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VG Tuesday Tips: Distance and Disasters: How Far Away Do Your Backups Need to Be?

  Virtual Graffiti

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The recent hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast are our worst nightmares come to life. And we’re on track for a record hurricane season. For most businesses, any kind of disaster can spell trouble. In the case of hurricanes, even if a business doesn’t take a direct hit, it may face costly downtime and recovery. Earthquakes can do the same. Either may take down regional communications completely for some period of time. Either can destroy a business’s own infrastructure, or damage its facilities to the point where it can be difficult to impossible to get onsite, assess damage, and bring systems back online.

Connected Offsite Backups Equals Fast Recovery

If you’re properly protecting your business data, you likely already back up your data to an offsite location. That backup may be in separate room in your building, another building, or another campus. The main reason you want these backups to be relatively close to your primary data is for fast recovery. With a fast wide area network (WAN) connection, bandwidth bottlenecks are a non-issue. So you can get your data back online without waiting for it to download. That isn’t always the case with cloud solutions, where slow data transfers can lengthen downtime beyond what’s acceptable.

That begs the question, just how far apart should backups be kept from your primary storage? And that brings us back to hurricanes, earthquakes, and other large-scale disasters. In any of these cases widespread destruction could mean your offsite data backup isn’t safe if it’s too close. If your company’s entire infrastructure—or worse, the entire regional infrastructure in which you operate—goes down, that offsite backup won’t do you much good.

Large Scale Disasters Demand Distance

Best practices, like the Storage Craft take on the 3-2-1 rule, dictate that you keep a second, offsite backup for fastest recovery. But how far away is far enough? That’s a question only you can answer, and it should be included in your backup and disaster recovery plan. Consider your infrastructure and requirements. If you’re in a hurricane zone, the right distance could be hundreds of miles or more away. What matters in any case is that you have a fast WAN connection.

Use The Cloud To Rise Above Disasters

The cloud is theoretically as far away from your primary data storage as it gets. That’s why it’s your best and last line of defense. And it doesn’t matter where your infrastructure is located if your data is backed up to the cloud. With StorageCraft Cloud Services your data is always safe, encrypted and secure, and 99.99% available with one-click failover from anywhere. So you can always quickly recover—no matter how widespread the destruction may be.

Every business is different, and economics often dictate data protection and backup and disaster recovery strategies. Whether your business is small, growing, or already mature, StorageCraft offers cost-effective solutions that can protect your business no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.