Today’s business environment is very competitive, as lead-time to deliver, response time, and quality and speed of customer service are all becoming critical factors for the success of any enterprise. More and more small and mid-sized enterprises are continuously faced with new challenges in which they have to overcome in order to compete and progress in their industry.
One of the critical challenges for SMEs is to make sure that the data and systems used to run their day-to-day business operations are safe. Finding solutions to safeguarding their systems continuity and recovery after an IT failure or a major disaster that might happen to their servers or critical workstations is needed.
Certainly any company can restore its data after a failure, however the key to any truly successful restoration is the amount of time it takes. Therefore, how can companies shorten the time of recovery without major upfront investments?
Traditional Backup & Restore only secures data
Having been in the IT industry for more than 20 years, I have met and continue to meet many executives and business owners who believe that having a backup and restore solution is enough assurance and a great protection against data loss in case of disaster. Most of them are convinced that they can be up-and-running within hours in case of hardware failure while others truly believe it will never happen to their business!
While the backup and restore solution in theory represents a proper way to safeguard company’s data against any disaster, it does NOT offer short-term recovery or even a business continuity solution in the case of a hardware failure. This process was the best available and the least expensive solution to implement for SMEs. This isn’t the case anymore.
What is “Business Continuity”?
In simple terms, business continuity is a disaster protection and quick restoration solution that eliminates downtime and data loss. With this solution, you can resume business as usual in the shortest amount of time after a crash or hardware failure. Of course, this includes the capability to recover a company’s data to the closest point prior to the crash, which is an important parameter in a business continuity solution.
This concept has been around for a while, however it has only been implemented in large corporations so far since they have the budget to implement such an expensive solution.
With a business continuity solution in place, an organization can be up and running in minutes or hours rather than days or weeks, in case of a disaster.
Why traditional backup & restore is not a Business Continuity solution
Someone would say that the traditional backup solution on tape (or external drives) is a true continuity solution. In fact, it is a data security solution.
I’ve seen countless of situations where companies do the backup on tape and USB drives only to keep their backup media on premises for the next day! Can you imagine what would be the loss for an enterprise that gets a fire at night?
In a similar example, let’s estimate the downtime of this company before it could resume its IT systems from the point of the crash and explore these parameters:
- How many days it takes to buy a new equipment (i.e. Server) to replace the one that is out of order
- The time to re-install an operating system, reconfigure the server within the network and then restore the data to the closest point prior to the failure
Assuming the server exists in stock at the supplier’s warehouse with a 48-hour delivery time frame, a network administrator would need a day or two to complete his setup and configuration of the equipment. So far, this long process means downtime is at 5 business days!
During these 5 days of downtime, there will be no business activities. This of course leads to a loss of revenue for the SME, as they still need to incur employee payroll expenses. I leave it to you to do the math and compute the “losses” in $ for this SME.
Can an SME really afford to put up a sign saying, “We are temporarily closed”?
The alternative: an affordable “Business Continuity” solution
Powered with the most advanced business continuity solution, QBR is designed to offer small and mid-sized enterprises with a high-end complementary “business continuity” in addition to the capability to do a backup and restore.
The QBR devices are simply servers where they offer the capability of backing up files, data and complete machines through “virtualisation”, so in a case of disaster, the time to recover is counted in minutes and not days.
This technology offers, in addition to the local backup, a “hybrid” offsite synchronization of the backups to the “cloud”. In a case of physical damage or disaster on company premises, the company can be up and running and gain control through its servers from the cloud.
The QBR solution is offered “as a service”, where companies pay a one-time affordable activation fee and a monthly subscription fee for licensing, support and data backup in the “cloud” as one package.
No company is immune from disasters and it could happen to any SME at any moment. It’s time to be prepared.