From raging wildfires in Arizona to floods in Colorado and the massive earthquake in China this past summer, 2013 has proven to be another year of extreme conditions. And while building damage tends to dominate the news reels, data loss can actually be significantly more catastrophic for a business.
How do you put a value on lost medical records or a client's financial information or proprietary, internal business documents? Losing critical or private data can often result in a company closing its doors for good. By some accounts 25% of businesses don't reopen after a major natural disaster. And 70% of small companies that experience a major data loss from a natural disaster go out of business within a year.
Fortunately cloud-based disaster recovery options can help ensure natural disasters result in only temporary set backs. Here are four simple steps to help prepare your business for the worst:
* Step 1: If you don't have a cloud-based disaster recovery plan for your data make this an immediate priority. If you're not sure where to go or what to do, there are a number of resources that can help you determine what would be best for business. For starters check out BITS, an open community whose Standard Information Questionnaire is a great way to evaluate cloud providers. Natural disasters are never convenient and don't adhere to a 9-to-5 schedule. So you opt to work with a managed service provider make sure they have support staff on call 24/7/365.
* Step 2: If your business already has a DR plan, ensure your staff knows exactly what to do, who to call, and how to get your systems and data back in the event of an outage. Prepare your business for a natural disaster as you would your family. Remember, you can't stop the inevitable but you can prepare for it and recovery from it.
* Step 3: Check the status of your off-site data backups and confirm that your company's backed-up data copy is current and error-free. The best way to do this is to ensure your business is using a hybrid solution of on-premise software and off-site cloud solutions. Weather can damage buildings, but the cloud can weather the storm.
* Step 4: Check to make sure your remote recovery site (data center or cloud) is operational and updated with current servers, data, network connectivity, etc. Again, the ideal backup and recovery solution implements the cloud, which ensures significantly faster backups than tape or disk and allows for increased customization.
Why Cloud-based Disaster Recovery
Disaster recovery solutions that boast connectivity to the cloud have gained a well-earned reputation as the most secure and reliable method for backing up and recovering critical data in the event of a natural disaster. Why? Four key reasons:
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