BC/DR for Small, Medium and Large Businesses — Part 2

In Part 1 of our three-part series, we evaluated how the business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) needs of small businesses differ from the needs of medium and large companies. Now it's time to turn the spotlight on medium-sized businesses. 

Typically, medium businesses have anywhere from 100 to 1000 employees, meaning they can assign specialized job functions, such as BC/DR planning, to members of management rather than outsourcing a consultant.

Medium businesses also tend to have slightly larger budgets than small businesses, giving them a few more options when it comes to selecting BC/DR solutions. For instance, they can afford to outsource more services, which in turn helps strengthen their BC/DR strategy. Here are the services we recommend for medium businesses, along with a few reasons why they're important.

Cloud


During a disaster, you have to recover as quickly as possible — and you can't do that when your information has been compromised in a server failure. Almost half of all businesses that do experience an IT disaster don't attempt to reopen, and nearly 80 percent fail within one year. So having a data backup and restoration solution that isn't too time-consuming on the front end or too difficult to execute after a disturbance is a must.

cloudA cloud solution, such as Rentsys' BlackCloud vaulting and recovery, enables you to rapidly back up and recover data within a secure and flexible infrastructure. In the event of a disaster, a cloud solution can also reduce your recovery time objectives (RTOs) and enable you to continue business as usual — no matter what type of business interruption comes your way.

Using site-to-site replication, BlackCloud allows you to minimize your downtime after a disaster by vaulting your data to an off-site location at a predefined interval (e.g., every 15 minutes, hourly, nightly or in real time). Because your data is sent directly to our recovery location, you can recover within a few minutes or hours depending on the replication setup.

Mobile Recovery Centers (MRCs)


As many as 40 percent of businesses fail after experiencing a disaster. Without proper recovery strategies in place, your business could be at risk. To make sure you can continue business after a disaster, consider including an alternate work environment in your recovery plan. A Mobile Recovery Center (MRC) is the most flexible option.

Rentsys' MRCs can be delivered within 24-48 hours to any location you specify after a disaster. They can be configured as command centers, data centers, claims facilities, bank branches or general workspaces. You can get back to business quickly while proving to your customers that you're reliable and efficient.

Colocation


We've said it countless times: When a disaster strikes, you have to be fully prepared to recover. Even if your BC/DR plan includes an alternate workspace, such as a Business Recovery Center (BRC) or MRC, your RTOs and cost of downtime may dictate that you need your systems up and running within minutes or hours of a disaster.

Colocation rack spaceColocation rack space allows your business to place equipment directly inside a secure cabinet within our BRC. You can then deploy a replication solution to ensure your production systems are in sync with your colocation (i.e., backup) systems.

When a disaster strikes and your primary production environment is no longer available, the colocation systems will become production systems so your company can be up within minutes.

Visit our website for more solutions to include in your BC/DR plan and check back next month to see the best recovery options for large businesses!

[INFOGRAPHIC] Strike Back Against Lightning

This week is Lightning Safety Week, so the National Weather Service is providing some tips on how to stay safe when lightning strikes, whether you're indoors or outdoors.

If you hear thunder, you're at risk for a lightning strike and need to head inside to stay protected. The 2014 Lightning Safety Week slogan "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!" may help you and your employees remember this crucial tip.

Once you're indoors, you're not necessarily in the clear. For a few indoor lightning safety tips, check out State Farm's infographic below.

Strike Back Against Lightning






























Review the severe weather safety reminders to be sure you're prepared for the storms that come with summer.

How to Survive the Longest Day of the Year

The summer solstice is commonly known as the longest day of the year, but for many businesses, there's another one: the day a disaster strikes.

Disasters can make normal days seem never-ending, especially if you're unprepared. To keep disaster days from feeling endless, make sure you're prepared to handle whatever may come your way. Follow these tips to start preparing.

businessman checking off boxesPlan Ahead of Time


If you don't have a business continuity plan, you could waste valuable time and effort rushing to recover when a disaster hits. Make sure you create a business continuity and disaster recovery plan before the need arises, so you'll be prepared for any disaster that hits your business.

Working with a team of experts will help ensure that nothing is left out of your recovery plan. After you've created your plan, make sure you test it regularly (one to two times a year) to ensure that recovery and continuity efforts will flow smoothly during a crisis.

Embrace the Cloud


It's nearly impossible to resume work after a disaster when customer and company information are inaccessible. To combat this problem, consider investing in cloud services.

Cloud vaulting and recovery allows you to continue business as usual during a disaster because your company data can be accessed from any location as long as there's Internet access. Remaining operational during a disaster can build your reputation for reliability and earn your customers' trust.

Designate an Alternate Workspace


When a disaster strikes, you won't want to scramble to find a place to continue your business operations. Instead, incorporate an alternate workspace into your business continuity plan ahead of time. There are several options for this, including work-from-home strategies, fixed-site workspaces and mobile workspaces.

Working from home after a disaster can be convenient, but it comes with its own set of challenges. For example, the additional network traffic volume can cause hiccups in uptime at best and a system outage at worst. Logistical issues may be overcome after testing a few times, but a better option might be a fully operational fixed-site workspace.

Moving your operations to a fixed-site workspace is a good solution if employees live nearby or can temporarily relocate. If there isn't a fixed-site location nearby, a mobile facility may be a better solution.

mobile workspace in front of office buildingOne of the advantages of mobile workspaces is that they can be placed at any location you specify, which allows your employees to stay close to home.

For more tips on preparing your business for a disaster, download our disaster preparedness checklists.

Are You Ready for Hurricane Season?

Trees blowing in a hurricane
Hurricane season began June 1, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a mild season composed of eight to 13 tropical storms and three to six hurricanes. This is due in part to the phenomenon known as El Niño, a band of warm ocean water temperatures that changes rain and temperature patterns around the world every few years.

Though conditions are favorable for a calmer season, there are still some steps you need to take to prepare your business and employees in the event that a hurricane does come your way.


Before

  • Make sure your disaster recovery plan includes provisions for hurricanes. Run through this plan with your team and practice what to do in the event of an actual hurricane.
  • Arrange an emergency kit with enough nonperishable food and water to last all your employees at least 72 hours. You should also have bottled water on hand for sanitary purposes. (Check out our Hurricane Preparedness Checklist for other items you should gather before a hurricane.)
  • Make sure trees and shrubs around your business are well trimmed to prevent falling limbs from damaging your building.
  • If your business is located in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on a lower floor in an interior room with no windows.


 During

  • Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for important weather updates.
  • Avoid using the phone, except for during a serious emergency.
  • Stay indoors, away from windows and glass doors. Don't be fooled if there's a lull; it could be the eye of the storm — winds will usually pick up again.


 After

  • Anticipate extended rainfall and subsequent flooding after the hurricane has ended.
  • Inspect your building for damage. Take pictures for insurance purposes.
  • If you come across any loose or dangling power lines, keep away from them and inform the power company immediately.

Check out more helpful tips on how to prepare for hurricane season here.

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