What Are Your Options When it Comes to IT Disaster Recovery?

What Are Your Options When it Comes to IT Disaster Recovery?

In the modern age, businesses require access to their computer systems and data at all times and any downtime can be catastrophic. According to statistics compiled by Varonis, 31 percent¹ of organisations have experienced a cyber attack, and site failures, natural disasters and other threats must also be protected against. For these reasons, it is vital to have a disaster recovery plan (DRP) in place. When it comes to IT disaster recovery, managed service providers tend to advertise a range of different options. In this blog post, we take a closer look at the various DRP options available to you, and explain the factors to consider when deciding between them.


Image-Based Backup

Image-based backup is the most reliable method for backing up your data. Unlike other solutions, it involves creating a 'snapshot' of the operating system and all associated data².

Crucially, this innovative approach allows you to recover entire servers or workstations, including software configurations, in a fraction of the time it would take to recover from a legacy, or tape-based backup solution, and in a way that isn’t even possible with file-based backup system.

Using this method, enabled by infrastructure virtualisation, it is possible to restore everything to the way it was at a particular moment in time. As a result, recovery time can be significantly faster than with other methods and the recovery itself can be more complete. Moreover, recovery is possible even if you are restoring to different hardware, meaning you will not need to buy an exact replica. In fact, you could even upgrade hardware at the same time.


Cloud-Based Recovery

Cloud-based recovery is a component of image-based backup and increasingly, cloud hosting providers play a key role in modern IT disaster recovery plans, partly because cloud-based recovery is cost-effective. After all, it provides long-term data back up, without the costs associated with having an off-site recovery centre, additional staff, and all of the other necessary infrastructure.

Cloud-based options are fast and efficient, while an article³ for Network World makes the point that they have made disaster recovery affordable to a greater number of SMEs, offering pay-per-use models and the ability to recover data sets quickly. The cloud IT disaster recovery services offered by Fifosys are secure, flexible and scalable.

What Are Your Options When it Comes to IT Disaster Recovery?

Remote Data Backup

Remote data backup involves only backing up your data, on a file-by-file / email by email basis. The backup is stored at a remote location, so that physical damage to your premises will not harm the backup. As a blog post⁴ for StorageCraft states, systems can usually be set up to automatically back up your data at regular intervals, for added convenience.

However, this traditional file-level backup alone is not recommended for an IT disaster recovery plan and should be paired with other options. Another area of focus alongside your on-premises backup should be your SaaS backup. Relying upon the service provider alone is not enough as it will potentially limit your access and level of what you can recover should the worst happen. Having your own multiple backups are key here, as well as detailed documentation to ensure disaster recovery can be as fast as possible. The Disaster Recovery Journal points out⁵ that remote data backup alone is a low-cost option, useful for low volume or static data, but restore times can be slow and while individual files are backed up, applications often are not.


Factors to Consider

When choosing between the various options, a key factor to consider is your recovery time objective (RTO), which is the length of time your business can accept being offline for. Effectively, your RTO is a target and your chosen method(s) should provide the best possible chance of exceeding or achieving it.

Implications of downtime on businesses can vary significantly, but may include loss of data, inability to access vital applications, disruption to communications and lost revenue from an inability to process purchases.

Generally, image-based backup and recovery is faster and more comprehensive than non-image-based methods, with recovery possible within minutes. Non-image-based backup can be more affordable, but recovery is less complete and more consuming, which often results in longer periods of downtime, and means you fail to meet your recovery time objective.

You also need to consider the level of support on offer when creating your disaster recovery plan. It is important to work with a managed service provider that can deliver any additional services you need, like equipment leasing or proactive monitoring, which can prevent problems occurring in the first place. With cloud hosting providers, you should check that they have sufficient security and bandwidth, and your MSP should possess ISO9001 and ISO27001 accreditation.

What Are Your Options When it Comes to IT Disaster Recovery?

The Last Word

Having a robust IT disaster recovery plan is imperative for any business, especially as cyber security threats increase and organisations gather greater amounts of data. However, to create the right plan, it is important to explore all of the available options and select the right ones.

We recommend using a combination of infrastructure virtualisation and frequent data backups. Image-based backups provide faster recovery times, and you will also want both on-site and off-site support for when things go wrong. For SMEs in London and the South East, Fifosys provide comprehensive IT disaster recovery services that you can trust.






1 60 Must Know Cybersecurity Statistics for 2019

2 Image-based backup

3 Disaster recovery options for smaller companies

4 File Backup vs Image Backup: How to Choose

5 5 Disaster Recovery Options: Balancing the Pros and Cons, Objectives and Costs