How to Buy a Backup and Disaster Recovery Solution Your CFO Will Love

By Greg Wyman, Vice Present Asia-Pacific, StorageCraft

An organisation looking to upgrade its backup/retrieval/disaster recovery solution needs to consider the new technology from three angles: IT perspective, user perspective and Chief Finance Officer (CFO) perspective.

The good news for CFOs is that the ideal solution suits all three categories: it is easy to implement and operate, easy to use and cost-effective.

At StorageCraft we advise each business we meet: “We know you can’t do this immediately, but given a world where anything were possible, what would you like from your backup solution?”

Most backup vendors are scared to ask this question, as normal responses include: Reduce backup windows to seconds or minutes; restore files in seconds; automatically test recoverability at least once every day; a truly ‘set and forget’ solution that once deployed needs minimal manual involvement to keep it functioning and operational.

Most of this wish-list mirrors the issues with traditional file or block-based backup products. The latest sector-based imaging technologies deliver true real-time protection and, critically, real-time recovery. All the issues that once were major problems have been eliminated.

The new mantra is: Forget about backup, consider only recovery.

Incredibly, vendors still talk about backup functionality, even though only recovery capabilities matter to a customer. The conversations should all be about RTO (recovery time objectives) – the time to restore files, folders and complete servers after a corruption, virus or crash should be seconds or minutes and the RPO (recovery point objective) should be no more than 15 minutes ago.

Real-time recovery solutions should reduce backup windows to minutes or even seconds. Imagine never having another backup window issue. Imagine, if every night at say 2am, all your virtual and physical servers had a recovery test performed to provide maximum confidence that data and databases and server can be recovered after a crash, corruption or virus. The impact for a CFO would be huge.

Shrinking the budget need not mean shrinking capabilities.

The great news for CFOs is that the ‘big’ gorillas in backup are being attacked by the small, nimble software companies whose solutions are based on next generation sector-based imaging that delivers all the capabilities at typically a fraction of the cost of traditional ‘big’ products. They deliver a compelling value proposition.

New products deliver varying degrees of recoverability, but to differentiate those that promise the world yet fail to deliver, simply ask the vendor to install a PoC or Proof of Concept at your site, on your equipment. If this is too difficult for the vendor, most likely it would be difficult to deploy and manage. When you do your PoC, install on a server(s) with lots of transactions and usage. If your selected solution can handle the difficult servers, it will likely breeze through all the others.

Finally ask yourself: If a critical SQL, Exchange, SharePoint or Oracle server is corrupted at 14:46 today, how much data will we lose – five hours of data multiplied by the number of users (say 500 employees) equals 2,500 emails, transactions or files. Everything is gone since your last (working) backup.

Or, do you want to restore the server in minutes to its exact state from 14:45, losing just one minute of data! Yes, from IT; Yes from users; and Yes from the CFO!

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3 Essential Technologies to Keep Your Business Growing

For growing businesses, the midyear progress evaluation is the perfect time to consider investing in new technologies. Making the right upgrades can be key not only to helping your business meet its annual goals, but also to ensuring pain-free growth in the years to come. In this article we look at three technologies—servers, networks, and storage—that can help small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) stay agile and efficient while they grow.

Many SMB owners might be reluctant to invest money in server technology, but the benefits in doing so far outweigh the costs. Servers streamline data access and are far more reliable than traditional PCs. They provide a single, centralized location for data storage and backup, and they also greatly increase security by allowing you to create separate user accounts and assign rights to stored data. It’s important to acknowledge, though, that traditional data center and server architectures are becoming increasingly impractical and cost-ineffective. That’s why today’s SMB owners would be wise to look at solutions like HP’s ProLiant Gen 9 servers, which are optimized for virtualization and cloud opportunities. This will enable your businesses to implement collaborative tools ideal for workers conducting business both in and out of the office.

Network technology is another key area where upgrading can have a big impact. While today’s smart SMBs are taking advantage of mobility, big data, and cloud technologies, these tools also make network environments more complicated and can test the limits of legacy devices. But by adopting a unified wired and wireless hardware solution, you can simplify your networking environment and take full advantage of these productivity-boosting technologies.

Finally, every growing business needs to think about upgrading its storage capabilities, and choosing the right solution can make a difference. Forward-looking SMBs will look into storage that is fast enough to keep them running efficiently today and easily upgradable to meet their needs as they continue to grow. HP’s MSA Storage solutions, for example, are optimised for small businesses to be fast, affordable, and expandable.

While upgrading any one of these technologies can help your business stay nimble and efficient while it grows, upgrading all of them can be a game-changing decision. If you’re ready to make the leap, HP offers a ‘Just Right IT’ portfolio that can affordably set your business up to achieve its goals this year and beyond.

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