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Data Backups: The First Step in Maintaining Business Continuity

Sep 10, 2008
At any given moment disaster may strike. Many of us sit thinking we are safe at home, or in that cushy office chair, but the simple truth is that problems happen. Be it an earthquake, a fire, a flood, or something as simple as a power outage, disasters may come; and when they do our illusion of safety is often shattered.

When it comes to enterprise, it really surprises me how many businesses don't have a plan to cope with problems. As simple power outage is sometimes all it takes to cause a business to close up shop for the day, and wait for someone else to provide the solution. That of course is the simplest type of problem, what happens when that same business is faced with a fire or a flood?

The truth of the matter is that planning for disaster is important to be able to maintain operations in the face of a problem. Without a proper plan in place, many businesses suddenly find themselves unable to continue when faced with disaster. The management and employees suddenly find themselves without an income, and that customer base that they worked so hard to build begins to turn elsewhere while the business works to recover. Proper planning is the most important element in maintaining business continuity when problems occur.

WHAT IS BUSINESS CONTINUITY?

Before we look at how to plan for disaster let's first define business continuity. The term itself can become rather obscure if you account for everyone's idea of what it is. So to start let's look at the definition.
According to the United Nations Archive and Records Management, business continuity is: Procedures to ensure an organization's ability to continue operating outside of normal operating conditions.

Creating a continuity plan then becomes: the procedures taken, right now, to maintain your business when it is faced with problems tomorrow. It is planning for the worst, by ensuring you can continue no matter what may occur. It is ensuring that, when a problem occurs your business maintains its ability to deal with customers, suppliers, and to continue to generate revenue.

DATA BACKUPS FOR BUSINESS CONTINUITY

Most businesses today are completely reliant on their computers for day-to-day operations. So the first step in creating a continuity plan is to ensure those systems are there when you need them. Often this is as simple as backing up your data.

For a business where their systems rely on a single point of sale system, backing up is as simple as performing daily backups of that system. This will ensure that is a disaster (a fire for example) occurs; all that is required is to find another computer and restore the system.

It's when businesses rely on networks, and interoffice networks that things tend to get more complicated (at least from the managements point of view). They look at their 23 PC's housed in office, the two servers that those computers rely upon, and the 10 laptops that their field works use, and are overwhelmed. This is often the reason why a backup plan was never put into place.

Even for that type of enterprise situation, backing up doesn't have to be difficult. There are software solutions, such as our own data backup software, that allow for simple backup of PC's across the network, and even from remote locations. When a problem occurs, any computer on the network can be brought back online using a simple point-in-time restore with a few clicks of the mouse.

When it comes to enterprise having a plan to maintain business continuity is important. As a first step, a proper computer backup plan is the right way to get started. With the ability to easily restore important systems and data, you enable your business to continue while the business next door, who didn't take the same steps, is struggling to get going again.
About the Author
This article is provided courtesy of Druvaa, a premier provider of data backup solutions for enterprise. Their current offering, Druvaa inSync, includes patent pending technology that makes for ten times faster backups for enterprise customers.
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