How Managed IT Services Customize Data Backup and Recovery for Business Resilience
Resiliency is a hot topic for businesses these days, and no wonder. By resiliency, we mean having the ability to bounce back quickly and capably from a potentially devastating occurrence. Given the events of the last few years, business owners are hungry for solutions to a wide array of problems, including supply-chain disruptions, labor shortages, worksite lockdowns, and data system failures. Without appropriate planning, any of these problems could be extinction-level events. Thus, small businesses must find ways to protect against worse-case scenarios without draining the capital they need for other purposes. Unfortunately, all data backup and recovery plans are not equal, and a one-size-fits-all approach may not meet your needs. At KMF Technologies, we offer customized programs based on your patterns of network usage to address your specific needs to provide solutions that work within your budget.
Recapping the benefits of Managed IT Services
In a recent blog, we covered the advantages of contracting with a Managed Service Provider (MSP) for data storage and recovery, citing these key points:
- Proactive monitoring to keep your system ahead of likely threats
- Round the clock recovery and restoration
- Minimal downtime following a cyber attack
- Affordability and scalability
- The extensive knowledge base of contract MSPs
Today we’d like to take a deeper dive into the way managed IT services benefit companies with effective data backup, recovery, and data loss prevention. That means customizing a storage and recovery plan based on your patterns of network usage. And customization begins with understanding two main objectives for data recovery: your RTO and your RPO.
Using RTO and RPO metrics to calibrate the most effective, individualized data recovery program
As October draws to a close, the World Series is finally underway, and baseball fans across the country will be arguing the relative strengths and weaknesses of the teams. Trendy fans will point to the players’ WAR, OPS+ and WPA, while more traditional rooters will cry, “Just tell me the guy’s batting average!” Saber metrics are here to stay, but they leave many fans cold. If you fall into the latter camp, we understand. Nevertheless, we’ve must take a moment to talk “IT saber metrics,” so we’re going to break these terms done as simply as possible.
RTO stands for Recovery Time Objective. This is the amount of time your business can be down before the outage does serious damage. In other words, this is the outside parameter for acceptable downtime, or the time within which you need to be back up and running. Key points to consider are how much you rely on your network for operations and whether you can use alternative means, such as the telephone, to conduct operations with your system down. To arrive at your optimal RTO, you must also answer some important questions: How long can you be offline before your clients get fed up and go elsewhere? How long before your reputation takes a hit? How much time can you lose before playing catchup becomes impossible? Factors to weigh include your company’s reputation, customer loyalty, and the competitiveness of your business sector.
By looking at your customary usage, an MSP can help you determine how quickly you need to be back online and explain how to design your backup plan to meet that objective.
RPO stands for recovery point objective. This is the amount of data you need to recover (or can afford to lose) to avoid unacceptable consequences. Ideally, you’d like to recover 100 percent of your data, but that would require constant, instantaneous backup, which is not feasible. You can think of RPO as the amount of new data you would be able to reconstruct if you couldn’t recover it, measured in hours. For example, if you feel you can afford to lose that last workday’s data, you can schedule a system backup at the end of each workday.
Again, your MSP can examine your customary system usage to determine the volume of data that could be lost between scheduled backups, and whether that volume is acceptable. You have to balance several factors, such as the likelihood of a loss, the cost of data loss at various timeframes, and the cost of each backup cycle. When you find a happy medium, your MSP can set the frequency of your backups to meet your RPO.
The bottom line is that a knowledgeable IT professional can tailor a data storage and recovery program to fit your company’s needs without excess expense. At KMF Technologies, we’ve helped many small businesses meet their goals for security, recovery time, and recovered data, all within their budget.