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When disaster strikes: Use the cloud - it's not 2009

One thing that hasn't changed since 2009 is that the number one cause of a data failure in a business is still human error.

For the better part of seven years I've often found myself involved in conversations about disaster recovery (DR) or backup.

Thankfully I haven't caused any disasters myself, although that kind of skill could come in handy when wanting to test your DR process. For better or worse it's probably a good thing as the number one use case I still hear for cloud consumption is DR/backup.

What's interesting about this is most customers I talk to today don't have a full DR system in place. When asking about DR and backup most customers say they have the latter only. I would have been fine with that in 2009 when that was our only choice but in 2016 there are many different and cost effective ways your business can have a DR system in place.

Let's focus on backup for a moment. If you have a non-software based solution backing up your business critical data then your business is at risk. There are a number of examples I could give but specifically I want to call out tape based systems. These systems have a number of issues which disappear with modern based backup and DR technologies.

One thing that hasn't changed since 2009 is that the number one cause of a data failure in a business is still human error.

If you have a backup system in place which relies on humans remembering to take a tape out each morning, label it, put it in a box, hand that box to another human who takes it somewhere (hopefully safe) and then repeat again every morning then you are asking for trouble. Most companies don't even do it daily -usually it's only once a week when those tapes are sent offsite.

A second issue you have is when a disaster strikes, you need a tape drive reader to restore your tapes. Hopefully you have your tape drive company on speed dial to get a new one if it's been damaged in the disaster.

That's enough of the bad news though. The good news is pretty much every backup and DR software provider has already moved away from just supporting tapes and have switched to the cloud world and are taking advantage of the cloud storage wars (competing for the lowest storage price). This gives you the ability to point the output from your backup to cloud instead of tape.

But what is the cost for all that backup storage? Did you know you can store a gigabyte of data for as low as $0.007 per month? That's pretty cheap! For that price you also get 11 9's of durability. That is 99.999999999 per cent, which translates to only losing three files over the course of 10 years. Try doing that with tape!

The second great part of this news is that the same software which backs up your data into the cloud can be used for DR in some cases. If your data is already in the cloud why not use the power of automation to setup your workloads in case of a disaster, then you only pay for it when it's in use?

So my message to people reading this is, if you are running an older backup or DR system today it's time to have a look at some of the newer technologies. Ask yourself what will it cost my business each day if it went offline and then think is my current setup going to work? Has it been tested? If it went offline now how prepared would I be...?

If any of these questions make you even a little worried then it might be time to seek some help. Get some backup and DR advice and then you will know you can leave the office each day with the peace of mind knowing that your business will function in the event of a disaster.

Have you got your businesses continuity bases covered?

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