How to Maintain Business Continuity During Disasters

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How to Maintain Business Continuity During Disasters

From natural disasters to human error, businesses' data is at risk every day. That's why it's important to create and maintain a proper business continuity plan.

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Learn About Your Threat Landscape

Hurricanes, ransomware viruses and lightning storms are only some of many real threats for which all businesses should proactively prepare. Your IT department needs a full understanding of all of the threats likely to hit your data centers to help prepare for the worst. This can be done by assessing risks based on the location and accessibility of your data centers, as well as any malicious attacks that could occur.

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Establish Goals for Recovery

While some companies assume they are protected in the wake of a disaster if they keep an extra copy of their data, many learn the hard way that their backup stopped functioning during a disaster or their data is inaccessible afterward. You may want to define the criteria for your recovery time objective (RTO), or how long your business can stand without access to your data, and your recovery point objective (RPO), which is the maximum age of data that will still be useful to back up. When establishing goals for seamless business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR), make sure you cover all your bases.

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Determine What Kind of Support You Need to Achieve These Goals

Employees can cost you thousands of dollars in downtime by losing critical data at the press of a few buttons, whether they do so intentionally or not. Determine the most appropriate recovery procedure for your business, whether that's a file restore solution, local virtualization, off-site virtualization or partnering with a cloud provider for backup.

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Don't Ignore the Benefits of Cloud Economics

If you don't want to build out a separate physical data protection site, then consider partnering with a cloud provider who can offer the best support possible for your IT department's business continuity and disaster recovery strategy, given their geographical location, performance capabilities and support offerings. Some look to focus on backup and data protection by offering a purpose-built cloud. This is something to consider should these be among your goals for recovery.

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Create the Best Approach to Secure Apps

It's likely that most of your business data lives in a mix of hardware, software and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. Using apps like Salesforce might seem effortless, but they actually pose huge risks for your data. Reducing the risk of data loss by ensuring your apps are protected is essential, especially if another disastrous winter or hurricane season occurs this year.

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Make Consistent Improvements on Your BCDR Strategy Through Testing

Yes, it is true that combating data loss and downtime is easier with a comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery strategy. However, a constant improvement process and testing for these plans will only further ensure business continuity during disasters, minimizing revenue loss in the long term. During the planning stages, and even during a disaster, you should frequently assess and test your strategy.

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11 Things IT Managers Considering Hadoop Deployment Should Know

Apache's Hadoop batch analytics software platform isn't new—it's been used in IT production for the better part of the last decade. But the business world often is intentionally slow and careful about moving to new IT tools and services. However, businesses increasingly are discovering the value of Hadoop in putting to good use all of the diverse business data (from customers, partners, contractors, social networks, employees and so on) that gets stored up and often sits latent. Hadoop is at the center of the big data movement and provides a general-purpose data management platform for a variety of workloads, including data storage, integration from multiple sources, database operations, analytics, search and real-time stream processing. It uses multiple computing nodes to capture valuable insight from big data sets in order to facilitate analytics and impact business as it happens. But how...
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