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Does your business have a continuity plan in case of a disaster?

This is a central and critical question in the fourth industrial revolution economy where data is the gold. In a data driven business a lapse or loss could mean massive dip in revenues, thus it should be jealously safe guarded. This begs the question of business can ensure business in case of disasters like hurricanes, fires and systems failures.

Backup and recovery is the process of creating and storing copies of data that can be used to protect organizations against data loss. Recovery from a backup typically involves restoring the data to the original location, or to an alternate location where it can be used in place of the lost or damaged data.

First things first, the initial task is to understand, define, and manage what data to back up and protect. To reduce the risk of data loss, you want to back up files and databases, but you also want to back up your operating systems, applications, and configuration, everything you can.

Once you decide on the scope of your backups, the next important decision is how often you need to back up and define a backup schedule. Your colleagues are constantly changing data, and in the event of a disaster, all the data created from the latest backup to the moment of failure will be lost. This period is called the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) , the maximum period that you are willing to lose data on your systems because of an event.

A shorter RPO means losing less data, but it requires more backups, more storage capacity, and more computing and network resources for backup to run. A longer RPO is more affordable, but it means losing more data.

Many small and medium-sized companies usually define an RPO of 24 hours, which means you need to back up daily. With modern backup solutions, you can implement RPOs as short as a few minutes. You can also have tiered RPOs, shorter RPOs for critical systems, and longer RPOs for secondary systems.


Another important variable is recovery time objective (RTO), how fast you can recover from the moment of a disaster to the moment you return to normal operations. When systems are down, your company loses money and you need to recover fast to minimize losses. However, as with RPO, a shorter RTO requires faster storage, networks, and technologies – so it is more expensive. For many companies, an RTO of few hours is the norm.

Data Backup Solutions

There are multiple types of backup solutions and tools available on the market that deliver different RPOs, RTOs, and handle different scopes the most popular ones include; Hardware appliances, Software Solutions,  Cloud Services and Hybrid Data Backup Solutions. 

Your company’s survival depends on the survival of your company data. To implement a reliable data backup strategy, define your business objectives — the backup scope, RPOs, and RTOs; implement proper solutions; provision the storage or combination of multiple storages; and execute and monitor the backups.

By Murithi Magiri


The writer is a Lead IT consultant at Magtech Solutions

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