Would you Survive a Disaster?

Law firm loses a server and continues to function while a new server is ordered.

We’ve written a lot of articles about disaster recovery and being able to recover from any type of disaster using our Becon Backup™ technology.  Becon Backup™ stands for Business Continuity backup – a system that allows firms to recover files, email, servers or an entire site in the event of a disaster.
Recently, a firm which has two physical servers experienced a full hardware failure.   One of their servers, the one running Hyper V and two virtual servers, failed and was unable to boot.   The hardware appeared to be OK but the software would not allow the server to come back on line.  Since the two servers both contained essential systems, namely their accounting, dictations, and disbursement recovery systems, the firm was crippled without the use of these services.
Ordinarily, this would have meant being without these services for the amount of time it would take to approve the purchase of a new server and facilitate the delivery and install of that server and then the recovery of the data.  Fortunately the firm had chosen to implement our Becon Backup™ technology earlier in the year.

What is Becon Backup™

This is a solution provided by Triella that provides a server on site at the client location running backup software that takes images of all servers several times a day for the purpose of backup.  The images are like a photograph of the server in a moment of time.   Unlike file based backups, all files are in sync to the time of the backup and all settings for all programs are contained within the backup.
Since the backup is a separate appliance with its own computing resources, it does not take overhead from the existing network which allows backups to be conducted as frequently as every 15 minutes for a given server.  In most instances though, we backup servers every 2 hours throughout the day.
When the evening comes, the backup server also moves all backed up data over the Internet to our data centre located at Markham and Finch.  The data centre, a Tier II facility, has the servers and storage to allow for a full system recovery in the event of a disaster.
Recovery can include individual files, folders, servers, email mailboxes or email messages.  It can support less than 1TB right up to 36TB of data.  An initial backup is done to a seed hard drive and then all other backups are incremental and transferred over the Internet fully encrypted to our data centre.

Back to our Client!

Because of the Becon Backup™ technology in place at the client, we were able to move the two virtual servers over to the backup device and have the firm fully operational within 4 hours of the disaster.
The virtual servers from Hyper V could run on the backup device which uses VMware without issue.   Due to the backup frequency, very little data was actually lost.   The firm was able to operate in disaster recovery mode for about a month until such time as the new server was configured and installed on site.  They lost no business and all employees were able to work without any lost time due to the unavailability of services.
During the disaster, and even though the servers were running on the backup appliance, backups continued to take place for those servers.  That just makes sense since it is possible to have another disaster while you are in the midst of a disaster and the firm wants to be protected from that also.
What makes this story even more amazing is that they are located more than 2 provinces away and all of this work could be conducted remotely without the need for hands on at the firm.
If you want to protect your firm at all times, not have to switch out obsolete tapes and have a fully functional disaster recovery system without the need for all the planning, please give us a call at 647.426.1004 x 222.   We can help.  It works.
Charles Bennett is the Principal Consultant at Triella, a technology consulting company specializing in providing technology assessments, consulting, maintenance services and CIO-related services to small and medium sized firms. Charles can be reached at 647.426.1004. For additional articles, please visit https://triella.com/publications.html. Triella is a Citrix Partner, VMware Partner, Microsoft Small Business Specialist, Microsoft Silver Partner, Dell Preferred Partner, BlackBerry Alliance Partner and Authorized Worldox Reseller.
© 2016 by Triella Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction with credit is permitted.

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