Disaster Recovery

Can Your Unified Communications Equipment Recover from a Disaster?

Disaster preparedness and Disaster Recovery (DR) has been a hot topic as of late with good reasons: superstorm Sandy, wild fires, floods, riots, and tornadoes; all events that changed lives and businesses forever. Disasters seem a certainty, but with unpredictability, these types of events often provide little to no time to prepare once they are upon you.

Disaster Recovery by definition is about recovering from a disaster. This means that some event happened and now your business cannot function normally and must recover some part or process of the business. Typically this will mean loss of revenue or production during the recovery period.

Backup, Failover, and Redundancy

Here are three terms that are commonly misunderstood or misused when reviewing DR solutions.

Backup - time to restore: days to weeks - Files and systems can all be backed up. This is the process of moving copies or snapshots of files, systems, or programs from one physical location to another. This is the most common and basic form of DR preparedness and generally takes the longest to reinstate the business back to normal operating procedures after a disaster. Backups can be stored on physical media like DVD, tape, SD or flash cards, or in cloud type environments. Normal operation has to be restored typically before backups can be restored.

Failover - time to restore: hours to days - This is the process of having systems in place to be utilized in the event of an emergency. Generally there is some process that must be initiated to move from the standard environment to the failover environment, but it is becoming more common to see automatic failover systems. Generally these environments are best utilized if they are independant of the primary system locations and do not require normal operation to be restored.

Redundancy - time to restore: minutes to hours - Think two or more. This is the process of having additional equipment on standby or in active operation that in a moment's notice can carry the capacity of normal operations. With the integration of the cloud this provides the quickest way to keep a business in communication and hopefully operation with the rest of the world.

Each of these processes has its own place in a business Disaster Recovery solution. Hopefully all processes have backups in place, but figuring out which aspects of your business need failover versus redundancy, and balancing that with cost, can be challenging. As a process or information data point becomes more important, the type of failover or redundancy used to protect it becomes more easily cost justified.

To find out how TelWare can help you protect your business with Disaster Recovery solutions, contact us at 800-637-3148 or sales@telware.com. Telware is a national leader in voice, data, video, and unified solutions.

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