Quorum®, the leading provider of one-click backup, recovery and continuity for small to mid-sized businesses, has issued a challenge to small and mid-sized businesses: Commit to continuous, complete real-world IT testing. Specifically, companies should have an automated system in place to test that their backup plan is ready for a full recovery onsite and offsite. The potential for IT downtime, whether caused by natural disaster, hardware failure or human error, is always there: It’s not a question of if, but when. Disaster recovery planning combined with thorough weekly testing the Quorum "Always Be Testing" (ABT) approach -- is critical to business continuity and maintaining competitive advantage.
The Cost of Downtime
Consider this: According to the Info-Tech Research Group, almost 60 percent of North American businesses do not have a disaster recovery plan in place to resume IT services in case of crisis. Meanwhile, a study from PricewaterhouseCoopers asserts that 70 percent of small firms that experience a major data loss go out of business within a year. The Quorum Disaster Recovery Report, Q1 2013 reveals the four most common causes of downtime for small to mid-sized businesses: Hardware Failure (55%), Human Error (22%), Software Failure (18%) and Natural Disasters (5%). While natural disasters are devastating when they happen, IT disasters rarely involve fire and storms. Basically, outages and mini-outages are inevitable. An hour of downtime can cost a mid-sized business an average of $74,000 according to the Aberdeen Group.
"One thing is for sure: You can never count on your disaster recovery system performing 100 percent of the time if you test it zero percent of the time," said Quorum CEO Larry Lang. "As we all know,'Patch Tuesday' is a predictable part of the IT regimen, and organizations should be backing up, patching and then testing. That’s why Quorum is challenging small to mid-sized companies to make the ABT commitment. Testing once or twice a year is simply not enough. We want to be a testing partner to small and mid-sized businesses, ensuring they are properly prepared for any type of disaster and are able to quickly get back to 'business as usual.' Think of it as Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)."
Taking "Backup Monday, Patch Tuesday and Testing Wednesday" a Step Further
Quorum’s mission is to help businesses plan, test and prepare for an IT-related outage, preparing these organizations to get back up and running quickly when one strikes. "Backup Monday, Patch Tuesday and Testing Wednesday" is a testing framework that keeps small to mid-sized businesses in perpetual testing mode and it’s a start. Quorum’s ABT commitment actually calls for businesses to test more frequently than weekly, running in continuous testing mode. This "always testing" mode is best achieved with daily automated testing of full recovery, as manual testing is too costly. The need for regular, frequent, real-world testing is clear: An organization’s infrastructure is constantly changing, if not daily, then weekly. Servers, applications and systems are added and removed. A test may be conducted Monday, but within four days, the test is completely out-of-date. Organizations, concerned about cost or time, may perform scaled-down tests that do not accurately reflect all technology changes. However, hybrid cloud solutions offer on-demand and automatic testing that can be performed in minutes.
Ahead of the IT Downtime Curve
One company that planned to stay ahead of the IT downtime curve is 24 Seven, Inc., a New York-based talent and recruiting firm. The firm had just finished testing its hybrid cloud disaster recovery solution when Superstorm Sandy hit last October.
"Our commitment to Always Be Testing is what allowed us to be in 'business as usual' mode in the storm’s wake," said Doug Feltman, director of systems and applications, 24 Seven. "While our Manhattan headquarters had to close, we were still able to conduct payroll duties, our main responsibility. Our planning and testing is what allowed us to continue to conduct business, protecting our company’s reputation and generating peace of mind across the organization."
REMI, a leading provider of equipment maintenance management and asset management programs, made the commitment to ABT as part of the company’s commitment to quality customer service.
"REMI works with hospitals, financial institutions and government agencies organizations for whom downtime is not an option," said Todd Huntley, Infrastructure Director, REMI Group. "Quorum’s ABT model coincides with our commitment to providing our customers with equipment performance support as well as cost saving opportunities. We need to be up and running at all times to support our customers, and frequent testing keeps us a step ahead, promising that even if a disaster strikes, we will be back up and running shortly."
To learn more about how Quorum is helping small and mid-sized companies commit to frequent, complete testing, please read our case studies and view our video series. Visit quorum.net for additional information.
Quorum® (quorum.net) provides assured, one-click backup, recovery and continuity, helping businesses safeguard their revenue, customers and reputation. The award-winning Quorum series of appliance and Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS)hybrid cloud solutions makes continuity a reality for small to mid-sized companies, letting them recover from any type of disaster within minutes and ensuring backup data is safe. Most importantly, Quorum is simple and cost-effective. If your company avoids just 30 minutes of downtime, the Quorum solution pays for itself. The company is headquartered in San Jose, Calif.
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