October 2014

Minimising the cost of a disaster

Published October 28th, 2014 – Written for Alchemy Systems International 

We recently contacted our accountancy firm to request some historic files and within a couple of days, they were collected from storage and delivered to us at Alchemy Towers – along with a bill for retrieval.

If you receive helpdesk support from an IT partner or have a managed services contract, the chances are, your SLA will include a backup for your vital data and settings. Naturally, your backup systems must deliver the highest degree of protection to data throughout its lifecycle so that your business maintains both the knowledge and integrity required to recover from a disaster.

  • But do you know whether your backups are valid?
  • Do you have any idea how quickly you could recover in the event of a disaster?
  • Will your IT service partner charge you an exorbitant rate for getting you back up and running?

Whether you use an on-premise backup and recovery solution for servers and virtual environments or an online backup service directly to a private or hybrid cloud for workstations, files email and databases, it is important that you regularly test them for validity and integrity.

Regardless of the backup strategies your organisation has in place, we recommend to our clients that they replicate backups of their production environment and regularly perform test restores. This best practice provides:

  • Validation of recoverability of the media
  • Validation of the physical integrity of the databases
  • A warm copy of your backup from which you can restore updates within journal files
  • A speedier return to operations, following a disaster

All restorations need a starting point (a date and time), from where datasets are to be recovered; at Alchemy, we use various techniques to recover deleted or corrupted data as quickly as possible.

  • For organisations that have an on premise back-up solution, using backup software locally is the quickest method; depending on the retention policies and recovery points they have in place, restoration of anywhere between 1 day and 1 year is possible.
  • For organisations that need an added level of redundancy, we recommend an off-site backup solution. Backing up to a remote site ensures that systems and servers can be reloaded with the latest data should a local backup fail or if the local site is not available. In cases like this, Alchemy will recover the latest known backup to a “bare metal” server elsewhere; this essentially means recovery to a different piece of hardware, allowing organisations to recommence transacting, with as little downtime as possible.
  • Hosted backups even provide data-centre (DC) redundant replication to ensure that our cloud clients have total peace of mind. Data is backed up, verified and stored at the DC, and is replicated to an offsite silo. This means that data is easily recoverable and hosted backup clients can expect to be up and running again within 2 hours of a request.

If you’re looking for the peace of mind that our full back up and recovery solutions offer; and if you don’t want to be handed a hefty bill when you request a restoration, check out our all-inclusive SLAs – you won’t be in for a nasty surprise in the event of a disaster.


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