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Does Your Company Have A Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan?

Posted on 9.29.2016

:: By Jamie Madison, Steadfast ::

For some people, running a startup is the most thrilling and fulfilling thing they’ll ever do.

Creating a valuable product is very satisfying. However, startup founders are also under a lot of pressure. They’re responsible for creating the product, marketing it, and making sure the business survives against incredible odds.

Most of an entrepreneur's time and effort are focused on the exciting adventure of product creation, and they often don’t have time for the boring stuff. Disaster recovery planning is often neglected in the early days of a startup when the prime concern is keeping servers up and developing features. But it’s the boring stuff that will keep a business alive when something goes wrong. 

Can you imagine the following scenario: your company has created a minimal viable product with a small but growing user base. Venture capitalists (VCs) are showing interest. And then, one morning, you get a call to inform you that no one can access the data on the company’s servers or desktop computers. A criminal has found their way into the network and planted ransomware. The company’s data has been encrypted, and the only way to decrypt it is to pay up. 

Of course, the problem doesn’t have to be the result of an action by a criminal. A simple command line mistake or misguided SQL query can theoretically wipe out gigabytes of data in seconds. 

The solution is to think about the boring stuff right at the beginning. You might be reluctant to invest the time in business continuity planning, but you’ll be glad you did if disaster strikes. 

A business continuity plan is made up of many different components, but one of the most important is backups. For web startups, their data and their code are their business. If that’s lost, so is any hope of future success.

Let’s think about the type of backup that a new and rapidly developing business requires. Most technical founders are aware of the need for frequent backups, where frequent can mean monthly or weekly. But, the faster a company is growing, the more frequent backups should be. It would be disheartening in the extreme for a business to lose a week’s worth of work, never mind a month’s. 

The best option is continuous data protection, a form of backup that operates continuously to move data offsite to a secure data center location. CDP backup programs are, after an initial comprehensive backup, capable of incrementally sending changes to an external backup location. 

Implementing continuous data protection as part of your company’s business continuity and disaster recovery planning might not seem like the most interesting way a startup founder can spend their time, but sometimes boring is best. 

Jamie Madison is the marketing director at Steadfast, a leading IT Data Center Service company. Steadfast specializes in highly flexible cloud environments, robust dedicated and colocation hosting, and disaster recovery.

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