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How to Survive a Data Disaster and Keep Business Running with the Cloud

By September 27, 2017September 16th, 2020Azure, Best Practices, Blog, Microsoft, Virtualization
disaster recovery plan graphic

Can you find your way back if you take a wrong turn on the road to disaster? If disaster strikes, recovering from it could cost you thousands of dollars, plus your customer’s good faith.

Having a plan to save your business from disasters or bad occurrences will help you get back on track.

For some companies, technology is at the center of what they do. Think Uber, Airbnb, Constant Contact, and many others. But even for businesses where this is not the case, the majority of them still rely on technology to run their day-to-day processes. Think about your email, Word docs, customer information and ordering systems, inventory, or accounting systems.

If something disastrous happens, your business could grind to a halt, whether tech is your main business or ‘just’ how you get your work done every day.

What could go wrong? Well, there’s floods. Plus, electrical storms, hurricanes, fire and people who leave with your passwords or source code. Without a backup plan, your business could be in trouble.

What’s included in a Disaster Recovery plan?

Disaster plans can cover everything from how to get out of your store or office during a fire drill to how to get back up and running if your servers are underwater.

Then, you can take it a step further. Thinking about staying in business during a disaster, as well as recovery, will put you in the best shape you could be.

While it’s important to customize a plan for your business, every plan should include these three components:

  • Technology asset inventory that names mission critical processes and data
  • Schedule for updating and testing any disaster recovery plans
  • Clear understanding of the trade-offs between cost and complexity

Beat Murphy’s Law with your Disaster Recovery Plan

Murphy’s Law says that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. That’s why it’s important to understand how your plan works. If you are a business decision maker, you might be tempted to just hand this over to your IT team, but it’s important to ask some questions to make sure you have full coverage for your business:

  • Does your plan include an inventory of mission critical business processes and data?
  • When was the last time anyone reviewed your plan? Tested your plan?
  • Is cyberattack preparedness included in your current plan?
  • How much depends upon human intervention?

Evaluate Cloud Solutions

During a disaster, humans have higher priorities than failing over their virtual machines. Automating your solution is key to ensuring success.

A cloud solution can help you recover quickly, and it’s less expensive than having your own datacenter to support and protect. It’s a practical solution for a business, large or small. But it makes especially good financial sense for a smaller organization.

Not all cloud providers are equal, so you’ll need to do some research on cloud solution providers to compare. Here are a few considerations:

  • Do they offer a hybrid solution, so you can keep some data on premises as well as in the cloud?
  • Do they offer metered service, so you can save even more money by ‘turning off’ services when you don’t need them?
  • Is the service easy to use, with good support for your team?
  • Do they offer geo-redundancy?
  • Are they compliant with your industry?

Is the cloud safe?

But wait a minute, you might say. I’ve read about companies, even big companies, losing data in the cloud during a disaster.

It’s true, there have been times when the cloud failed companies. When this happened, it was because the data was only stored in one location. And it was based in the same region as the company. That’s an obvious mistake.

With the Microsoft cloud, you get ‘geo-redundancy.’ This means that your data is in more than one location. So, if your area is hit with a natural disaster, along with floods and electrical storms, your data would be safe in a datacenter across the country.

That also means that your company data is available even during the storm.

Three baby steps to take:

  1. We’d love to meet you and discuss your plans for keeping your business running. If you’re ready right now, call us. We’re happy to set up a free consultation to review your plan. Give us a call at 303-974-6881
  2. If you’re still evaluating your options, download our e-guide to learn more.
  3. If you’re somewhere in the middle, shoot us an email. We’re always available to answer your questions about the cloud, and help you determine if a cloud solution is right for you.

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