Data loss is one of the most disastrous instances that a business or individual can face. Once data is lost, only an advanced data recovery center can attempt to get your data. That can be very costly and in some cases, such as theft or encryption malware, it is impossible. It’s best practice to have a backup and disaster recovery solution in place ahead of time in order to avoid any loss of data or time. Sensitive and irreplaceable data must be secured by replicating a duplicate copy and saving it on another physical media. SCA designs, implements and supports a wide range of data backup and disaster recovery solutions. The first step in data protection is to centralize data in one location, if possible. Once the data is consolidated, a backup and disaster recovery plan can be created.
Cloud Data Backup
A low‐cost form of data protection is an offsite “cloud” data backup. This is a small application that runs on the server or PC and sends the selected data to an offsite cloud backup server. SCA offers a cloud backup service. We can also help our clients select other online backup services if they prefer. While this type of backup solution is low in cost, it has limitations:
- Only the data is being backed up (as opposed to all the system settings and application files). If a server or PC goes down and is unrecoverable, the network would have to be rebuilt from scratch prior to importing the data. This will cause extended downtime.
- If the cloud backup provider is not local, restoring the data over the internet can take a long time, possibly a few days, depending on your internet speed. SCA’s cloud backup system is located on servers that we own in an Atlanta area data center. We have the ability to physically go to the data center and retrieve our client’s data for quicker restore times.
Local Image‐Based USB Hard Drive Backup
In addition to an offsite cloud backup, we strongly recommend a local backup of the computer or server. In addition to backing up the data, we also recommend setting up an image‐based backup. An image not only contains the important data, but it also captures the complete system setup in one image file. With this method, all the system settings, installed applications and data can be restored all at once. This greatly accelerates the recovery time in the event of a complete loss of the PC or server.
The cost of an image‐based backup system for a typical server is higher than cloud data backup due to setup costs:
- Backup software
- Two USB drives to receive the backups
- Labor to setup the system
In this scenario, the USB hard drives are swapped, either nightly or weekly, with the unused drive being taken offsite or stored in a fireproof safe. Downtime is limited by how quickly a replacement server could be obtained, plus approximately a half day to restore the system. Data loss is limited to the amount of time that has passed since the drives were last swapped.
Real‐Time Replication with Server Failover Capabilities
If the potential downtime and data loss described above is not acceptable, more robust backup and failover systems can be employed. In this scenario, special hardware and software can be used to capture any changes to the systems in real-time, which minimizes or eliminates any potential data loss. Secondary server systems can also be setup to instantaneously take over the workload if the primary server systems go down, which minimizes or eliminates potential downtime.
The cost for this type of system depends on many variables, but would include the cost of replication software, secondary server hardware or hosted servers for failover and labor to design and implement the solution.
For more information or to discuss your backup and disaster recovery needs, feel free to contact SCA at 678‐401‐2465, or email us at itresource@sca‐atl.com.