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When was the last time you seriously thought about your business’s disaster recovery plan? If you’re like most small businesses you’ve thought about it briefly and then put it aside as something that is not pressing and can be dealt with another day, when your to-do list is shorter or you have more time. According to a Forrester Research Study 24% of companies polled had experienced a full data disaster and with less than 40% of all small to medium-sized businesses properly and regularly backing up their data, many are unable to recover. Now is the time to put in place a backup and disaster recovery planbefore your company experiences an unexpected disaster and becomes one of the 70% of businessesthat goes out of business within two years of suffering a serious data loss.

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is believing that a disaster will never happen to them. For many people the word disaster is associated with big weather events like hurricanes or earthquakes and the ensuing damage from flooding and fires but disasters are day-to-day occurrences. When it comes to technology many of us have done something that could endanger our data to the point of no return, whether it’s accidently downloading a virus from an untrusted email attachment or deleting something by mistake, and it’s important to plan for the human error we all are susceptible to. Your data is the backbone of your company and keeping it safe from all potential negative forces is key.

At Databranch, we promote implementing an intelligent business continuity solution and our preferred solution is Datto. Having an intelligent business continuity solution not only ensures the backup of your data but provides a speedy recovery leaving your business with very little downtime. You may be thinking, “It’s OK, we’re a small business, not a multi-million dollar company, we can afford to be down for a few days” but according to the National Archives and Records Administration, 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more file for bankruptcy within the year. It’s time to consider the actual cost of downtime for your company including how much it would cost to pay employees that aren’t able to work and what it would cost to lose a customer because you couldn’t provide service to them in a timely manner. (If you would like to see your recovery time and downtime costs try this calculator (http://www.databranch.com/managed-services/data-disaster-recovery/rto-calculator).

We know it can be hard to change from something that has been working for you and that you are familiar with, but the reality is traditional backup solutions like tape and disk are no longer sufficient. With traditional solutions it can take weeks to recover your data, there is high risk for human error in creating the backup, it’s difficult to test if your backup is working properly, and when recovering data, tape failure rates exceed 50%. This does not mean we are suggesting you eliminate local storage and put all of your data in the cloud. Instead, we recommend a hybrid cloud solution to all of our customers through Datto.

Having a hybrid cloud solution gives your business the best of both worlds. You can perform easy local restores from your on-site Datto device but also have the reassurance that if something happens to your local device your data is safely located off-site in the cloud, in two separate bi-coastal data centers. This means that once set-up you will have three distinct copies of each file automatically backed up, eliminating the possibility for human error. At Databranch, we can monitor your backups, verify a successful completion, and take action if a backup doesn’t complete successfully. You no longer have to worry if your data is being backed up correctly and can have the peace of mind that if a disaster strikes, you won’t find out that an important file has been corrupted or backups haven’t taken place for months; both problems that often occur with traditional backup. By implementing a Datto business continuity solution your downtime is drastically reduced and with the virtualization capabilities of the SIRIS device, you can turn your device into a virtual server, keeping your business running while potential problems like server failure are being addressed.

In today’s day and age it’s essentially impossible to be without access to your business data. Technology is critical to everyday business practices and having a backup and recovery system you can count on is imperative. The time to develop an intelligent backup continuity system is now, not next week, not when your schedule calms down, but today. As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

Databranch can help provide a solution for your company’s business continuity and disaster recovery needs. If you would like to learn more, please call us today to speak with an Account Manager, or visitwww.databranch.com/Data-Disaster-Recovery

 
 
 

Cloud computing can not only help reduce upfront computing costs, it can also help your business become more efficient.

Small-business owners often have big dreams. Whether that dream is to keep your business small or to grow it into a big business, you want your business to run as smoothly as possible—every step of the way. You might start your business as a sole proprietor with just a laptop and a few software programs. As your business grows and adds employees, you have to start thinking about security, backups, remote access, and coordination of effort.

One of the reasons small businesses switch to cloud-based software is to reap the benefits of big-business infrastructure, without having to implement and manage it directly. Until recently, your software and servers almost always resided in your office, where they would be administered by you or your IT staff. This type of deployment is referred to as “on premises.” In the last several years, “cloud based” software has become more popular.

Cloud-based software (also called cloud computing) enables companies to access software and servers located in a secure data center, maintained by the software provider. These services are delivered in real time over the Internet.

Your Microsoft Hotmail account is an example of cloud-based email. Business users might be familiar with Microsoft Office 365, which offers a subscription-based suite of Microsoft-hosted, online applications that includes Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online. Office 365 also includes the familiar Office applications: Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, and Publisher.

Small businesses are finding the many attributes of cloud computing very attractive. Here are seven reasons why:

  1. Cloud computing can improve employee productivity. Using tools like Exchange Online and SharePoint Online, employees can easily access documents and emails while away from the office. Many small businesses have employees working remotely, who need both mobility and flexibility. Cloud computing is a straightforward and affordable way of addressing those needs, especially when you are using intuitive, familiar software that your employees already know.
  2. Cloud computing helps reduce upfront costs. Choosing a cloud-based solution for such things as email, document sharing, and web conferencing reduces the upfront cost associated with starting a business. There are no servers to buy. The cloud–based subscription model allows small businesses to easily increase or decrease their use of cloud services according to their needs.
  3. Cloud computing boosts collaboration. Employees everywhere can access and work with the same files in real time—no more emails back and forth with attachments to open. Better collaboration improves productivity and creativity.
  4. Cloud computing provides business resiliency. Numerous studies have shown that more than 50 percent of small businesses will go out of business within a year after a major data loss. In a cloud environment, if you lose your laptop—or worse, your whole office—you can get back to business in no time. All your business information and files are securely in place.
  5. Cloud computing is easy. The transfer of business information into the cloud is very straightforward—no need to install new hardware or software, no IT administration. It is often seamless to the user. Saving a document to a Microsoft OneDrive Pro follows the same process as saving it to a hard drive. No training is required.
  6. Cloud computing is accessible. Offering easy access and file sharing from any Internet connection, cloud computing allows employee access via smartphone or computer.
  7. Cloud computing can be more secure than a traditional IT infrastructure. Cloud- computing providers like Microsoft build multiple levels of security and redundancy into their data centers.

The great thing about cloud computing is that it’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. Even if you already have servers and an IT staff, you can pick just one application that you think would be better served in the cloud. Considering cloud computing? Click here to reach out to Databranch or call our office at 716-373-4467!

Courtesy of Microsoft Community Connections

With spring fast approaching and the Windows Server 2003 end of support date right around the corner, many organizations have been looking to refresh their hardware and spruce up their network. We recommend looking at your often neglected UPS devices as potential opportunities to upgrade your technology infrastructure and APC has a great program that allows you to trade in your old devices for up to a 25% discount on new devices.

You may be wondering, “What is a UPS?” and “How does it benefit my network?” A UPS or uninterruptable power supply is a battery backup that plugs into your network devices like your servers and provides power long enough to smoothly shut-down any equipment during a power failure. When equipment is not shut-down properly, you leave your organization open to hardware failure, data loss, and costly downtime.

We have had many clients experience power emergencies this winter who were saved because they had UPS devices in place. The APC Trade-UPS program is a great opportunity for clients to upgrade their devices at a discounted rate. If you decide to participate in the program, the device you upgrade to can be up to four times the VA rating of the device you are trading in and it must be of at least equal size to your old device. Once the new device has been purchased, you have thirty days to return your old device to APC. If you can’t remember the last time you purchased a UPS or you know it’s been five years or more, reach out to a Databranch Account Manager to see if you can take advantage of this program today!

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