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Love Your Data? Fall In Love With Your Backups

May 1, 2019

Data is the lifeblood of your business. What happens if you lost access to it, or even worse, lost your data altogether? Would your business survive? The stories we tell here are true. We have changed the names to protect the innocent.

You may already know Phil and Phyllis. They work for Acme Corp. with 50 employees who manufacture widgets and do roughly $20 million in annual revenue. They have a Rocket Software system. They keep their server on-premise and diligently do backups every weeknight and take a copy off-site. Their MultiValue/PICK application has been running strong for over 25 years!

One night, there was a major disaster at their business. A lightning strike caused a downed wire, resulting in a small fire in their building. This destroyed nearly all of their computer equipment in their on-premises computer room. Fortunately, this happened late on a Wednesday night and nobody was hurt. The fire was contained rather quickly. When Phil and Phyllis received a call early Thursday morning they realize they needed to put their backup strategy in place.

So, what do they do now?

Scenario #1 – Start over from Scratch

Phil goes to get his latest file-save. It was from Tuesday as their Wednesday file save hadn’t kicked off yet due to the timing of the fire. He has lost a whole day’s worth of work. He now has to scramble to procure and configure a new server from scratch. This all takes a minimum of 2 days to arrive and then another day to re-input all the data since the last backup. Number of days down – 3 to 5 days (depending on how long it takes to get and test the new server).

The hourly cost of downtime – $3,701.48 (This amount is based on lost revenue and lost productivity in a $20 million annual revenue company with 50 employees.).

Estimated downtime cost – $118,447

Scenario 2 – Utilize Their Cold Standby Server

Phil calls up his favorite cloud provider and tells him the horrible news. He has a server ready to go – all he needs to do is turn the server on, activate the MultiValue license and restore his latest file-save. Once that is done, then he needs to recreate the data since his last backup.

Number of days down – 1 (to input the lost data and time to restore the latest file-save).

Estimated downtime costs $29,612

If this is the option you decide to use, you can call Rocket Software for a temporary 2-week activation of your Rocket system ID until your primary server is repaired and functional or if need be you can make your standby the permanent server. Rocket has always been happy to help us when our clients have been in this situation. They have a top-notch support team that is available 24/7.

Scenario 3 – Switch Immediately to Their D3 Hot Backup Server

Phil and Phyllis are prepared. Not only did they receive a call about the fire, but they also received an email in the middle of the night that stated there was a disconnect between the primary and backup server. They have all their employees switch over to the new backup server. Since they had a plan in place, the employees already had a secondary IP icon on their desktops and knew exactly what to do. Their last transaction was there so no need to recreate any lost data. They continue to work as if nothing happened. Now their downtime is as minimal as an hour instead of days.

Number of days down – 0

Estimated downtime cost – $0

Pick Cloud, Inc. hosted a Hot Backup in the cloud webinar with Rocket recently and not only do you see how Hot Backup can be an asset to your organization, but how Google transferred data from the US to the UK to Australia in seconds! Google’s global fiber network makes this possible.

The scenarios above are just some of the ways our clients have recovered after a disaster. Some methods are more expensive than others and depend on when you want to pay the expenses and how – a small monthly planned expense or pay an unexpectedly high expense.

The disaster above could have all been prevented if Phil and Phyllis had started off in the cloud to begin with.

How do you figure out what your downtime costs would be?

Cost of Downtime (per hour) = Lost Revenue + Lost Productivity + Recovery Costs + Intangible Costs

Bad things do happen. And not just natural disasters. Only 35% of outages are caused by natural disasters. Another 45% are operational, and 19% are due to human error.

The level of backup that you need depends on a few factors including budget and level of risk you want to take. For example, how long can you afford to be down? Site outages typically cost businesses at least $20k for every day of downtime, with more than a quarter of organizations reporting that one day of downtime would cost over $100k.

When was the last time you verified your backup? Or better yet performed a bare-metal restore? Do you have a plan in place for when bad things happen?

We can test and verify your backups for you. We provision a cloud server, verify your backup is working and then decommission the server. Easy peasy. You have peace of mind knowing your backup is valid. Believe it or not, we had a client who was doing daily backups, taking them off-site and when they needed it and tried to restore, the file-save tape was blank. You don’t want this to happen to you – especially at an inopportune time.

Bottom Line

Knowing exactly what risk you are willing to take, how long you can afford to be down as well as verifying your method of backup can mitigate the risk when you are actually down and need to recover. Make sure to do your research to see what products are available for your platform. If you are a Rocket customer, there are plenty of options as we have gone through above. Don’t be “penny wise and pound foolish” when it comes to your valuable data.