The high cost of downtime
Businesses rely on technology to run their day-to-day processes. Think email, Word docs, customer information and ordering systems, inventory, and accounting. Proper data backup and storage is a must. Your organization can lose countless hours and dollars trying to restore compromised or lost data as well as customers who will find somewhere else to go while you are trying to recover from a data disaster.
Estimated hourly cost of downtime in US mid-size businesses:
The best prevention is to start with a data backup and disaster recovery plan. Your data storage considerations need to include security, privacy and compliance requirements, and depending on your industry, you may need e-discovery, legal hold, and data loss prevention to help you meet those requirements. Managing this on your own requires expertise.
For IT pros, the ability to lower recovery time using only in-house IT equipment and staff is a challenge. It can strain even enterprise size budgets. The steep cost of downtime is likely one reason that a third of the respondents to a 2014 IDG Enterprise survey cited business continuity as a driver spurring cloud initiatives in their organization.
Today’s cloud-based backup and recovery solutions have enterprise-class security and privacy controls built in, making them more cost-effective for small and medium businesses. Based on the needs of your company, the cloud can reduce or eliminate the necessity to store data and application backups on disks or tape and then sync and restore them during an outage. Considering cloud-based data backup solutions like Microsoft Azure might be more than just a cost-effective option for helping to protect your business – it can also help you recover more quickly.
Could cloud backup work for you?
Cloud backup and recovery options, such as those running on Microsoft Azure’s cloud computing platform, can help bridge the gap between your budget and your needs. Traditional data backup solutions have evolved to treat the cloud as an endpoint, or static storage destination, similar to disks or tape. While this approach is simple, it is limited and doesn’t take full advantage of the cloud platform. This can cost you more because you’re paying for the wrong type of storage, or storage that you don’t need. Microsoft Azure offers a scalable, tiered data backup storage solution in a pay-as-you-go cloud model – which also helps reduce capital expenditures.
Azure Backup is the Azure-based service you can use to back up, protect, and restore your data in the Microsoft cloud. Azure Backup can partially or fully replace your existing on-premise or off-site data backup solution with a cloud-based solution that is reliable, secure, and cost-competitive. It can be used to protect not only your on-prem workloads, but also any Azure virtual machines.
Four ‘must-haves’ to protect against data downtime
Whenever a business is brought to a halt by a data disaster, the first question is, “When will we be back up and running?” The answer to that question can make or break your business.
Here are four ‘must-haves’ for any cloud backup solution:
1. A minimum of 99% uptime, with a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to back it up.
This helps protect your data from a localized natural disaster or event. Microsoft Azure stores data in a secondary region 250+ miles from your primary region, but within the same geography. If your area is hit with a hurricane, flood or electrical storm, your data would be safe in a datacenter across the country. That also means that your company data is available even during the storm.
3. A threat management plan
Azure offers Microsoft Anti-malware for cloud services and virtual machines. Microsoft also employs intrusion detection, denial-of-service (DDoS) attack prevention, regular penetration testing, and data analytics and machine learning tools to help mitigate threats to the Azure platform.
4. Enterprise security (this is critical)
Whether your data is moving or at rest, it needs protection. For data in transit, Azure uses industry-standard transport protocols between user devices and Microsoft datacenters, and within datacenters themselves. For data at rest, Azure offers a wide range of encryption capabilities up to AES-256, giving you the flexibility to choose the solution that meets your needs.
We’d love to meet with you and discuss your plans for keeping your business running. If you’re ready right now to consider Azure for your data backup strategy, call us or send an email. We’re happy to set up a free consultation to review your plan.
If you’re still evaluating your options, here are some resources on Azure as a backup solution:
Nonprofit Savings: $5,000 in credits towards Azure
Take advantage of this great opportunity and partner with CCB to get started with Azure and its wide range of cloud services.