In March, many people confidently predicted we’d be back to “normal” by summer. We’re now entering Q4, and we’ve already experienced a global pandemic, social unrest, catastrophic weather events and entered a recession. If this year has a lesson, it’s that it’s impossible to know what will come next. Do you really want to gamble your business’ future by not having a data recovery plan, or even basic Azure backups, in place?
Data Recovery and Backups Are Vital Insurance Policies
Any IT outage-causing event (even a power surge) could be a disaster for your company. Without a data recovery strategy you can quickly implement, your business grinds to a halt. To keep your office productive, you need to leverage IT and create stability with data recovery and backup solutions.
One copy of your data isn’t enough
A few accidental clicks can permanently delete files or your systems could be infected with malware. When you have generations of backups in place, you have a way to restore missing or compromised information.
Knowing how you’ll recover data and applications protects your ability to work
Accomplishing day-to-day tasks and reaching long-term goals depend on unimpeded access to your data. Without a solid business continuity plan, you’re operating with a single point of failure, and any incident could eliminate your ability to operate. Even if you have solutions in place, you need to be able to access data to mitigate lost productivity. Compared to on-premise, a study found Microsoft Azure’s cloud-based solutions had a 66% shorter recovery time.
Cloud Solutions Reduce Your Risk and Enable You to Adapt to Any Scenario
Insurance policies are only useful if you can file a claim and receive a payout. Data recovery and backups only work if you can access up-to-date versions of your systems and data. Before the cloud, this meant using physical servers and tape drives. Both introduce risks you don’t need to take. If your office suffers a power outage, your server will go down as well. The cloud solves this problem and increases uptime.
Solutions like Azure Site Recovery and Azure Backups are more resilient because Microsoft offers geo-redundant and locally redundant solutions.
Instead of all copies of your data being stored in one primary location, a secondary, geographically dispersed, location is established to protect against regional events. Even if a catastrophic event takes place at your office, your employees will still be able to access data because the secondary location isn’t experiencing the same outage.
Three copies of your data exist in a datacenter in a single region. It offers protection against local hardware failure and costs less than geo-redundancy. However, it’s less resilient.
The Secret to Staying on Budget with Data Recovery and Backup
You don’t ever want your employees sitting around doing nothing because the network is down or trying to recreate thousands of lost files. However, most businesses can handle small outages or data losses and often do, because guaranteeing 100% uptime and continual backups comes with astronomical costs. This is where the principles of RTO and RPO help set appropriate expectations for your business.
Your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is how much downtime you can tolerate. Recovery Point Objective (RPO) refers to how much data you can lose. Your plan’s cost and design depend on your RTO and RPO requirements. Work with an IT expert that has virtual CIO (vCIO) and IT experience. They’ll understand your business, Azure budget and IT needs and help calculate the right RTO and RPO.
Backups Turn Incidents into Nonevents
When you have cloud-based backups in place, you’ll always have access to a copy of your information. Cybercriminals won’t be able to hold you ransom and you don’t have to worry that files will accidentally be deleted. Azure backups are a native solution for Microsoft users, and it’s easier to implement than other services. You can back up everything from files and databases to virtual machines and computers. Everything is encrypted, with at rest and in-transit security solutions available.
- Access a dynamic solution without additional infrastructure costs
- Manage resources from the centralized Azure portal
- Track assets through automated reporting
- Retain files on short or long-term basis
- Protect information using multifactor authentication and role-based access
Backups create copies of your data, but may not be enough during a major IT outage
To replicate your entire system, you’ll need a disaster recovery solution. It will address how you’ll regain access to your data and applications, who is responsible for what and how to restore your systems with minimal damage using solutions like Azure Site Recovery.
Azure Site Recovery is a built-in Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) and was recognized as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for its ability to deliver a comprehensive solution.
The data, applications and workloads running on physical or virtual machines (VMs) in your primary location are replicated on VMs in a secondary location. When an outage occurs, you failover to the secondary location.
- Automatically update when new features are released
- Test solution without impacting users
- Continually access systems, even during an outage
- Eliminate datacenter management burden and costs
How Microsoft Secures Your Data in Azure
Microsoft will always have more resources to invest in cloud security than a business owner can access. The company annually spends more than $1 billion on cybersecurity research and development. The investment turns into industry-leading protections. Because both are native to Azure, you capitalize on the platform’s robust security features including:
- Identity-based access controls
- Compliant-by-design solutions
- Data protection in transit and at rest
- Actionable, transparent Security Center reports
- Advanced Threat Protection
Disasters Are Inevitable – Get Peace of Mind
Every facet of life can become unpredictable overnight. You can’t afford to rely on substandard or nonexistent data recovery and backups. You won’t have an easily accessible copy of your data when you need it most. You’ll be at the mercy of cybercriminals during a ransomware attack. If you lose power at the office, all your systems will go down and you won’t be able to ask employees to work remotely. You don’t know what will happen next week or year, but you can prepare. Act now to make sure your company is ready for anything.