John Sinderman
blue risk dice

Covering Your ASSets

Business Continuity
January 15, 2015

Business Continuity - the continued ability to access your data and critical line of business applications in the event of a loss or disruption.

Every day, day in and day out, businesses face challenges with competing markets, employee issues, resource allocation, cash flow, budgeting – the list never seems to stop. But business can get even harder – and when you least expect it. 

Business Is Hard. It’s harder if you can’t access your data and have no backup

Consider these four possibilities:

* It’s the weekend or a holiday. You’re relaxing and enjoying you favorite hobby, or maybe you’re just watching the Panthers getting beat once again like a bad rerun of the original Battlestar Galactica. Your phone rings. The fire department is on the other end telling you that your business is on fire. You hop in your car and drive to your office and discover the fire department is there putting out the smoking remains of your office…

* It’s the middle of the night and you receive a phone call telling you that a car has crashed through your office, destroying your server and your primary PCs…

* It’s a normal workday. You’re a Pivotal IT customer and you get a call from the help desk telling you that they have received an alert from your server indicating a RAID controller failure. Your data is not accessible…

* It’s yet another normal workday. A ransomware infection locks your data and brings your business to a halt…

Given these four scenarios, there are many questions that would go through a business owner’s mind. Not least of which would be “How am I going to continue to do business?” The good news is that if you are using Pivotal IT’s backup service, your data is safe. It is backed-up both on and off site and ready to be recovered. But how long is that going to take? How long will it be before you can continue to do business? How do you maintain continuity in your business operations under these or similar circumstances? It is not just you and us asking these questions. Insurance companies are also asking and they are basing premiums and coverage on the answers. Compliance regulations, such as HIPAA, are also requiring definitive data recovery plans.

The ability of a business to continue to operate and provide service and product to customers in the event of a disaster is known as Business Continuity. There are many aspects to this, however, Pivotal IT is concerned with the most important aspect: Uninterrupted access to your data.This means having the continued ability to access your data and critical line of business applications in the event of a loss or disruption.

So, what are your business continuity requirements for your data? It can come down to two things: How long can you be without access to your data, and to what point in your backup cycle do you want to recover? The fancy names for these “metrics” are Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). Is your RTO one minute, one hour, or five days? Is your RPO five minutes, one hour, or one day prior to the failure? We have had conversations with prospects and clients and asked them these questions. Many say “Oh, sure. We can be down four or five days. It won’t matter that much. We will just be real busy for a while after everything comes back up.” It will be interesting to see if that “hey, it’s not a big deal” sentiment is there when disaster does strike. Somehow, we think the situation will take on a more urgent tone – it always does.

Why is it important to evaluate your risk? Is it worth the risk to be unprepared? Seventy percent (70%) of businesses go out of business within one year after a major data loss. This can affect you, your income, your clients, and employees. With this many people depending on your business, it takes some serious thought to keep your business up and running.

How does Pivotal IT fit in? We can provide a state-of-the-art business continuity solution for your data. We can help in recovering your business data when you have a data loss. We can help you with planning for your disaster recovery and continued operation.And finally, we can provide true business continuity for your data as a service – not just backup and recovery.

If you are only backing up files, or even doing an image backup, but only to a local storage device, we want to talk to you about the advantages of our data business continuity solution. One of our customers, Law Insurance, recently upgraded to our data business continuity device that offers offsite recovery - after a car drove through their building (see above). Another, McAbee, Schwartz, Halliday & Co. recently recovered a crashed application server to our business continuity device with only 15 minutes of downtime and a loss of one hour of data. But, hey, none of this could ever happen to you, could it?

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