It’s All About Data
At its core, IT infrastructures are primarily about storing and accessing data. Without the data, there is no financial or accounting information, no calendar, email, or contacts, no drawings, reports, or files.
Without the data, businesses fail. Consider losing your accounting information or production schedule. Other than what is in process, what you can remember, or what may be on paper, how would you know who should be doing what and who owes who? How do you collect on invoices without the invoices? How do you keep production going without the schedule? How do you communicate to customers without their contact information?
The Three “R”s in Backup
Redundancy. The key to making sure data is available when it’s needed is redundancy. A backup is a redundant copy of the data but that is not enough by itself, especially if that backup is local to the source data. Having the backup located in multiple locations protects against disasters where the production data and backup data is lost. Scenarios where they both could be lost are not as uncommon as many may think. Possible causes could be fires, flooding, natural disasters, power outages, theft, corruption through ransomware or other cyber threat.
Our redundancy strategy allows for two points of data loss or failure while still ensuring three points of recovery.
Offsite backups are generally used for data recovery purposes at the file, database, or mailbox level.
We have high availability options through virtual machine replications and other production redundancies with fail over in addition to our offsite backup strategy.
Remediation. The data that needs to be backed up is constantly changing and added to which needs ongoing monitoring and routine maintenance to make sure backups are completing as required. We have dedicated staff whose sole job function is to analyze backup reports daily to ensure our clients’ data is available when it is needed.
Backups fail and unless they are being actively monitored for errors, there is no guarantee the data needed will be available for recovery. That monitoring and remediation, along with mock restorations of data is the only way to ensure it will be available if needed.
Recovery. In the event that data is needed, time becomes the critical factor in the restoration process. Local backups can be restored quickly when available but if they are not available, offsite backups are then used. Most offsite backups have to be restored through internet connections, which can be much slower. Our backup solution is different by design.
We own and maintain our own backup solution and data storage which is housed at three facilities here in Michigan. Our Primary Offsite and Primary Replication data stores are at our corporate offices, in two separate buildings with separate internet connections and power. Our Secondary Offsite is located 200 miles away allowing for geographical diversity while still allowing relatively local accessibility.
Having offsite backup storage locally available allows us to recover data directly, without having to go through the data transfer bottleneck that the internet creates. This gives us much faster access to recoverable data for our clients, reducing recovery times significantly.