Next-generation data protection has the ability to enable small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to implement backup/recovery and disaster protection solutions required to meet today's business environment. According to Acronis Asia, the technological leader in storage management software, SMBs must have the policies and procedures in place to get their data back up and running or they run the risk of going out of business. SMBs must be aware of a broad number of technology and business issues:
• Make sure you have backup that you can restore — Backup is essentially copying live data so that it can be restored in the event of a crash or a failure causing the loss or the corruption of the primary data, while this is a fundamental basic component of business continuance. The most important requirement for a backup is that the resulting image can be restored to either the same or dissimilar hardware. Anything less will not ensure the integrity of the data or provide for rapid and simple recovery.
• Disasters come in all sizes — be ready. A disaster is any unplanned interruption of computing resources that the IT director determines unacceptable. It is purely subjective. One-hour of Web server downtime for a small business that relies completely on the Web for revenue could be devastating or cost a substantial amount of revenue. As such, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to disaster recovery. Rather, companies need to plan for the recovery of systems first by prioritizing resources and creating backup schedules to match the maximum allowable downtime for any given server.
• Disk, not tape — With high-capacity and high-performance disk drive systems decreasing in price and increasing in resiliency, the lure of faster recovery times has led to a shift in the backup media of choice. Factors driving this shift to disk include more affordable hardware, faster and more comprehensive data-recovery software, ease-of-use and a rapid return on investment (ROI) for SMBs.
• Protect corporate laptops — Although most companies have implemented solutions for protecting the enterprise data, more than 60 percent of all corporate data resides in workstations and laptops and is notoriously under-protected. Use tools such as hidden partitions on laptops to save images of the systems. That way, should a user be traveling when an emergency occurs, they will be able to restore the data and programs on the laptops themselves. A computer virus that wipes out the entire laptop or accidentally deleted files could end up being no problem at all. A simple reboot could bring the entire laptop back to a known, good working condition.
• Be virtual — The opportunity to really change how backup and recovery are done has emerged as a result of developments in the world of virtualization, particularly from storage virtualization products. The benefits of using virtual machines in a large data center are numerous, but SMBs can benefit from these emerging technologies as well. Instead of being confined to one operating system on each physical computer, companies can leverage virtual server technology to deploy multiple environments on the same server. Companies can use virtual servers to eliminate costs of managing and upgrading legacy hardware by migrating older applications onto virtual machines running on new, reliable hardware. They can also consolidate low-use departmental servers onto a single physical server to decrease management complexity.
• Just like a Boy Scout, Be Prepared — Having your people as well as your systems in place is key. Your business should have centralized management, offer a single system interface, provide automated backup and client file restoration, and allow unattended remote server restoration. This enables your staff to be as effective as possible.
"SMBs face different business and IT challenges than large enterprises and must leverage backup and recovery technologies to match their resources, yet meet their needs," said Ed Harnish, vice president of marketing at Acronis. "If an SMB's data protection solution does not address the complete lifecycle management of data, the company risks unacceptable exposure of its data that can easily result in the loss of data and costly downtime.”Policies, procedures and having the right tools to do the job aren’t enough," he added. "SMBs, just like their corporate competitors, need to test their disaster recovery plans to ensure that they know how to recover. Having the right IT products is just the first step; practice and experience round out a fully functional disaster recovery plan."
About Acronis Asia
Acronis Asia offers storage management solutions that are technically advanced for mission-critical applications and easy to use. The company provides disaster recovery, backup and restore, partitioning, data migration, and other storage management product for enterprises, corporations, and consumers. A global company Acronis has offices in the United States, Europe and Asia and sells its products both direct and through resellers and retail outlets.