Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

Uh oh, downtime!

Downtime by Quest

The impacts of downtime on a business can be devastating, as this cringe–inducing chart reveals:


Downtime impacts
Downtime impacts by Quest
Source: 3 Steps to IT Resilience, Forrester

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Staying secure in a dangerous age:
How to face down ransomware

Face-down Ransomware by Quest

In my last post, I focused on several key types of cyber threat most likely to challenge your business right now. This time, I’m drilling down — to ransomware and what you can do to protect your enterprise from it.

Why ransomware prevention? Because security experts regard ransomware as today’s most serious cyber threat, having increased 35% in just a year to an average of nearly 1,000 per day in 2015.
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The Recovery Gap – Part 2: A Short List of 5 Best Recovery Practices

360-degree arrow concept

In my last post, I shared some sobering numbers from a recent study by the DRP Council on how well  and not well  organizations recover from disruptions. Many of the problems revealed in the study can, I believe, be attributed to four causes:

  • Inadequate recovery plans that don’t anticipate the types of events that actually occur
  • Insufficient plan documentation and lack of compliance reporting
  • Not nearly enough recovery plan testing
  • Failing the recovery tests that do occur

All of this is eminently understandable  it’s hard to focus budget and time on what we prefer to regard as unlikely possibilities.

So here’s my first recovery best practice: think of your recovery plan as the best way to keep those possibilities unlikely, because when they do happen, they cost plenty. Continue reading

The Recovery Gap – Part 1: Online Presence and Prudent Preparation

Bridging the gap concept

Online presence has never been more important to your business  but behind it lurks immense technical complexity. The sort of complexity that produces things like software, network and power failures, and human error.

So, of course, it’s prudent to prepare ways to recover from such failures, mistakes and vagaries of nature, which is why so many organizations  a majority, according to a recent study by the DRP Council  deploy some sort of secondary recovery site. Though, less than 10% use cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS). Continue reading

8 cloud disaster recovery best practices

Checklist leading to cloud illustration

As the virtues of cloud-based data backup and disaster recovery/business continuity become increasingly apparent, it’s important to remember that moving some or all of your backup and DR functionality to cloud services involves more than a quick signup.

Here are eight cloud disaster recovery best practices that can make the difference between success and failure:
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Cloud Computing best practice: Backup your data!

Diagram drawn on chalkboard showing the connection of Cloud Computing to laptops, tablets, desktops, etc.

If you’ve ever suffered a data loss, you know how critically important data backup and retrieval capabilities are.

I’m here to remind you that this importance does not diminish when your data (or apps) reside in a Cloud. Nor should you simply assume your Cloud provider automatically backs up your data and apps.

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Data backup/recovery best practice #10

This last of my backup/recovery best practices is far from the least of them:

#10 Conduct regular testing and reviews of your data recovery capabilities

Backups can be corrupted (especially if they’re tape-based) and too often backups are performed incorrectly. Key files, directories, or components may have been excluded, especially if your infrastructure has undergone adds or deletes.

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Data backup/recovery best practices #6, #7, #8, and #9

Continuing with my views of backup/recovery best practices, I offer up # 6 through #9:

#6 Back up your data locally as well as remotely.

Data restores usually are faster from a local backup source than a remote one, especially for data that you recover frequently.

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Data backup/recovery best practices #3, #4, and #5

Last time, I described the first two backup/recovery best practices. Here are the next three:

#3 Make sure your backup/recovery strategy adheres to all governance and compliance rules that apply to your organization.

Rules abound about data privacy, security, retention — and vary by industry and region. Look for a reputable advisor who has the experience needed to understand your compliance environment and who successfully completes SAS-70 Type II audits.

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Backup/recovery best practices #1 and #2

As I see it, there are 10 best practices that can make the difference between backups that really do keep you in business and backups that seem to work okay — until you actually try to use them. Here are the first two:

#1 Understand your data so you can decide what needs to be backed up and how often.

Base your decisions on the cost of loss, which you can get a sense of by noting the types of data your business relies on — emails, spreadsheets, databases, line-of-business apps, etc. — and determining the impact of losing that information for good and having to recreate it (if you can). Add in the cost of unhappy customers and potential regulatory/compliance violations — and do the math.

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