When a disaster strikes and the production servers go down, the most important device in your server room is actually the clock on the wall.

Every hour of downtime costs your organization money. For enterprises, the downtime can cost more than $1 million per hour, and even for small businesses it could push well beyond $20,000 an hour. Quite literally, in a disaster recovery situation, time is money and every second counts.

Even if you have complete disk-image backups of your entire server, you need to restore the system by moving the data from backup storage to your production hardware. Your server recovery time is proportional to the size of the backup – and it can be hours.

Most computer users understand the value of their personal and family data. Digital photos, videos, scanned financial and legal documents, homework, and email archives have a tremendous emotional and fiscal value. But most people still don’t fully understand the threats against their data from human error, failed hardware, malicious websites, and ransomware.

Seeking to find the best solutions out there, we were curious which tools IT Pros and enthusiasts would recommend for protecting personal data and privacy, and recently published a summary of recommendations in CIO online.

Complicated? Absolutely not. However, before we get to the answer, let me give you a real life example.

Let’s say you want to buy a car. You would think about its use first, right? On weekdays, you need to commute to work. On weekends, you like to venture further, and “get a little mud on your tires” by going off-road.

Would you get yourself a low-riding, road-scratching cruiser? No. It won’t get more than few hundred feet off-road. What about a rugged, pumped-up off-road ATV-like machine? No again. You'll lose more than your patience as it would be very uncomfortable driving back and forth to work. So, buy two vehicles? Well, apart from the costs, you would need double the parking, double the maintenance, essentially double everything.

So, you make the most logical decision and get something that can do both – on-road and off-road.

We are all too familiar with the concept of hidden costs. You work with a supplier and/or vendor, and it looks like their published pricing matches your budget – and everything goes well.

You implement the system, and it works – at first. Then you realize there are limitations, and you have to spend more than you originally budgeted. Your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) has just risen to a very different figure than you expected.

What happened? Well, there were unseen fees, solution shortcomings, charges or the licensing models that you did not take into account. The list goes on.

This is the first in a series of Acronis blogs that will talk about potential hidden costs you need to be aware of when implementing backup solutions.

Your organization is starting a IT Disaster Recovery Planning project, and you have established your planning committee that includes key decision makers from various departments.

But, before any actual IT disaster recovery planning can commence, the committee needs to understand the complete picture when it comes to handling a crisis. This includes everything that could be affected by a disaster, including critical business processes and functions, as well as the probabilities of different type types of disasters and their potential impact to the business.

In short, the committee needs to conduct a risk assessment analysis and audit first, including the following:

Why Do You Really Need Backup?

For you, like for many IT professionals, backup is time-consuming, and very often, simply a boring task. Backup should be simple, right? Take your data and create a copy somewhere else in case you lose the original. Yet, you have to spend time and effort to find the best solution, implement it, manage and monitor it, report to your manager – and do numerous other things with backup storage, hardware and the network – all just to backup.

You think to yourself: “All of this effort just so I can restore a file or a system some day?”

Well, there is more to it than that!

So, why do you really back up?

Backup is About More than Restore

Of course, restore is an essential function of your backup solution – maybe even the cornerstone. But restoring servers, files and workstations is not the end game – not even close.

Ransomware is the latest kind of malware: When a computer is infected via a hacked website or infected attachment, some or all of its data is encrypted and made unavailable — until the victim pays a ransom to the anonymous criminal. In other words, victims’ personal data can be held hostage to a new category of cybercrime.

A recent Tech Crunch article reflects the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) findings that in 2015, the bureau received 2,500+ Ransomware complaints, representing $24 million in losses. These incidents are becoming more prevalent, more public, and hitting both individuals and organizations.

Hello! My name is Gaidar Magdanurov. A few months ago I started as the new General Manager for the Acronis True Image business, and you will be reading more from me here in the future.

Our team is happy to announce the availability of a new update for Acronis True Image 2016 that brings a few new features into the product. The update is available to all Acronis True Image 2016 and Acronis True Image Cloud customers now.

Let me call out a few features that were among the most requested in our User Forums and through feedback forms in the product.

NVMe and eMMC drives support on Windows - Acronis True Image and the bootable media now fully support ultra-fast NVM Express drives, as well as eMMC storage, meaning that we support most of the new devices available on the market.

IT disasters can disrupt you entire business – from manufacturing to procurement, operations, HR, Finance, Customer Support, and IT. To that end, common sense would suggest that the entire business be involved in IT disaster recovery and planning activities – that means every department.

However, some organizations put the brunt of the IT disaster recovery planning on mid-level personnel in the IT department, mistakenly believing that only IT should be involved rather than a broader representation from all areas, and even executives. The result: incomplete and inadequate business continuity plans that do not take into account the needs of the end-to-end business, and cost significantly more when it comes to resources and downtime.

Recently, the head of our Acronis True Image business Gaidar Magdanurov wrote a blog post about meaningful work – why people do what they do and how they can find happiness in authentic work. I’m excited, and yes, happy to be at Acronis. Why? Because providing the best solutions to protect people’s data really does provide value to all of us — individuals, companies, and society. Today, World Backup Day is a great time to reflect on this.

What’s at Stake