The current disturbing evidence of social disorder throughout the UK has created a challenge for VARs.
They must be able to provide their customers with urgent advice on business continuity and disaster recovery (DR) solutions that can help in the event of prolonged loss of office and business facilities.
The crucial elements of a reliable business continuity solution are the efficient backup and recovery of business data – and the storage of that data in a remote secure datacentre, where the customer can be reassured that it can be recovered quickly enough to ensure they can continue to function.
When advising customers, VARs should stress that frequent and automated off-site data storage is an imperative, not an option. The notion of keeping backup tapes in a fire safe is outdated.
We already work in partnership with VARs that cannot afford the high costs of building secure datacentres with adequate bandwidth, or that do not have the necessary skills to set up a reliable backup and remote recovery process.
We advise them on how to scope the requirement, assess bandwidth requirements and design simple, efficient architectures that use some of the existing infrastructure. But most importantly, they must be able to provide an immediacy of response, providing new and ready-configured hardware, complete with all customer data, to a new location in the event of a disaster.
Customers who cannot afford the time to look for an alternative office location can use services providers with large networks of business recovery centres. These should have offices fully equipped with desks, phones, computers and supporting services, and be able to provide them at a moment's notice.
For larger customers with high availability requirements, offerings may be centred around virtualised backup clone servers that are able to deliver one-click failover to remote datacentres.
This will ensure that the customer's business is fully operational within minutes of losing its primary servers.
Gurdip Sohal is managing director of Covenco.
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