Building Fires, Backups, and Disaster Recovery

As you may have read, DCM had an exciting week recently when one of our clients’ buildings burnt to the ground, with David running inside to save computers and other equipment before it was too late.

Besides the thrill of running into a burning building itself, the whole episode provided a new perspective on backup and disaster recovery. You see, it is something that we talk to our clients about all the time, and an issue that they know they need to think about.

Yet, it is not something that most people expect they are ever going to need. In fact, although we have had clients lose their systems to things like theft or an employee error, this was our first true “disaster” that we had seen someone have to come back from.

What did we learn? That when you need them most, these backup and disaster recovery plans are worth their weight in gold. Here are a few things you should ask yourself – or your IT provider – about your recovery plan:

How often are you backing up? Ideally, your data should be backed up at least once a day, otherwise you could lose anything you saved in the meantime.

What are you backing up? Often, it is not enough to have just client files and data; you might need applications and network configurations as well.

Do you have any offsite backups? As our client learned, disasters do not always just hit your hardware; they can affect your building or facility at the same time. Be sure your system includes storage that is away from your primary office.

How long would it take you to recover and resume business if you needed your backups? Every day that you are out of business costs you a lot of money. You should have a backup and disaster recovery system that would allow you to resume operations in a couple of days or less.

When was your backup system last tested? Many business owners and managers assume their backup systems are working, but have never tested them.
Whether it is a fire, disaster, or just someone dropping an important piece of equipment, you will need backup and disaster recovery someday. When you do, make sure your system is up to the task.

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