EOL for the Symantec Backup Exec Appliance Leaves Businesses Unsure

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

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

Hoboken School Program Shows Need for Ruggedized Laptops in the Field

Ruggedized laptops prevent hardware failures.
Image source: Flickr CC user Meg Stewart

All too often, small businesses go for the lowest dollar purchase to accomplish a given task. They send workers into the field with laptops not designed for rough handling. Then, at a critical point in the customer experience, they cannot close the deal or complete repairs because the device they carried has failed. Hardware failures in the field can affect customer experience and business reputation. Preventing these failures is an important part of disaster recovery planning. As it turns out, ruggedized laptops are a cost effective solution. Continue reading

Challenges to Cloud Bursting as a Disaster Prevention Method

cloud bursting
Cloud bursting needs to overcome several challenges.
Image source: Flickr CC user Joel Olives

As cloud technologies mature, more businesses stand ready to tap its potential. Cloud computing is not so much marketing hype as the future reality for any business. Many find that a hybrid model, leveraging hardware and cloud computing, allows them the comfort of backup and recovery available through multiple channels. They get the security of keeping vital data on-site or in private clouds, while leveraging the cheaper public cloud for non-critical applications. Cloud bursting promises to leverage added computing power available through the cloud while providing a novel Disaster Recovery (DR) and prevention method that wasn’t available before. Continue reading

Reputation Recovery Time Objectives: Adding Crisis Management to Your DR Plans

Why Crisis Management and PR should be part of DR.
Image source: Flickr CC user Niuton may

In the past, I’ve discussed the essential parts of a disaster recovery plan, but then my travels took me to a blog post from Change Management firm Evolven that addressed all the costs associated with downtime. After reading, I realized that the potential economic losses to reputation from an outage or data breach make reputation recovery just as important as bringing servers back online and recovering data. The way to protect a business’s reputation is through Crisis Management, a function of public relations.

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Full Virtualization Isn’t Always the Right Answer – When to Choose Physical Servers

full virtualization
Full virtualization puts all your eggs in one basket.
Image source: Flickr CC user BobMical

Many businesses are looking at virtual servers as cost saving measures. They’re more scalable, flexible, and don’t need parts. And of course, they are much, much cheaper than physical servers are. But virtual servers aren’t impenetrable. They still need physical servers to run on and so suffer the same vulnerabilities. Because of this, full virtualization is a bad idea. You’ll still want to keep some functions on physical servers. Continue reading

State Department’s Visa Problems Show the Value of One-Click Disaster Recovery

passport problems
Passport problems at U.S. State Department drag on.
Image source: Flickr CC user swimparallel

It’s been over a week since the State Department’s visa database crashed. Travelers are still experiencing long delays and problems. It’s an example of how routine maintenance can turn into an extended problem. When will the database be up and running at capacity again? The best answer you’ll get is “soon.” If only the State Department had onQ, many visa problems could have been avoided. They would have been up and running again in no time. Continue reading