For many, the perception is that solutions are too expensive and therefore a risk worth taking for an event that in theory is extremely unlikely. However with events such as the Buncefield explosion and the fire on the Brackmills estate in Northampton, these events do happen and not planning for how you would cope could have serious consequences for the future success or not, as the case may be, for your business.
Whilst headline grabbing events such as those already mentioned get huge media attention, the more micro events such as hardware failure or a flood in your office have the potential to be just as serious for a small business in the current economic climate. If your core business application server suffers a hardware fault, you have no email or access to your accounts system, you should have a back-up of that server but how long would it take you to recover to a full working solution, 2 or 3 days? For many businesses this would be an unacceptable period to be without these critical applications but most have made minimal or no provision to prevent it happening.
It is true to say that disaster recovery and business continuity solutions historically were expensive and therefore out of reach of many businesses other than corporate organisations. Most will operate a tape based back-up solution, with one member of staff taking the tapes offsite each day but as we have discussed the recovery times are significant. Among the solutions that have been used to reduce these times are full replication of your infrastructure to a third party data centre, this involves significant investments in both hardware and software, or subscribing to services that have servers and other network components on hand to be delivered to your location in the event of invocation. Whilst not eliminating the downtime the business is likely to suffer, these solutions give businesses an action plan to ensure it is reduced to a minimum.
Now more cost effective solutions are available, offering reductions in these times to a matter of hours rather than days and achieving this at significantly reduced costs. Services such as Guardian Angel are based on a low monthly charge with service level agreements in place offering security and protection against these unpredictable events.
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Business continuity and disaster recovery is still an area that many small to medium size business have yet to fully prepare for writes Paul Tomlinson, Managing Director at Mirus IT Solutions IT Support London, planning for every eventuality is increasingly becoming a modern business necessity and to be ignored at your peril.
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