Data Protection Is Truly About Fast, Reliable Recovery: 8 Noble Truths

To help organizations better understand the challenges of backup, disaster recovery and secure access, Acronis has created the "8 Noble Truths" of data protection. To view all 8 Noble Truths, please download the whitepaper. This is the sixth post in an eight-part series to help you protect your data:

If you think about it, data protection is more about recovery than backup. Backup is a means to an end. Regular backups ensure that up-to-date information is available to be recovered when needed so when the inevitable disaster occurs — whether due to hardware failure, a flood or just user error — you can quickly recover critical data and keep the business running. To paraphrase Bill Clinton, "It's the recovery, stupid."

A single hour of downtime can cause significant financial repercussions. According to a recent IDC survey, nearly 80 percent of small and medium businesses (more than 100 employees, but fewer than 1,000) estimate that downtime for critical applications costs at least $20,000 per hour, while 20 percent estimate the same cost to be $100,000 per hour.

Recovery Point Objective vs. Recovery Time Objective

Not all data is created equal, and different types of data result in different costs if they aren't up and running at the same time. Some information types need to be recovered more quickly than others. This is why companies need to determine the recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) for each specific type of data.

  • RPO: How much data a company can afford to lose during the recovery process. It could be one minute, five hours or one day, depending on the industry or business unit.
  • RTO: How long it takes, and how easy it is, to get all data and systems back up and running. One consideration when determining RTO is fine-grained recovery. This tactic saves time, money and resources by allowing IT to recover the missing data piece (e.g., a single email or one user’s email files) without taking the entire company’s Microsoft Exchange service offline.

Fast and Reliable Recovery Always Matters

RPO and RTO times will vary for different systems. Take the payroll system, for example. If data loss occurs, it’s important to get the system running, but recovery could take a couple of days, assuming it’s not payday. Yet most customer-facing companies can't tolerate when their CRM system is down.  IT will need to get it back online ASAP so salespeople can access call histories and close more deals. The RPO and RTO will be much shorter for a crashed CRM system than for a payroll system. 

Single-pass image backup gives IT control to choose the exact application data and other information they'd like to recover instead of recovering the entire disk. Reducing the amount of data and handpicking what's important speeds up the process and gets the most important data recovered first. Then, the rest of the less important data can be recovered with a slower RTO. 

There are other new-generation data technologies that also speed up recovery time. One technology is Acronis Active Restore. This feature brings a system online immediately after the recovery has started. The system boots from the backup, and the machine becomes operational and ready to provide necessary services. The data required to serve incoming requests is recovered according to the highest priority; everything else is recovered in the background. This diminishes downtime and allows employees to continue working with their most critical data.

In the world we live in where data has become the new currency of business, the ability to quickly and safely recover systems, applications, databases and files has never been more important. Your business depends on it.

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