This last part of the Best Practices for small business series focuses on backups and recovery.
What do you, as the owner or manager of a small business need to know about taking care of your digital network? What is the real value of having backups? In case of disaster, how should you plan for recovery of your server core and data?
There are several, very respectable backup mechanisms out there for you to consider…TRG uses Veeam, Replibit, and Carbonite for our clients. Veeam is used to backup VMware servers (virtual servers) but they also have licensing for physical servers. Replibit solutions included a recovery appliance that can be used to spin up your most critical servers on-site and run them temporarily until your whole network is restored. We use Carbonite to backup files and folders directly from a laptop or a remote PC – this is very helpful for traveling workforces who may not always be able to save their work back to a server. Keep in mind that a backup is only good if all of the files and folders that your team work on are saved to your File Server before backup.
After talking to your MSP about which backup solution is best for your business, the next step is to choose how frequently you need backups to be performed. A restaurant will probably need backups after both the lunch and dinner rushes, as well as one overnight. Companies in the financial sector may need to have incremental backups made every 15 minutes, during work hours.
The third thing to decide is whether you feel that one redundant backup is sufficient, or if your data is valuable enough to warrant having an additional backup in place. As an MSP, TRG backs up to multiple physical appliances and cloud environments. In almost every SMB recommendation you will have a physical disk backup on premise with a cloud backup that is in a different geographic area – in case of natural disasters.
Now, on to Disaster Recovery. When you and your management team start planning for emergency recovery, you should begin with 2 documents. Create a Business Continuity Plan and a Disaster Recovery Plan – micro businesses may choose to create a single document that comprises both. You should be able to identify who is responsible, what services are critical, your necessary assets, and how to respond to every phase of getting your business up and running after a disaster.
When it comes to recovering your data, remember that you need to plan on spinning up virtual servers in the cloud if your premises are damaged or destroyed. If you have satellite offices, or a home office you may want to make one into a warm site (the location that is ready to take over if your primary is not available). A good MSP can show you some options and help you identify your most critical services to focus on recovering first.
I can’t think of any small business that would not suffer if they lost email, website, client contacts, data base, files, and applications. In fact, most would suffer if these services were unavailable for more than 4 days. So take a minute to schedule a meeting with your managers to talk about what to do to protect your business. Having data backup and recovery will take a load of anxiety off your shoulders, and protect your business if the worst should happen.
Tune in for the Next Series about browsing and browsers! As always, we would love to hear from you, so leave a comment!
Is there a topic that you want to know more about – drop me a line and I will add it to the conversation!