What Michael Jackson taught us about business continuity

The unfortunate news of Michael Jackson’s passing shook the world. One of the things that really struck me about this incident was how quickly the news had spread.

According Google’s official blog, the sudden spike in traffic was so strong that it caused Google News to go down for 25 minutes, causing major problems for the company on one of the biggest news days in the company’s history.

This got me thinking a lot about downtime, and how it affects companies. If just 25 minutes of downtime could cause such problems for one of the world’s most technologically advanced organizations, what could it mean for the average small business?

If your servers went down today, how fast could you get back up and what kinds of problems would you have to deal with?

With traditional backups, you would create a backup copy (usually tape, DVDs, External HDs, etc…) at the end of the day, then transport this backup to an alternate location in case the main IT operations center became incapacitated somehow.

In the event of a data disaster, you would lose up to 24 hours of data. In addition to this, you would have to wait until someone drove to the secondary backup storage location to get the backup copy, then drive back and load the data.

This process could potentially take hours and was very prone to human error. You would also usually lose an additional day of productivity as employees scrambled to make up for the lost work, and to catch up to work that had piled up during the outage. Overall, this was a minor logistical nightmare. That’s why CDP was created.

Continuous Data Protection (CDP) is also often called “real time backup”, which means that files are backed up as soon as they are saved. With CDP, a new “versioned” copy of your data is created for each time you change your file.

This can be really helpful in the event of an emergency, because it allows you to recover from 20 minutes ago, instead of losing 1 or more days of work. This way, your customers and stakeholders need not be inconvenienced by your temporary internal IT problem. Another advantage of using a CDP-enabled online backup system to recover your data is that you can instantly download your critical business files from a secure off-site location. Because you don’t need to drive to this secondary location, you can get up and running much more quickly.

If you’re working in an industry where data loss windows and recovery times are important, then you might want to consider looking into an online backup solution with CDP.

Of course, it’s also important to read the fine print when picking a CDP solution to back up your data.

Make sure that your solution is TRUE CDP. Some solutions offer backups at 1-2 hour intervals, and will claim that it’s CDP. But for TRUE CDP, the uploads must be continuous and uninterrupted.

Also, make sure that your solution allows you to recover from multiple points in time. This is very important. A system that only captures data only from the most recent copy is not an adequate backup solution. In the event of a virus, you won’t be able to get your data back. Also if a corrupted file us uploaded, this will overwrite your backup. This would defeat the purpose of your backup solution you’re only protecting the corrupted data.

If expensive downtime can hurt a company like Google, it can potentially happen to you as well.

A CDP-based online backup can be very helpful in protecting your business from data loss, and ensuring that you can be up and running with minimal downtime, and with little or no data loss.

About The Author:

Storagepipe Solutions offers a wide range of online backup and email archiving solutions to help companies use minimize downtime in the event of unexpected IT problems.

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