By Brian Oppermann, Senior Systems Engineer

Part 1 of a 2-part series

If you’ve ever lost your data at work – whether the loss was caused by simple human error, a virus, a ransomware attack or a natural disaster – you know the sheer panic that you feel in the pit of your stomach the moment you realize it’s gone. The question is, why do people panic? There’s a simple answer to that: Either they didn’t back up, or they aren’t confident their backup worked.

It’s a common fear, and one that has merit. According to a recent survey1, 61 percent of the solution providers polled say critical data their clients lost was completely unrecoverable.  This is in sharp contrast to the 70 percent of client-side IT pros who say it’s not acceptable to lose more than two hours’ worth of data and the 76 percent who think four hours is the maximum amount of time it should take to bring their company’s mission-critical applications back online.

The truth is, many businesses – particularly in the small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) space – are effectively playing Russian roulette with their data, failing to adequately protect it because they are worried about the cost of a data protection solution, the cost of licenses needed to back up virtual machines, the bandwidth needed to perform backups in the cloud, or because they don’t feel their in-house staff has the time or resources to manage it all.  In short, SMBs are budget conscious, and while generally risk-averse, some are taking unnecessary risks with their data because they’ve been burned in previous situations where they felt nickeled-and-dimed to death just to protect themselves from something that might or might not happen.

Many have tried to pull together their own solutions, though this often becomes more of a band-aid than a cure. Some of the most common complaints we hear in these situations are from organizations that have run out of backup space and are being forced to “pick and choose” which data sets to back up. Others say their backups take too long to perform them daily, so they’re only backing up once a week.  Or, even worse, they’ve created a complicated scenario in which some data is backed up every day and other data is backed up at other various intervals, yet none of it has been tested or secured.  If any of this sounds familiar, keep reading, because it doesn’t have to be that way.

The key to success in data protection is to understand what you are trying to protect, what its value is to the organization, and where it can best be stored to ensure it is both protected and available to you when you need it. At SRC Technologies, we recommend having both an on-site and off-site backup – on-site for quick, local recoveries and off-site in the event the organization faces a catastrophe such as a fire, hurricane or even a ransomware attack. Either solution is better than none, but alone they simply aren’t good enough.  If you want to eliminate that gut-wrenching feeling when something goes wrong, you absolutely have to do data protection right, and that means having both on-site and off-site solutions in play.

What it doesn’t mean is that you have to be overcharged or overworked to accomplish this. At SRC, we choose our vendor partners carefully, and for data protection, we’ve chosen Datto. Why? Because they understand all of these problems and have put together a data protection solution that remedies them.  There’s no nickel-and-diming you with a Datto solution; everything – and I mean everything – is included in a single monthly fee.

Plus, Datto has implemented some important features that resolve most SMB objections to implementing a data protection strategy. Included with the device is a monthly service fee that gives you full offsite access for your data. We usually recommend keeping data offsite for just one year to keep costs in check.

Worried about security? Datto encrypts your data at rest, which means it’s safe from bad actors while you’re creating it, when you store it, when you send it to the cloud – and even when you access it. And because Datto encrypts your data at rest, even if someone picked up your entire Datto appliance and ran away with it, they couldn’t access your data without the encryption key.

It also de-duplicates and compresses your data, using “pointers” to avoid continually re-backing up the same data each time, which also saves on storage and bandwidth while allowing you to perform backups at customizable intervals within your defined working hours. If you perform hourly backups between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., for example, you won’t ever experience more than 59 minutes of data loss.

By combining an on-site and off-site data protection and recovery solution, you protect your data against a wide array of potential threats. And if you ever do experience a catastrophic loss in your office – flood, fire, earthquake – the Datto solution from SRC offers “instant virtualization” technology that enables your entire infrastructure to be spun up in under an hour – sometimes in just seconds – on a local device or in the cloud. As a result, we can significantly reduce both your RPO (Recovery Point Objective) and RTO (Recovery Time Objective). That’s called peace of mind.

You can manage the solution yourself in house, or if you’d rather have your IT team focusing on more business-critical tasks, you can take advantage of SRC’s managed backup service and let us do the worrying for you. We’ll perform the tests, we’ll verify your backups are working properly, and we’ll troubleshoot and fix them if they aren’t.

At SRC, when we sell a Datto solution, we sell a three-year service contract.  Most of our customers are mid-size businesses that are on a tight budget, and they need a solution provider partner that is sensitive to that, which is why we recommend a three-year term. The longer the term, the better price reduction you can expect. But the real benefit to a three-year term is in the ability to move what is generally considered a cap-ex cost to an op-ex model.

In Part 2 of this blog, I’ll give you eight important pointers about the kinds of things you need to think through before selecting a backup solution – whether that solution is an SRC/Datto solution or any other kind.  Read Part 2: Eight Data Protection Questions Every SMB Needs to Answer.

Want to learn more? Explore the intricacies of SRC Technologies’ backup and disaster recovery monitoring and management solutions and download a datasheet about our services. You can also learn more about Datto, then read Datto’s Ultimate Disaster Recovery Checklist here. Want a FREE consultation to get you started? Sign up for one here or give us a call at 920-965-8060 to see if a Datto solution from SRC might be right for your organization.

1 Channel Partners 2017 BC/DR Survey: 5 Disaster Disconnects: Survey Shows Partners Must Educate Customers on BC/DR