Quest Cloud Solutions Ltd

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1 Quest Cloud Solutions Ltd White Paper: Protect Your Business with Online Backup The Role of Online Backup in your Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan for your Small to Medium Business By Ryan Hughes Developing IT Services with Cloud Based Technologies Quest Cloud Solutions Ltd, Vision House, Aaron Road Industrial Estate, Whittlesey, Peterborough, PE7 2EX

2 Contents Abstract... 2 The Problem... 2 The Inconvenient Truth about Traditional Data Backups... 2 Types of Data Loss... 3 Common Backup Scenario... 3 Other Considerations... 3 Disaster Recovery... 3 Basic Solution... 4 Online Backup or Online Storage?... 4 Our Solution... 5 Security... 5 questbackup as part of your Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan... 5 About Quest Cloud Solutions... 6 Quest s Cloud Platform... 6 The Data Centre... 7 Key Data Centre Facts:... 7 Network Infrastructure:... 7 Security... 7 Conclusion... 8

3 Abstract The following document will aim to outline the common issues that all businesses, small and large, face when deciding upon, implementing and undertaking a backup and disaster recovery plan. It will address individual issues and their potential consequences, as well as our proposed solution. Any evidence or statistics about data backup used here are from a study conducted and published by Rubicon a copy can be found at An overview; - Most businesses either don t back up at all, or backup so infrequently or so badly that they may as well not be backing up; almost all businesses have a flaw in their backup strategy - Online backup from a reputable provider can ensure that a business backs up its data, fully automating the process and ensuring that it is stored in an ultra-secure datacentre; this white paper aims to explain how and why. The Problem There are two types of hard drives those that have failed and those that will fail. This is the reality in today's world of inexpensive consumer drives, and the chances of failure are too high to ignore. Therefore data backup and a disaster recovery plan to make use of it is something that all businesses, regardless of size, should be utilising. However there is ample evidence to show that most businesses don t have a backup strategy, let alone a disaster recovery plan, in place, and those that do rarely test it to make sure it is working; after all, what good is regular backup if it doesn t work when it s needed? So the problem that almost all businesses face is that backup is an essential job that no-one wants to be responsible for and is far from glamorous, and that almost all common forms of backup (i.e. tape machines, Network Attached Storage (NAS) backup, external hard drives, etc.) suffer from some major pitfalls, either in their reliability or their ability to be used in a disaster recovery scenario. The Inconvenient Truth about Traditional Data Backups Manually performing a regular backup routine is hardly a glamorous task and will often get put off in favour of more interesting, or seemingly more important tasks; this is even more relevant in small to medium businesses where staff time is at a premium. Traditional data backup, i.e. using tape drives, generally requires an individual employee being responsible for administering the backup solution, including swapping out the tapes every day, making sure the backups have completed and are error free, and possibly arranging for them to be shipped off-site, although this is very rare.

4 Types of Data Loss You may feel that the odds of your hard drive failing are slim; however data loss doesn t have to mean a complete hard drive failure. Have you considered what would happen in the event of; Human error resulting in corrupted data and backups Viruses corrupting your data and your backups Malicious damage by employees or external staff (i.e. cleaners, visitors etc.) Fires, floods, power failures/surges, and natural disasters If data backups are stored in the same area as the original data, then the backups are susceptible to the same dangers as the original data; i.e. if the buildings burns down or floods, you ll lose all copies of your data. According to the Rubicon study, about half of Small to Medium Businesses have lost data, often permanently, and about a third of companies have lost sales as a result of data loss. Common Backup Scenario Typically, the companies that do perform a regular backup routine utilise some form of tape backup, and if they are particularly careful, they then ship the tapes off-site to a secure location. However research shows that even the companies that do regularly backup do so less than once a week and rarely test the backups to make sure they re working. Other Considerations There are some additional considerations you may need to make with regards to your backup process. Legislation certain industries have legislation which requires businesses to retain data and records for a number of years and to have backup procedures in place to ensure the data and records can t be lost. Audits certain industries (i.e. financial, legal, etc.) require businesses to keep all s and data for a number of years, for the purposes of auditing. You need to ensure your backup plan takes this into account. Disaster Recovery Even those firms that have a solid backup plan in place rarely have a solid disaster recovery plan in place to utilise the backup plan. What good is a bunch of backup tapes if your tape machine was lost in a fire along with their original data? There is ample evidence to show that businesses that suffer a major data disaster, even those that have a solid backup strategy, will go out of business if they are not back up and running within 10 days. If your PC or Server died, how long would it take for you to purchase a new server, install the Operating System, configure it for all users, then upload the data from the backup media, test it, and make it live? Think of the time and money that scenario would waste. On a more extreme case, what would you do if your office was a total loss, including all PCs, Servers, and your backup machine, and the only thing you had left was your backup tapes? You d have to wait for new offices, all new hardware, and then the time to get it all up and running again.

5 Basic Solution The solution to all of these problems comes in the form of online backup. Online backup (also known as remote backup, hosted backup, and cloud backup) can address each and every one of the issues suffered by other backup mediums, and provide your business with a much more stable, resilient, secure, and redundant backup strategy, as well as being able to provide you with a full disaster recovery solution. Now for the technical part; online backup utilises a cloud platform you ve no doubt heard of the cloud but may not know what it is. When we say the cloud it is worth noting that we are talking about one of many clouds that are available; Quest Cloud Solutions has our own cloud, Microsoft have their own cloud, IBM, Google, Amazon etc. all have their own clouds. The cloud is effectively many racks of enterprise-level physical Servers (the computer boxes sitting in your Comms room) and Storage Area Networks (SANs) (multiple hard drives networked together), located and housed in ultra-secure datacentres (large protected buildings with redundant power supplies, firesuppression systems and 24/7 security). Simply put, they act in the same way as the IT you re used to, but are far more resilient and redundant. Online backup automates the entire backup procedure for you, and therefore eliminates the human intervention aspect (and the dangers that come with it); once you ve set the schedule and selected what you want to backup, and the initial data has been copied to the cloud platform, only the individual file changes that you make on a daily basis will be uploaded. You install the online backup software on your PCs, Laptops, and Servers, select the files and folders you want to backup and how often (once a day is standard usually), and then the daily changes you make to your files and data are uploaded to your cloud providers cloud platform, where your data is stored. As a result of the data being automatically moved off-site every night, it is safe and secure from the usual worries, such as fires, floods, power-surges/failures, and human errors, as well as keeping multiple copies of your data with a large retention period so you can rectify any accidental deletions or modifications of data. Online Backup or Online Storage? Don't confuse online backup with online storage! Many people refer to using DropBox or Google Drive as their backup solution; however these aren't examples of online backup, they are examples of online storage - you have to manually upload new files when you've made changes, and the space is usually limited. Once you've deleted a file from DropBox it is gone forever; not good if you didn't mean to do it! You store the selected files online, but it doesn t reflect the daily changes your business makes. Online backup on the other hand reflects your data every single day, and gives you 30 days retention as standard, so if you accidentally delete or modify some files, you have 30 days to go back and retrieve them.

6 Our Solution Quest Cloud Solutions Ltd provide an online backup service with all of the benefits that online backup brings, but also some additional perks. The service is called questbackup. questbackup works in the same way as most online backup services; you download and install the backup software (a very easy process), select the files and folders you want to backup and how often as well as a few other options, click OK and you re done! You have now set up online backup and protected your business mission-critical data. Where we differ though is in the flexibility we provide; whereas most online backup providers will make you upload ALL of your data to the cloud platform (which could take months if your upload speed isn t brilliant and/or you have many GBs of data), Quest Cloud Solutions Ltd can make arrangements for you to send an encrypted external hard drive to the datacentre (where the cloud platform is stored) and have it directly copied to the cloud platform. This means that only the changes you ve made to the data since creating the initial seed-load on the external hard drive will be uploaded, and then the daily changes after that. Our cloud platform is entirely UK-based, meaning that we can tell you exactly where your data is stored (Maidenhead or Milton Keynes). The data will be replicated across multiple hard drives, across two fire-supressed buildings spread over an acre site for maximum resilience and redundancy. Also, because we are UK-only, we fully comply with UK Data Protection and state in our Terms that you, the client, retain ownership of your data; this is something that many cloud providers can t promise. Security We use 256bit AES Banking-level encryption on all of our cloud services, including questbackup. This means that your data is permanently encrypted from the time it leaves your PC/Laptop/Server, while in transit across the Internet, and while stored in the cloud. This makes it far more secure than traditional on-site tape solutions which often don t provide encryption, but also means that your data backup copies are stored in an ultra-secure datacentre facility, away from employees and visitors. questbackup as part of your Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan Quest Cloud Solutions Ltd also offer additional cloud services, including virtual desktops and virtual private servers. The benefit of this means that your online backup files become your Disaster Recovery Plan; if you suffer a total loss of your office and/or Server infrastructure, we can recreate your IT environment using virtual desktops or virtual private servers, providing your employees with logon details and remote access so that your business can continue working remotely, as if you were all still in the office. Your employees can all go home or to an Internet café, log on from there and continue working. This could be a temporary measure while you source new offices/server hardware, or you could keep it as a permanent measure which would avoid you needing to purchase new hardware.

7 About Quest Cloud Solutions Quest Cloud Solutions Ltd was formed in 2010 as a dedicated Hosted IT and Telecoms company, but actually stems from the expertise and finances at Quest CS, which was formed in 1996 and is a well-respected IT and Telecoms support provider throughout East Anglia, the Midlands, and Manchester. Quest provides traditional and hosted virtual server solutions to companies that are looking for a flexible and resilient IT infrastructure. Aside from our experience in providing Cloud based solutions from our UK datacentres, we have also completed many projects tasked with providing a virtual platform that can provide users with fast access to business information and communication systems. Quest s Cloud Platform Quest provides fully hosted IT networks for businesses throughout the UK. Our datacentre based Cloud services operate within a virtual environment and allow businesses to take advantage of highly resilient network infrastructure that operates on a pay-for-resource basis. Enterprise technology is the key to the resilience of the Quest Cloud infrastructure; we have multiple virtual and physical servers in our secure UK datacentres running the latest technologies. We have formed a partnership with the market leader of UK datacentres Pulsant; their world class facilities ensure the highest level of physical and virtual security (more technical details are listed below in the Key Data Centre Facts section). A Cloud computing platform is effectively created from a range of physical high-end servers which have been virtualised, therefore creating a pool of resources (i.e. Storage, CPU, and RAM) rather than several individual server resources. We then use a virtualisation technology (in our case we use VMware vcloud) to create virtual servers from the resource pool from the physical servers. This essentially means that rather than your IT environment being run from one physical server (like it may do in your office), it is running on several servers in the datacentre; the benefit you obtain is virtual server resilience against physical server failure if one of the physical servers in the datacentre fail, the virtual server will just obtain more resources from another working physical server. To the end user everything looks the same, but behind the scenes the system is constantly working to keep the IT environment working at its full potential.

8 Quest Cloud Solutions Data Centre Our Data Centre partner has a proven track record of providing high quality services to the hosted service industry, with one of the most advanced and redundant network infrastructure available in the UK. Our partners data centres have been built from the ground up with only two aims in mind: over engineering and robustness. We believe that solid investment in the best infrastructure will allow us and our customer s continuous growth. We understand how critical it is for our equipment to be on-line and accessible 24x7. Engineers are trained in our dedicated training facility, ensuring a high level of specialist technical knowledge. The data centre s Network Operations Centre (NOC) is open 24x7x365 so we are able to access the data centre at any time. Key Data Centre Facts: 8 megawatts of power from multiple on-site substations ensuring there is always ample power available Diverse power feeds from substations, giving resilience against substation failure Multiple redundant N+N generators, with several weeks worth of generator fuel held onsite Diverse fibre ducts into the datacentres for exceptional Internet connectivity N+1 PowerWave Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) systems, protecting against power surges and power cuts N+1 Airedale Air Handling system, and a constant 22 C +/- 2 C datacentre floor temperature ensuring an optimum server operating environment 24x7 secure entry via swipe card system, with 6-layer entry and biometric scanning Datacentre located inside its own secure compound, with 3-metre fencing and electric entry, including anti-tailgate systems Engineers available 24x7 for remote hands service State-of-the-art physical and virtual firewalls Network Infrastructure: The data centre runs a fully redundant network with several high-speed connections to the Internet, utilising two separate Internet Service Providers (ISPs); this ensures an incredibly resilient network and connection into and out of the datacentre. Security Our Cloud platform utilises state-of-the-art physical and virtual firewalling, Banking-level encryption technologies, and is housed in a physically ultra-secure datacentre in the UK which is guarded 24/7.

9 Conclusion Online backup doesn t need to be expensive; you could backup just your most important files for just 4 a month for 10 GBs of data, and questbackup pricing includes licensing costs. Hopefully you can now see that online backup is by far a better choice than any other backup strategy you re currently employing, and is possibly cheaper too. Add to that the additional disaster recovery benefits that it brings and it should be a simple decision to make the switch. Thank you for taking the time to read through this white-paper and we hope it has proved informative for you. If have any questions please don t hesitate to contact me on , or by on Ryan Hughes IT Consultant Quest Cloud Solutions Ltd

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