10-07-14 | Blog Post

7 questions to keep your offsite backup and recovery out of the outhouse

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For many in the Midwest, fall is hunting season, and it wouldn’t be official without an outhouse reference. “Bear” with me; many companies are choosing the outhouse option needlessly as a regular course of their offsite backup and recovery planning.

As everyone plans and budgets for next year, many organizations are re-evaluating if their resources are best spent on managing offsite backup and recovery in-house, or if using a third party can effectively allow them to concentrate resources closer to their core competency and customers.

For some businesses, the cost of buying, building, or leasing  a secondary physical location is an automatic “no”. Others are already maintaining second sites, but may want to focus IT resources on more profitable areas of the business. In these cases, finding an outsourced provider to absorb the operational costs and burden of the complexities can make sense, despite the fact that finding a responsive partner for your offsite backup and recovery can be an elusive search.

As a litmus test for potential backup and recovery partners, ask yourself:

“Will I sleep better knowing my data is protected with [vendor X]?”

If the answer is yes, then you have probably found a good offsite backup and recovery partner. Congratulations, you’re sleeping better than most of your IT peers.

If the answer is no, don’t wait to continue the search until a disaster strikes unless your business can afford a major scramble.

If your business is like many businesses, this might be where you either:

  • flush the whole conversation until next year’s budget, or
  • leave it in a remote, dark place and hope it doesn’t raise a stink later.

In other words, because of budget or other resource constraints, the outhouse is the preferred choice.

Before you resort to hunting camp behavior, let me encourage you to continue the search. The trail might be faint, but the reward is worth your persistence.

Here are some additional questions to get your hunt for an offsite backup and recovery solutions back on track. If you can’t afford to put together and maintain a robust offsite backup and recovery solution in-house, try asking these questions to potential third party backup and recovery providers for the most painless solution that will help you rest at ease:

  1. Do they use their own offsite backup and recovery solution?
  2. When was the last time they tested recovery of their own critical systems?
  3. What is the failure rate of daily backups?
  4. Do they offer file-level restoration, or only a full-server snapshot?
  5. Do they leverage deduplication to optimize backup windows?
  6. If your data is regulated by HIPAA, PCI, SOC 2 or similar, do they maintain their own independent, annual audits?

Bonus points: Will they share a copy of the audit report with you as a client to reduce the burden of your audit process?

Undoubtedly, trying to find the perfect partner for your offsite backup and recovery can feel like chasing that mythical 12-point swamp buck. Don’t let that stop you from exploring all the options.


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