Blog

January 25th, 2012

If you think “data backup” is synonymous with “disaster recovery” and aren’t sure what “business continuity” means, you’re not alone. Most of the business owners we talk to make the mistake of not knowing the difference and end up paying the price when data is lost, a network goes down or a disaster prevents them from accessing their physical office and the server inside.

First, data backup simply means a copy of your data is replicated to another device or location. Tape drives, offsite backup and even USB devices provide data backup. Data backup is obviously important. However, the more important consideration is whether or not your backup solution provides easy disaster recovery, or the ability for you to recover all your files, software and functionality quickly, easily and without corruption. For example, if your server died, you wouldn’t be able to quickly get back to work if you only had file-level backup. In order for you to start working again, your server would need to be replaced, all software re-installed, data re-installed and then the whole system would need to be configured with your settings and preferences. This process could take hours or even days – and that’s if you have all your software licenses and a clean copy of your data.

Then there’s business continuity. This is the ability for your business to continue to operate even after a ma-jor disaster. For example, if you ran an accounting firm and your building burned to the ground, you’d be out of business if all your files were on the server only. How-ever, if you had your network in the cloud (see our first article) your employees could continue to work from home or some other location, giving your business conti-nuity.

Of course, you need all three at some level. At a min-imum you need to make sure you have in place the right backup and disaster recovery plan for your tolerance for downtime, and a plan for how your business could con-tinue to operate if you could no longer access your building, server or data. You should review your plan annually. If you want a simple and easy way to get all of this handled, give us a call! We specialize in planning, implementing and managing these projects so you don’t have to.

November 28th, 2011

You hear it all the time from us—back up your data, keep your virus protection current and install and maintain a firewall to protect yourself from hackers and other online threats. However, while these precautions will certainly help you avoid problems, they CAN’T do anything if you don’t have a good backup and disaster recovery plan in place.

 

Are You A Sitting Duck?

We all know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; yet, disaster recovery planning often takes a distant second to the daily deadlines and pressures of running a business. That means that most businesses, including your own, may end up offline and without important data after a simple lightning storm.

Don’t think that could ever happen to you? Consider this: “data-erasing disasters” can also take the form of office fires and broken water pipes, not just earthquakes, floods and tornadoes. If a fire started in your building, the parts that weren’t burned beyond recovery would probably be destroyed by the firemen’s efforts. But even more common is software corruption, hardware failures and human error!

7 Disaster Recovery Questions You Need To Answer

A disaster recovery plan doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming or expensive. Start by asking yourself the following questions…

  1. Do you back up your company’s data daily to both an onsite and offsite location?
  2. Are you absolutely certain that your backup copy is valid, complete and not corrupt? How do you know for sure?
  3. If disaster strikes, HOW would you get your data back, and how long would it take? In many cases it takes days and often weeks; what would you do during that period of time?
  4. Do you have copies of all the software licenses and discs in a safe location that could be accessed in the event of having to rebuild your server?
  5. Would you and your employees have a way to access your network remotely if you couldn’t get to the office?
  6. Do you store important passwords in a secure place that company officers can access if you are unavailable?
  7. Do you have a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) device in place to keep your network and other critical data operations running during a power outage?

Call 248-620-2201 to schedule your Disaster Recovery Assessment so we can be sure you are ready BEFORE a disaster ever strikes.

October 28th, 2011

Last night I startled out of bed in a cold sweat, heart racing, with fear racing through my mind…and you were the reason for my panic! Was I having a nightmare? Was I just watching too many episodes of “Ghost Hunters?”” Maybe taking the Halloween spirit too far? No – it simply occurred to me that you might not know the importance of having a solid backup and disaster recovery plan in place!

And if your server data was erased, corrupted or destroyed because of a hardware malfunction, system crash, fire, flood or some other random, unforeseen disaster, you might not be able to be back up and running again FAST!

The Thought Of That Happening Scared Me Half To Death!

And quite honestly, it should scare you too! Just imagine what would happen if your server went down and you…

  • Lost all accounting documentation and history…
  • Lost all the work files you’ve spent YEARS developing…
  • Lost the work files and documentation you desperately need to service your customers…
  • Lost all the e-mails you’ve had saved and couldn’t access your inbox…

That’s why I desperately urge you to contact us today to schedule your FREE Data Security and Backup Audit – a $400 value. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Call our office at 248-620-2201 and mention this letter.

Hurry, offer ends November 15, 2011.

October 28th, 2011

With all of the buzz lately about everything being “in the cloud,” you are probably wondering exactly what Cloud Computing is. First, take this easy 30-second quiz to determine if you are currently using Cloud Computing:

Question: Do you use any of the following services in your life?

[ ] Gmail, Hotmail or other online e-mail services
[ ] YouTube, Netflix or other streaming videos/movies
[ ] Constant Contact, aWeber or other e-mail broadcasting services
[ ] SalesForce CRM
[ ] Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media websites
[ ] Just about any other website service that does not require you to install a program on your local computer to run

If you answered YES to any of the above services, then you are already using “Cloud Computing” today. Congratulations!

Basically, the web and cloud computing are to storing and processing data what the electrical grid and electric company are to plugging in your coffee maker: A more convenient, more reliable and less expensive way to access the “computing power” and resources you need to power the tools you use. You plug the coffee maker into the wall and everything just happens in the background to power the machine with electricity for a small fraction of the cost that you’d pay if you tried to generate electricity all on your own.

Just recently, Microsoft released Office 365, which is a cloud computing or SaaS solution. The idea is that instead of a business having to purchase one or more servers, heavy-duty computer workstations, the Windows Operating System software, Microsoft Office and the technical support to install, configure and support a network (which can be very expensive), businesses now have the option of simply paying $6 to $24 per user per month and to access Microsoft Office via the Internet. While this service appears to be cheap, it’s NOT necessarily the best solution for most small businesses. There are elements of this offering that must be considered as well as hidden costs that could ultimately make this cheap offering rather expensive.

If you want to know if cloud computing is right for you, visit our website at www.pcmiracles.com or give us a call at 248-620-2201 during the month of September for a free, no-pressure, no-obligation cloud readiness assessment.