Don’t look now, but hurricane season is once again bearing down upon us. Last year was predicted to be a below-average season. Instead, the Atlantic Ocean spit out 15 named storms, including eight hurricanes.
The damage sustained from 2018 tropical storms – which included, not one, but two major hurricanes (Florence and Michael) – reached nearly $50 billion. Power outages, dangerous winds, heavy rains, flooding and other hazards wreaked havoc on homes and businesses in many parts of the US.
There’s no telling what this season will bring. But, while you can’t predict when, or if, a major storm will strike, smart businesses plan for these types of disasters to ensure that they can survive and bounce back as quickly as possible.
One of the key requirements of a good business continuity plan is protecting your business data and network. To give your business the best chance of surviving a natural disaster, you need to consider your data backup, data recovery and infrastructure access needs.
Let’s talk about all three in a bit more detail.
Data Backup and Storage
Redundancy is a major theme in data protection. Putting in place a system that routinely saves your enterprise-wide data protects your business in case an unexpected event destroys your existing, on-site IT infrastructure. It also makes retrieving mistakenly-deleted files very easy.
In choosing a data backup solution, you’ll need to think about the following:
Data protection goals
How often does your data need to be backed up, and to what degree? There are several types of backup setups, including full backup, incremental backup and differential backup, and each has benefits and drawbacks.
Optimally, you’ll need a data backup solution that can grow with your business.
Cloud storage solutions allow your data to stay protected in case something happens to your physical IT infrastructure – a key benefit if your businesses is flooded by a hurricane storm surge. Of course, legal or other constraints require other businesses to have their data backups on site. Many businesses rely on a hybrid on-site/cloud storage solution, giving them the best of both worlds.
A good disaster recovery plan and solutions will help your business minimize or prevent downtime in case the worst does happen. A key step in setting up your backup recovery system is determining the appropriate recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO).
Simply put, RTO defines how quickly your business network and applications need to be back online after a sudden disruption. Some types of businesses – hospitals, for example – have an RTO of 0. They cannot afford to be down for even one second. Most other types of business have less stringent RTO constraints.
RPO is the threshold for how old your recovered data can be. How great is the disruption to your business if you lose the last hour of your operational data? Two hours? A day?
Effectively, RPO defines how often your data should be backed up, and sets the data loss tolerance.
IT Infrastructure Access
If your business does succumb to a natural disaster, like a hurricane, a good business continuity plan will allow you to get your network back up before you even rummage through the rubble.
How easily can your team access the needed backup data? Does it need to do so remotely, from any device? These are key considerations in choosing the right solution for your business.
A well-designed disaster recovery solution will have your servers virtualized in the cloud and ready for you and your team to resume operations in no time.
Beacon Knows Affordable Small Business Solutions
It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to make sure that your business network is protected in case a natural disaster strikes. At Beacon, we partner with Datto, a leading provider of IT services, to implement robust and affordable disaster recovery solutions on behalf of our customers.
Get in touch with our team to learn more about ALTO, Datto’s platform designed to provide total data protection and enterprise-level functionality specifically to small businesses.