Supporting IT for small businesses can be just as complex as the work that goes into mid-sized or enterprise-level businesses, particularly when working to minimize the dangers of what can go wrong during a major service outage. As Hurricane Sandy reminded us, when things go really wrong, you could be offline for days or weeks without proper planning.
Some members of the New York area’s small business community have yet to recover from Sandy because they didn’t have a business continuity plan in place.
Why don’t more small businesses put together a business continuity/disaster recovery plan? Statistics show businesses are woefully behind on business continuity planning, with only 52% of small businesses claiming to even have one. There may be a misconception that business continuity plans are too expensive or too much work.
Neither are true if you have an expert IT team to help you design a plan that fits your business. While natural disasters are the classic situation people have in mind for this type of planning, more “mundane” interruptions like a road crew cutting a fiber optic cable can cause downtime as well.
Protecting and Restoring Your Data
The most important aspect to proper business continuity planning is making sure your data is quickly accessible. Even if your physical business is suddenly out of commission, an imaged-based backup system like Marathon’s m|Protect plan gives you an opportunity to quickly transfer your data to an offsite server (either virtual or in a backup location) and get back to work. Additionally, having regular backups during every hour of the day will assure that everything you need is going to be there.
Use Virtualization to Restore the Rest of Your Tools
With virtualization becoming a popular option, you can take your data and just about everything else you need during a work day and duplicate it in the cloud. This means your entire operating system can be copied into digital form so it’s accessible from just about anywhere. Through this method, your email, spreadsheets and all the software you’re currently using to maintain your business remain available. If you have an alternate physical location to relocate to case of an emergency, you can often be back on your feet the same day with a virtualization component in your plan.
With some smart preparation and an astute business continuity plan in place, you’ll be ready to bounce right back should a major event disrupt your network.
Contact us today so you can get a better understanding of the state-of-the-art technologies available to mitigate the effects of catastrophic events.
Photo credit: Umbrella Man by Robert S. Donovan (CC by 2.0)