Do You Even Need a Data Retention Policy Anymore?

data retention
Data retention policies are no longer the best way to manage your information.
Image source: Flickr CC user brewbooks

Traditional wisdom says that leaving out the “junk” data that accumulates in systems will make your backups faster and easier to restore. As a result, many businesses use data retention policies that help them differentiate what types of data they will archive versus the data they will backup and keep handy for a restore. But Quorum makes your backup and restore so efficient, a data retention policy becomes less efficient – even a waste of time. Continue reading

Essential Steps in Disaster Preparedness, Part III: The Importance of Testing More Often

disaster preparedness - testing
Testing more often makes you more prepared for disaster.
Image source: Flickr CC user jez`

We hope you’ve been reading along through this series, designed to show you how three steps can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your disaster recovery plans. In Part I, we pointed out how the most detailed DR plans are the most successful. And we talked about setting goals to achieve your DR objectives in Part II. Today, we’ll use Part III to talk about how frequent testing can make or break your disaster recovery. Continue reading

Essential Steps in Disaster Preparedness, Part II: What Are Your Goals?

It’s important to set your disaster preparedness goals.
Image source: Flickr CC user CJS*64

In Part I of this series, we discussed the first essential step in disaster recovery. The devil is in the details when it comes to strong DR planning. But you also need to set goals if you want to meet objectives. It’s the second improvement in a three-pronged approach that will help your business overcome the challenges that achieving a strong disaster recovery plan presents: Be detailed, set goals, and test more often. Continue reading

3 Essential Steps in Disaster Preparedness, Part I: How Detailed Is Your DR?

Detailed disaster recovery plans mean better disaster preparedness.
Image source: Flickr CC user YannGarPhoto

The Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council’s 2014 State of Global Disaster Recovery Preparedness just started keeping hard numbers on how companies are faring in their disaster recovery (DR) efforts. Published in March, the study showed a shocking 73 percent of businesses aren’t prepared. We’re hoping to see some improvement in the coming spring, but there’s reason to believe businesses struggling with disaster preparedness can overcome the challenges with three essential improvements: be detailed, set goals, and test more often. Continue reading

It’s Not All About You: Check Your Vendors’ Disaster Recovery Plans

Do your vendors test their disaster recovery plan at least as often as you do?
Image source: Flickr CC user DaveBleasdale

You can set up a rock solid disaster recovery plan, test it monthly, and still be at risk. Why? Because your vendors may not be so dedicated to disaster preparedness. It’s time to evaluate your vendor list with disaster recovery in mind and make sure the vendors you choose in the future use strong disaster recovery practices. Continue reading

EOL for the Symantec Backup Exec Appliance Leaves Businesses Unsure

The Symantec Backup Exec appliance will retire soon.
Image source: Symantec vis

As Symantec pulls the Backup Exec appliance, small and mid-sized businesses are left in the lurch. First, they spend hard-to-find IT dollars on a backup appliance with software and then find out they’ll have to take that appliance elsewhere and spend more money on backup software. We feel for the Symantec customers on the rollercoaster ride of the company’s long journey to find itself. These customers have been shuffled around, re-assigned, and re-priced, and now they’re being phased out. So much for loyalty, and so much for a dependable investment in disaster recovery systems.

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Solar Flare Dangers Continue Through 2020 – Are Your Systems Protected?

solar flares
Solar flares could knock out communications and power for an extended period.
Image source: Flickr CC user NASA Goddard Photo and Video

A plasma cloud from a solar superstorm – sounds like science fiction, doesn’t it? Well, it’s real, it’s here, and it’ll be around for at least five more years. Are you prepared for the solar flare that could scramble your data, cut power, and cripple your systems? Continue reading

Making Your Recovery Plan More Human – Can Every IT Worker Follow It?

recovery plan
Your recovery plan needs to consider the human reading it.
Image source: Flickr CC user Menage a Moi

No doubt, you’re here because you care about business continuity. You have a plan and you’ve tested it to be sure it works, but a test is not the real world. Your primary IT personnel have no trouble following the plan. They’re familiar with it. Heck, they probably wrote it. But what about everyone else in the department? Your recovery plan needs to be human enough that any IT employee, whether new to the organization or seasoned, can pick it up and follow through. Use these methods to ensure that’s the case. Continue reading

Fix Your Upside-Down Disaster Plan by Focusing on Recovery

If your disaster plan focuses on just backing up the data, it’s upside-down.
Image source: Flickr CC user Thomas Leth-Olsen

Backing up isn’t hard, but recovering the data can be. If your disaster recovery program just focuses on having backups, your thinking may be upside-down. If you can start designing your disaster recovery plan as just that, a “recovery,” you’ll see efficiencies in the way you manage your disaster recovery plan that promise faster returns to normalcy when things go wrong. Continue reading

Has Microsoft Really Changed Its Tune? InMage Disaster Recovery Acquisition Leaves Doubts

InMage disaster recovery may not help small businesses.
Image source: Flickr CC user Robert Scoble

Many a business owner has cursed Microsoft for tight-fisted policies that make it prohibitively expensive to use the company’s solutions, coupled with a painful lack of cross-platform support for more affordable solutions. For many years, if your business partners used Microsoft, you had to use it, as well, if you wanted to share information. Now, recovering from some painful lessons and stepping forward with a new CEO, Microsoft may be changing its tune. The recent acquisition of InMage disaster recovery software, which functions across many platforms, offers mixed messages about how much time Microsoft spends thinking about the needs of customers. Continue reading