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Weathering the Storm: Best Practices to Achieve Business Continuity

Best Practices

… pre-emptively move their data to another location that isn’t at risk so they can fully avoid the physical disaster and its potential financial ramifications. Essentially, businesses will be able to proactively and seamlessly migrate workloads around potential threats, rather than reacting to disasters after-the-fact.

MSPs that offer data protection services should consider seeking vendors who are preparing for the future of BCDR with new technologies such as these. Not only will these services help them better prepare for impending natural disasters, but there’s also the potential for it to be used to schedule backups in a way that prevents system slowdowns, predicts storage consumption and determines which data is most critical to the business based on how often it is accessed by employees.

Routine Testing Is Key

The final thing for MSPs to remember is that once they have provided a solid plan that clearly states the type of recovery or continuity they will provide the customer, they should routinely review the plan with them to determine if it is still adequate or needs to be updated based on changing business needs. For example, a customer might review its systems and determine the need for high availability to protect a specific system or application that is critical to the viability of the organization. Or, they might identify the need to take a more proactive approach and integrate a predictive solution.

Once the proper services are selected to meet customer needs, the plan also needs to be continuously tested as IT environments and business needs evolve over time. If companies fail to routinely test their plans, it leaves them vulnerable to a number of missteps when they need to execute it, increasing their chances for data loss.

MSPs can help their customers prepare for natural disasters by making sure they understand the ins and outs of BCDR planning, the metrics for measuring the success of plans, and how to test plans routinely. Taking these steps can guide customers into choosing the right data protection services to keep their data safe. What’s exciting is that predictive analytics and AI are powerful tools that are transforming IT and computing in general. As the technology matures, it will enable businesses to not only foresee, but forecast, certain events that could cause a disruption. This will have a tremendous effect on keeping company data safe and ensuring business continuity.

Oussama El-Hilali is the vice president of products at Arcserve. He has nearly 25 years of IT and R&D experience in product strategy, acquisition of new technology and development of strategic business partnerships in both Fortune 100 and emerging companies. Prior to joining Arcserve, he held senior executive positions at EMC, Carbonite and Symantec, where he led global engineering organizations and accelerated growth through harnessing innovative ideas, technology, and organic and inorganic product portfolio enhancements. He also is the co-author of “Digital Data Integrity: The Evolution from Passive Protection to Active Management” (Wiley; 2007), which examines data protection and management and highlights the shift from backup and recovery to total data management, and helps guide IT managers on how to plan cost-effective strategies for their data centers. Follow @Arcserve on Twitter and Oussama on LinkedIn.

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