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Disaster Recovery & Backup

It’s not about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and still stand up.

The data backup and disaster recovery (BDR) market has evolved faster in 2013 than many of us expected. This BDR explosion has left many managed services providers (MSPs) scrambling to adapt to new players in the market, as well new as technology.  Balancing the needs of backup and disaster recovery (BDR) customers can be tough to juggle at times for managed services providers (MSP), but if MSPs focus on a few core business principals, balancing can be a breeze.

Disaster recovery (DR) is the process of regaining access to the data, hardware, and software necessary to resume critical business operations after a natural or human-induced disaster. Disaster recovery (DR) is the process, policies and procedures that are related to preparing for recovery or continuation of technology infrastructure which are vital to an organization after a natural or human-induced disaster. 

Disaster recovery (DR) focuses on the IT or technology systems that support business functions,as opposed to business continuity, which involves planning for keeping all aspects of a business functioning in the midst of disruptive events.Today the complexity of distributed and networked computers, assorted hardware and operating systems, virtualization, and automated external data feeds have greatly complicated disaster recovery planning. Our services include disaster recovery planning services and business continuity services that cover legal, preventive, and mitigating factors. We also provide email business continuity solutions to keep your email communication flow running even when your email server is out of order and more. We provide best-of-breed solutions for delivering failover of downed systems, covering both intra-data center recovery and disaster recovery across multiple data centers.

Classification of disasters

Disasters can be classified into two broad categories. The first is natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes. While preventing a natural disaster is very difficult, measures such as good planning which includes mitigation measures can help reduce or avoid losses. The second category is man made disasters. These include hazardous material spills, infrastructure failure, and bio-terrorism. In these instances surveillance and mitigation planning are invaluable towards avoiding or lessening losses from these events.

Importance of disaster recovery planning

Recent research supports the idea that implementing a more holistic pre-disaster planning approach is more cost-effective in the long run. Every $1 spent on hazard mitigation(such as a disaster recovery plan)saves society $4 in response and recovery costs.

As IT systems have become increasingly critical to the smooth operation of a company, and arguably the economy as a whole, the importance of ensuring the continued operation of those systems, and their rapid recovery, has increased.For example, of companies that had a major loss of business data, 43% never reopen and 29% close within two years. As a result, preparation for continuation or recovery of systems needs to be taken very seriously. This involves a significant investment of time and money with the aim of ensuring minimal losses in the event of a disruptive event.

Control measures

Control measures are steps or mechanisms that can reduce or eliminate various threats for organizations. Different types of measures can be included in disaster recovery plan (DRP).

Disaster recovery planning is a subset of a larger process known as business continuity planning and includes planning for resumption of applications, data, hardware, electronic communications (such as networking) and other IT infrastructure. A business continuity plan (BCP) includes planning for non-IT related aspects such as key personnel, facilities, crisis communication and reputation protection, and should refer to the disaster recovery plan (DRP) for IT related infrastructure recovery / continuity.

IT disaster recovery control measures can be classified into the following three types:

  1. Preventive measures - Controls aimed at preventing an event from occurring.
  2. Detective measures - Controls aimed at detecting or discovering unwanted events.
  3. Corrective measures - Controls aimed at correcting or restoring the system after a disaster or an event.

Good disaster recovery plan measures dictate that these three types of controls be documented and tested regularly.

Strategies

Prior to selecting a disaster recovery strategy, a disaster recovery planner first refers to their organization's business continuity plan which should indicate the key metrics of recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) for various business processes (such as the process to run payroll, generate an order, etc.). The metrics specified for the business processes are then mapped to the underlying IT systems and infrastructure that support those processes.

Incomplete RTOs and RPOs can quickly derail a disaster recovery plan. Every item in the DR plan requires a defined recovery point and time objective, as failure to create them may lead to significant problems that can extend the disaster’s impact. Once the RTO and RPO metrics have been mapped to IT infrastructure, the DR planner can determine the most suitable recovery strategy for each system. The organization ultimately sets the IT budget and therefore the RTO and RPO metrics need to fit with the available budget. While most business unit heads would like zero data loss and zero time loss, the cost associated with that level of protection may make the desired high availability solutions impractical. A cost-benefit analysis often dictates which disaster recovery measures are implemented.

Some of the most common strategies for data protection include:

  • backups made to tape and sent off-site at regular intervals
  • backups made to disk on-site and automatically copied to off-site disk, or made directly to off-site disk
  • replication of data to an off-site location, which overcomes the need to restore the data (only the systems then need to be restored or synchronized), often making use of storage area network (SAN) technology
  • Hybrid Cloud solutions that replicate both on-site and to off-site data centers. These solutions provide the ability to instantly fail-over to local on-site hardware, but in the event of a physical disaster, servers can be brought up in the cloud data centers as well. Examples include Quorom, rCloud from Persistent Systems or EverSafe.
  • the use of high availability systems which keep both the data and system replicated off-site, enabling continuous access to systems and data, even after a disaster (often associated with cloud storage)

In many cases, an organization may elect to use an outsourced disaster recovery provider to provide a stand-by site and systems rather than using their own remote facilities, increasingly via cloud computing.

In addition to preparing for the need to recover systems, organizations also implement precautionary measures with the objective of preventing a disaster in the first place. These may include:

  • local mirrors of systems and/or data and use of disk protection technology such as RAID
  • surge protectors — to minimize the effect of power surges on delicate electronic equipment
  • use of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and/or backup generator to keep systems going in the event of a power failure
  • fire prevention/mitigation systems such as alarms and fire extinguishers
  • anti-virus software and other security measures

Backup

In information technology, a backup, or the process of backing up, refers to the copying and archiving of computer data so it may be used to restore the original after a data loss event.

Backups have two distinct purposes:

  1. The primary purpose is to recover data after its loss, be it by data deletion or corruption.
  2. The secondary purpose of backups is to recover data from an earlier time, according to a user-defined data retention policy, typically configured within a backup application for how long copies of data are required.

Though backups popularly represent a simple form of disaster recovery, and should be part of a disaster recovery plan, by themselves, backups should not alone be considered disaster recovery. 

A data repository model can be used to provide structure to the storage. Nowadays, there are many different types of data storage devices that are useful for making backups. There are also many different ways in which these devices can be arranged to provide geographic redundancy, data security, and portability.

 

Before data is sent to its storage location, it is selected, extracted, and manipulated. Many different techniques have been developed to optimize the backup procedure. These include optimizations for dealing with open files and live data sources as well as compression, encryption, and de-duplication, among others. Every backup scheme should include dry runs that validate the reliability of the data being backed up. It is important to recognize the limitations and human factors involved in any backup scheme.

Optimize data protection by backing up with BIMA.

Combining on-premise and cloud storage is an affordable, easy way to manage, protect and access your data – anytime, anywhere.

Key Benefits:

  • File- and disk-level backups
  • Bare metal restore
  • Recover to dissimilar hardware
  • Recover individual files and folders Applications support
  • Automated Backup Plans
  • Backup to cloud

Storage, the base of a backup system:

Data repository models:

  • Unstructured (CD-Rs or DVD-Rs)
  • Full only / System imaging 
  • Incremental 
  • Differential
  • Reverse delta
  • Continuous data protection 

Storage media

  • Magnetic tape 
  • Hard disk (SCSI, USB, FireWire, or eSATA) (Ethernet, iSCSI, or Fibre Channel.)
  • Optical storage
  • Solid state storage (flash memory, thumb drives, USB flash drives, CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, Secure Digital cards)
  • Remote backup service 
  • Floppy disk 

Managing the data repository

  • On-line (disk array (maybe connected to SAN))
  •  Near-line  (tape library )
  • Off-line 
  • Off-site data protection
  • Backup site or disaster recovery center (DR center)

 

BIMA Technologies stands on the following legs for its BDR customers:

  • People.
  • Technology.
  • Process.

People

BIMA's team remains service minded throughout their daily operations, especially with BDR. Each member of our team is consistent  and our customers would relaxed from great service.

Technology

"We as an organization believe in technology as an investment that pays back dividend exponentially," 

Our company invests heavily in technology and it pays off. BIMA always be ahead of the game, looking for ways to be more efficient and to serve customers better and faster.

Process

Bringing everything together is how BIMA's BDR process. BIMA focuses on being service oriented and that must show in the process.

That allows us to provide consistent levels of service no matter who is working with a client. This is a very important way we distinguish ourselves from our competition, This makes working with our clients dependent on our system and our team, not any individual."

Contact us for furhter discussion....!

Last Update: January 07, 2014

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