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Data Backup is NOT Equal to Data Recovery (Business Continuity)

Most businesses make the HUGE (and costly) error of mistaking a “backup” with data recovery and business continuity. Simply having a copy of your data stored somewhere does not automatically guarantee you’ll be back up and running again like you were before. The BCM Institute explains this difference by discussing three key concepts: Recovery Point Objective (RPO), Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Maximum Tolerable Outage (MTO). In order to choose the RIGHT type of back up for your company, you need to know what these three acronyms mean.

A backup is great, but a disaster recovery plan is better

Disaster Recovery

First, the RPO or Recovery Point Objective is the point to where you want your data restored. So, if you can’t afford to lose a day of work, your RPO maybe practically “instant,” requiring a snapshot of your workstation or server every 15 minutes. If you can afford to lose a day of work, you only need a backup every night. Next, the RTO or Recovery Time Objective is the length of time you will be down after a disaster while your workstation or network is restored. Again, different backups will provide shorter (or much longer) RTO depending on what it takes to restore the data. For example, many businesses are shocked to discover it could take 5-7 days or more to restore all their data from a Carbonite or Mozy backup, plus another couple of days to rebuild everything; and since most businesses cannot afford to be down that long, another type of backup is needed.

And finally, MTO or Maximum Tolerable Outage is the “code red” point in time where you MUST have your data, operations, e-mail and applications back online and functioning before it would severely threaten your company’s survival. In some cases, businesses cannot afford certain processes to be down for more than a couple of hours, such as online ordering during the holidays for an e-commerce company or payroll processes for a HR company. And often a company can do without their file server for a couple of days, but couldn’t afford to have their call center down that long before they would start losing business and clients.

The key is to know WHAT data and business processes are MOST critical to you so the proper backup and disaster recovery solution can be put in place now before everything goes kaput (that’s the technical term for “goes wrong”). To get your data recovery handled properly, call us to discuss a Disaster Recovery Review to determine if you truly COULD be back up and running again as fast as you expect, and what you need to do now to guarantee zero unpleasant surprises.

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