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Friday, July 18, 2014

Disaster Recovery and the Cloud

Your business runs on data. Customer contacts, vendor and supplier accounts, contracts, invoices, project management, employee records, sales tax history are the pulse of your company’s financial and operational health. Stop and think for a moment what you would do if any one of these data points was inaccessible due to fire, flood or other server disruption.

Many Ways Data Can Be Lost

Companies can lose vital business data and systems through many avenues including physical damage to buildings and equipment by fire, flood, tornado or earthquake, damage or breakdown of equipment or systems, utility outage and absenteeism of essential employees. Theft, computer virus and malicious activity such as hacking also cause data loss or interruption.

The Small Business Administration reports that inadequate internal controls routinely result in the loss of critical business information and data. Internal controls and external factors can all pose risks to your vital business data and must be diligently monitored and managed for business continuity.

Conventional vs. Cloud Disaster Recovery

Online Tech president and chief operating officer Mike Klein says conventional data disaster recovery poses problems due to delays, time-consuming recovery processes, expense and high error rates that can cost your company a lot in terms of operations, customers and revenues. To be fully effective, conventional recovery methods must be thoroughly tested and regularly updated to truly protect data.

Conversely, cloud disaster recovery planning involves digitizing the entire business data operations including server, operating system, applications and data into a single software bundle. This makes the data available for recovery more quickly and cost-effectively than conventional recovery methods.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

  •     Encrypted Email Management: Email communications and operations are prime candidates to move to the cloud because a lot of sensitive business communication is done this way. Moving communications to the cloud means your emails, even those on customers’ devices, are securely encrypted and protected from unauthorized access.

  •     Better Security: Cloud storage removes the possibility of losing data operations from disaster at your physical location. If there’s a fire or flood in your office, your data won’t be lost from damaged or destroyed servers.

  •     Less Equipment: Cloud storage saves money on computing equipment by eliminating the need for more servers. CDW, a technology product and service provider, reports that 35 percent of small businesses move to the cloud for improved backup and disaster recovery while 43 percent move to replace aging hardware.

  •     Easier Upgrades: Another benefit of digitization is economy of scale. Simpleview Inc. director of network operations Sean Smith says their 60 virtual servers enable them to more quickly and economically upgrade memory and processing power. They also provide customer services security with less space and operational expense than if they used an equivalent amount of hardware.

    Businesses have a lot to consider when choosing a cloud storage provider between security, price, space and other needs. Top 10 Cloud Storage provides reviews and comparisons of various cloud storage companies such as DropBox. They share the pros, cons, editor reviews and customer reviews on each service so that you can choose the right service for your business.

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