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Comparing Backup and Disaster Recovery Systems

Comparing a backup and disaster recovery system with a standard backup system? Simple questions to help you decide.

There are a lot of different system features to assess and compare when considering a backup and disaster recovery (BDR).  But the first and most important question really has nothing to do with the system and has everything to do with your business: How critical is your data to the day-to-day running of your company?

There are underlying questions that can help you get to the answer:

  1. How many hours (or days) can you be without access to your data?  This answer should be a number that encompasses the role of your data in product/service delivery; the ability to keep production lines fed with components and the reliance of your service delivery workflows on stored, historical customer information.  Departments and groups from throughout the company that are dependent on the data should provide their input.
  2. How important is complete data recovery? This answer should address the impact of data loss (or partial data recovery) resulting from physical damage to the backup media during the failure event.  As above, ask the departments and
    groups how their work would be impacted.

Once you understand the criticality issue, the next set of questions revolve around direct costs.

  1. What is the opportunity cost of lost sales, sales not closed, and sales opportunities missed during the timeframe determined above?
  2. What are the costs associated with checking the integrity of any physical backup media?
  3. What are the costs associated with maintaining the BDR or backup system?
  4. What are the costs associated with the complete testing process for the BDR or backup systems?

Only after developing a total cost perspective should begin to factor in the purchase and managed services costs associated with each type of system.  You’ll find the performance characteristics of the two systems are very different, and have a strong influence upon the costs to your business.  We find that BDR systems almost always are a better solution for businesses with a moderate to strong reliance upon their data.  But plug in your own numbers.

If you would like assistance in making this assessment for your business, please give us a call.

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