Gilbert and Mesa