How Much Is Enough When It Comes to Backup and Disaster Recovery for Small Businesses?

MAY 25TH, 2020
Data loss can lead to a closed sign on a small business’s door. Client information, intellectual property, accounting and tax info, and data makes a business tick. If they lose it, they might be out of business. Even though they know their data is critical, few businesses are taking steps to prevent data loss. In fact, the Ponemon Institute reports that only 39% of businesses have an incident response plan. Add in downtime costs averaging $5600 per minute, and it’s clear that businesses must do more to protect themselves. But where should a small business start? How do you know how much backup and disaster recovery protection is enough and how much is overkill? Let’s take a look.

Understanding Objectives

First, you need goals. In the world of backup and disaster recovery (BDR) two objectives reign supreme.
  • Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) help you decide how much downtime you can tolerate. How long can a system be down before you start hemorrhaging money in lost productivity? A couple of hours? A few days?
  • Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) help you decide how much data you can afford to lose which determines how often to take backups. If you take backups every half an hour you will only lose 30 minutes’ worth of data if a system goes down.

Thinking About Your Strategy

These objectives seem simple, but the devil is in the details. You might ask yourself how aggressive should my approach be? How do I find a balance between safe data, acceptable downtime, and affordability? Let’s look at the pros and cons of a few common BDR approaches so you can decide for yourself.

File and Folder Backup

Cloud-based file and folder storage gives your business some amount of protection. The trouble is that there’s no guarantee you can restore data if something goes wrong. Both Microsoft and Google explain that your data is only available for 30 days and may not be able to be restored on a granular level. This approach might be fine if you’re not worried about downtime and if you solely depend on individual files to get your work done. Regardless, it’s wise to back up your data to a second cloud location, just in case. Taking backups then storing them on premises is an affordable way to protect data. But if a natural disaster occurs, your backups could be destroyed along with your primary hardware. If you take this approach it’s wise to keep an additional copy of data at a separate location. If you can’t tolerate much downtime be sure your backup solution has robust local recovery options (such as bare metal recovery) so you’re never without any system for long.

Onsite Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery

This approach protects data by replicating onsite backups to a secure recovery cloud. Should anything go wrong onsite your data is safe and sound and you can easily remotely recover any system from a web browser. For businesses that have little tolerance for data loss or downtime this approach is rock solid.

Implementing Your Plan

Next, you need to determine how to accomplish the objectives and strategies above. Most small businesses either hire someone to help or build their own solution.
  • Outsourcing to an MSPA managed service provider handles everything on the IT side of your business. The benefit of an MSP is that they actively monitor all of your systems and keep everything in tip-top shape, including backups. Should something go wrong an MSP will do everything in its power to help you achieve the objectives you set together. For more on the benefits of working with an MSP for BDR, check out this post.
  • Developing an In-house SolutionSome businesses have simple networks and might not need a third party. In this case, a small business might roll out its own BDR solution. You’ll need hardware and software to meet your objectives. A software solution allows you to take backups, monitor them, and maintain them. At a minimum, your hardware will store backups. Depending on your goals, you might need hardware for failover if primary hardware fails. This approach is complicated, particularly for small businesses. Fortunately, there are solutions that bring software and hardware together into one seamless solution.

Why You Don’t Have to Compromise

BDR appliances like StorageCraft® OneXafe® Solo are an effective way for your business to secure data and eliminate downtime. Here are the features that make it great for small businesses:
  • Plug-and-Play SetupAs soon as you turn on the OneXafe Solo it automatically registers to StorageCraft’s OneSystem® cloud-based management system. Since there’s no software to install you can start backing up machines and replicating them to the cloud right away.
  • Comprehensive Data ProtectionOneXafe Solo streams data directly to StorageCraft Cloud Services. That means your data is always safe and ready to recover.
  • Effective Recovery OptionsOneXafe Solo gives you near-instant failover onsite should a hardware failure take you down. If Mother Nature wipes out your office you can still recover data in seconds using StorageCraft Cloud Services.
  • Flexible Pricing OptionsAchieving aggressive recovery objectives doesn’t have to be expensive. OneXafe Solo is priced to fit your exact needs, so you never pay for more protection than you realistically require.
Want to see if OneXafe Solo is right for your small business? Click here for a custom demo.

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