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Category: Business , Continuity & Disaster Recovery , Data Recovery , Data Storage , Small Business , Strategic Planning

SMBs Benefit Most from Hybrid Cloud Solutions

For many Small to Medium Businesses (SMBs), traditional Business Continuity and Backup Solutions may have been sufficient in the past, but no longer provide the necessary assurances. SMBs need to launch an Intelligent Business Continuity and Data Backup plan that fits within their IT budget and takes the risks out of data protection.

SMBs don’t have the same level of IT resources as larger enterprises, and have to run their technology operations with limited staff and budgets. But they still have a critical need to protect these resources and ensure that they can bounce back quickly from an event that interrupts operations even if their local hardware is destroyed.

Think about Superstorm Sandy in 2012, many of the SMBs affected by the storm and its aftermath were caught unprepared for the lengthy power outages and system downtimes. This unfortunately forced many of these businesses to shutter their doors permanently.

Even though this natural disaster demonstrated why it’s so critical for SMBs to have a Business Continuity and a Data Back-up strategy in place, most disasters are caused by human error… computer viruses, server crashes, etc.

So what can SMBs do to prepare for these events and prevent long downtimes?

The answer is in the cloud, but more specifically — it is Hybrid Cloud Services.

These solutions offer an ideal delivery mechanism for Business Continuity and help SMBs ensure that they have the resources in place to keep operations going, and customers satisfied, when the unforeseen happens.

You will need to find a product that provides instant on-site and off-site virtualization, screenshot verification of backups and business continuity from a single management interface that allows for instant on-site and off-site recovery.

  • Instant Virtualization Overview: Improved virtualization technology and the cloud have made remote data backup and recovery more affordable for SMBs. The virtualized servers, or virtual machines (VMs), are basically copies of servers or workstations that run on the hardware of a cloud server, rather than on the hardware of the original production machine. The VM is booted from a production machine’s back-up file that is housed on cloud servers. Once it is booted, every aspect of the VM (including the operating system, applications and files) will run exactly like the original machine did. Even while virtualized, systems will continue a normal back-up schedule to both the appliance and secure cloud. Business Continuity has never been as easy, reliable or affordable.Should a business experience server failure, its systems may be virtualized instantly to the secure cloud, to avoid data loss. With the systems now virtualized in the Cloud, you can run your “business as usual” and have the time and resources to fix the server issue without compromising data or incurring downtime.
  • Hybrid Cloud Overview: This technology improves redundancy and gives SMBs greater protection of their systems and data. It’s a simple concept that leverages the advantages of local backup and the security of the cloud by starting with your workstations and servers, protecting data locally across your network to an appliance. From there, it’s automatically transmitted to the secure cloud. The local appliance can act as a restore hub for everything from files to applications and system failover. It also acts as a staging environment for off-site transfer as scheduling the off-site data transfer can be critical for bandwidth management.
  • Image-Based Backup Overview: With more data being created today than ever, the value of this data increasing and stricter regulations, an Image-Based backup solution is the only true option. With image-based backup, a picture of the workstation or server is taken and stored as a place in time for that machine. This is essential for restoration because rebuilding or virtualizing a machine requires not just files, but also the applications and systems.With true Image-Based backup, you can restore individual files, verify images, boot virtual machines and run remote offices. Full restores are much faster and easier while offering the ability for a bare metal restore (BMR).
  • Screenshot Image Backup and Verification: This technology delivers proof that your backup is successful by taking a “Screenshot“ of each completed boot process. It not only tests the backup integrity, but actually does a mock recovery and spins up a VM of the backup to verify the backup can be booted in a disaster. A screenshot alert can then be sent directly to you, if desired, as well as your solution provider to confirm the backup.

Check out a helpful infographic on these concepts here.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.“
— Benjamin Franklin