Hurricane Season is coming! Were You Down During Harvey?
We here in Houston dealt with 2 devastating storms last year that produced 36″ of rain last Spring and 54″ of rain last Summer. These storms affected 80% of the residences and businesses in Houston and the surrounding areas. Many I know are still dealing with having repairs from Harvey completed. Are you ready for another active hurricane season? Was your business down for any amount of time because of the storms? Would you like to be able to get business calls regardless of whether you have power or connectivity at your office locations? Would you like to know how to stormproof your business from down-time?
I have been discussing these very topic with potential clients right now and I really would like to share some information that will stormproof your business from any kind of natural disaster or environmental conditions that affect your physical offices. If you value your data and customers, you need to read to read the rest of this blog.
- Problem – Traditional Business Phone Service: If you have regular POTS lines, a T1 PRI, or VOID service to physical phone system sitting in your office, you are ripe for disaster. Any power or connectivity issue will affect your ability to communicate with the clients. The best solution to make sure your phones/fax are always on-line is to use a cloud-based phone service.
Solution: Company’s like RingCentral provide cloud-based VOIP phone/fax/conferencing services that require no investment in a physical phone system controller on-site. Your phone system controller is located in 17 redundant data centers internationally with guaranteed 99.9% uptime. It utilizes mobile networks as part of the overall phone system so you can answer your calls no matter where you are and how your connected to the Internet. For instance, We have used RingCentral internally here for years. My extension is setup to forward to my cell phone after so many rings, or I can use the soft phone client on my phone or tablet to make and take calls as if I were there. We did not miss a single call or fax through either storm. Did you?
- Problem – On-site Server(s): I’m sure like most businesses, you might have a server or two in your office. A NAS, or shared drive on a single computer for smaller businesses. You may have a backup drive that is plugged in for daily backups. But still right there next to your server or system. My point is, in the event of fire, lightning, flood or anything that affects the physical office; your backup is affected as well.Solution: Quasar Cloud 360 fixes this problem. So there are two faults with the above setup that can be cured with one solution: Move your desktop/server environment to the cloud and remove all the risk. This is easier than you think! If you are paying an on-site IT person or outsourcing to an managed service IT company for support, I guarantee I can put your environment in the cloud and save you money doing it. I’m talking about having your desktops available from anywhere you can connect to the internet and on practically any device. Backup and Disaster Recovery built-in to the solution to guarantee you up-time of 99.99% during any conditions.
- Problem – Backups and Disaster Recovery – Let’s say you feel your good with your current situation; leaving everything on-site. Not recommended, but you just want to keep it the way it is. You need to at least have an off-site back system that can not only provide file level restoration, but be able to virtualize or spin up a full copy of your server at a remote site for you to access when your office site is affected or off-line. Most services only account for file restoration at a very minimal level not full server backups. This is the difference between backup services and true Disaster Recovery.Solution: Quasar Continuity/SafeGuard 360 – Both of these solutions provide a piece of mind n other service can. Quasar Continuity is built-in to all our Cloud solution at Quasar and provides hourly snapshots of all servers/desktops which are then sent to our data center in Dallas for disaster recovery. We can also do SAN to SAN replication* to our data center from your SAN for instant disaster recovery. SafeGuard 360 is for smaller environments and can provide full off-site backup and disaster recovery. All our solutions are HIPPA and PCI compliant.
- Problem – The Human Factor: If you rely on a person carrying out any part of you backup or disaster recovery plan, there is one thing you can count on; the human factor causing the plan to fail. This is not meant to be mean, just realistic. Any IT analyst can tell you, the more you have to depend on a person to carry out a manual task for a critical function, it is doomed to fail. Most businesses don’t discover a failure in their backup systems until there is a failure in a critical system.Solution: Remove the human factor as mush as possible. The best way to reduce the risk of failure is to automate these tasks with notifications of events. Automate backup checking for verification the backup is good and can be used to restore data when needed. When failures in backups occur, techs are notified to review and fix issues. This method greatly reduces rick of data loss and maximizes dependability of your backup systems.
When I write these blogs, I have two purposes; the first is to educate those business owners and/or managers who are struggling with implementing IT practices and methods that work. Secondly, to provide a sound affordable solution to these issues that provides exactly what is needed at a fixed price small business owners can manage.
If you are outsourcing your IT or have a IT person on-staff that is not accomplishing what we discussed here then contact me and I’ll show you a way to save money, get exceptional 24/7/365 IT support, and protect your business with sound and proven disaster recovery. Remember to ask yourself; Was I down during or after Hurricane Harvey? Our clients were up and had no lost on use or data!