How quickly can you recover?

Jul 06, 2015
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recoverObviously we’re not talking about hang-overs or the common cold but twice already this year we’ve had customers that haven’t been able to recover from a data loss. Yes, they had a full back up but when the crunch came they weren’t able to bridge the gap between the back up and point of failure. It’s a cautionary tale that applies equally to systems in the Cloud and on-premise; it’s your data, your business, your responsibility. It is also 100% preventable.

 

The importance of having a data recovery plan in place for your business - before it's too late.

So far this year we’ve dealt with two situations where customers have experienced critical data failure. It didn’t cost them their business, but it could have. While they had back-ups in place, a black hole formed between their last back up and the point of system failure. They had no idea what data fell into that gap and nothing could ever recover it. The tragedy is that it was an entirely avoidable set of events. We tend to view data recovery like we view insurance; we only realise how important it is when we come to use it. But the statistics surrounding this are hard hitting*: 60% of business that lose their data will fail within six months 93% of business that don’t recover from a data loss within 10 days file for bankruptcy And that is why it is time to take a look at the basics and make sure that you have got the right cover in place for the business you’re running. - See more at: http://www.greentree.com/blog/how-quickly-can-you-recover?

Let’s talk about the basics

First priority is a quality, tested, back up. That is the baseline. You don’t have to test every back-up, but you need to be 100% confident that you can complete a successful restore in simulated data recovery situations. All too frequently we find that back-ups haven’t been tested and what should be a simple restore exercise turns into a major incident.

Next, you have to consider how you’ll cover the black hole in your data from the time of your last back up to the point of system failure. Previously there would have been a paper trail to cover the black hole. You just needed staff willing to go through the painful process of re-keying the missing data and enough time to do it.

However, in today’s world of electronic trading, any data that falls into that black hole isn’t recoverable. It won’t matter how dedicated your staff are or how much overtime you’re prepared to pay – that data is gone and you will have no idea as to how little, or how much, you have lost.

Total data recovery

That is why recovery systems such as Greentree Total Secure have been built. Every piece of database activity since the back-up is logged and therefore, retrievable. It effectively creates an environment where you have a continuous back up in place. While some might try to minimise the impact of a black hole by having multiple backups in a day, unless you’re using something like Total Secure you will never close the gap completely.

The next thing you need to consider is how long you are prepared to wait for a full recovery to occur. You’re not necessarily losing any data but how long can you afford to have your systems down for? Internally the systems that govern your accounts, warehouse processing, sales orders etc. and externally with all the suppliers and customers who are trying to trade with you electronically?

Even if you have a data recovery system in place it can take a couple of hours to restore the back-up and apply the logs to completely recover your trading position. Are you happy for your EDI to be down for an hour or two? Or for your online trading to be out of action for an hour?

100% recovery; zero downtime

If taking even a few minutes to recover is untenable, then instant recovery is called for. Greentree Instant Secure delivers 100% recovery with zero downtime. Basically it creates a mirror of your main system with the ability to hot-switch between the two.

When a system failure occurs it automatically switches to the mirror site, once the main system is restored, you simply switch back with all your electronic data intact. The mirror site can be hosted pretty much anywhere you want it, on-premise or in the Cloud.

While the majority of data loss cases do relate to hardware failure, just because your system (or part of it) is in the Cloud doesn’t make it immune. Be sure to check with your Cloud provider to ensure that the cover you have in place is what your company needs and gives you 100% security should an outage occur.

Like any area of risk management you have to work on the basis that it is not a case of “if” it happens but “when” and ensure you regularly test your back-ups in simulated data recovery situations. This isn’t scare mongering on our part; we’ve at least two customers from this year alone who will verify just how important data recovery really is.

Greentree Data Recovery

*National Records & Archives Administration in Washington

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