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The value of offsite backups…

The value of offsite backups…


Why should I have offsite backup?  Why should I pay an IT contract?

A true case study of our client Smith Dental Practice based in Bakewell.

Fire alarms ring, smell of smoke!

“Oh no, the Pizza restaurant next door are burning pizzas again! Hang on, it’s only 10 o’clock, that’s way too early…

… there’s a real fire, it’s a real fire, everyone out” shouts Jill

The fish and chip shop downstairs to Smith Dental has a fire. All staff and patients evacuated safely.

Fire brigade arrive quickly and put out the fire. There’s a hot spot so nobody can enter; water everywhere, black smoke and steam, everyone very upset.

121 IT were called. They ask “what about our IT kit?… our Server?…backups?”

121 IT attended the site immediately (business critical service under contract) and once given the all clear by the Fire Brigade brought the Server back to their workshop. Power had been cut to the Server abruptly and it showed signs of smoke damage.

The next day 121 IT enabled Smith Dental staff to use their Practice Management Software in a nearby home / office with full database restored; patients were contacted to rearrange appointments, calls were diverted to a mobile and appointments could be made again. Business was running, albeit slowly.

A week later, once the premises had been thoroughly cleaned, 121 IT reinstated their Server with live data, internet, emails and networks were restored, PCs connected and the database restored live on premise. All tests and in terms of IT – good to go.

The owners of this business have been happy for us to share this experience due to the excellent support they received. We are pleased to have been able to have been of service and demonstrate some of the important backup and disaster recovery strategies = that is what a contract with us brings.

Several lessons are important to understand here:

1. Disasters happen. Sometimes unexpected and out of the blue, but they do. Whilst rare and unlikely, these types of disasters mean businesses MUST have a Disaster Recovery (DR) strategy in place. This should be well planned and perhaps more importantly rehearsed and tested. If a business does not have a DR plan statistics show they will fold if a worst case scenario happens. It doesn’t matter the size of business.
2. In terms of IT infrastructure – Business owners need to understand and consider some important factors:
a. From what point in time can I afford to lose my business data? This is the Recovery Point Objective (RPO).
b. How long can I wait to get my business data back and working again? This is the Recovery Time Objective (RTO).
c. What will I do if my office burns down? Ok, maybe it doesn’t burn down but what if you can’t use it for a period of time, gain access to it, etc.

These factors determine the type of backup and disaster recovery strategy we design and build for you.

Attitudes towards RPO and RTO range from the following:

“I do nothing. I’m not bothered if I lose everything or how long it takes me to get back up and running; I’ll just go out and buy a new PC” – please don’t believe this – nobody would be happy to lose everything; even personal computers hold data that is dear, important or critical. Businesses also have a legal duty of care to keep their digital information safe.

To the following:
Our Servers are replicated every 5 minutes in their entirety. If the worse happens we flick a switch. Nice!

With many different options between these. Consequently ranging in costs and complexity with better or worse RPOs and RTOs. Talk to us about designing the most appropriate for you. Call us on 0114 268 5121.

Effectively, your backup and DR costs should be seen as insurance. Nobody really likes to pay for it but thank goodness we did if/when the worst happens!

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