2 About Dorset Connects Dorset Connects, a Chadds Ford, PA based IT consulting firm, was founded on the premise of providing businesses with a simplified way to procure, implement and manage their technology systems, including the cloud. Many businesses are hesitant about migrating their infrastructure to the cloud. They often have questions regarding which providers offer sufficient security and redundancy, optimized datacenter configuration, competitive pricing, etc. The Dorset Connects team has been providing unbiased consultative services for over 15 years, assisting small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Philadelphia-Delaware corridor with their IT strategies and implementations At Dorset Connects, we differentiate ourselves by hiring only the brightest professionals who value their relationships with our clients. The result is superior service that s costeffective for you, our customer. Dorset Connects has provided information technology solutions to the SMB (Small & Medium Business) market since We specialize in educating you in the information technology options available to ease your business's IT concerns in the 21st century. Our professional scope ranges from engineering and implementing telecommunications (phone/internet) systems and local and wide area networking solutions, to designing custom technology solutions to address your specific business needs. Dorset Connects technical engineers experience allows us to successfully provide custom, affordable solutions to our valued clients.
3 CoNteNts 3 About... 2 Introduction...4 On-site Backups...5 Colocation...5 Cloud...5 Hybrid...5 Five Reasons a Cloud-based Disaster Recovery solution May be a smart Move...6 Assessing security in the Cloud...7 six steps to Implementing a successful Cloud Disaster Recovery solution Deployment Model Considerations...11 Public...11 Private...11 Community...11 Hybrid...11 Factors Affecting Data Recovery time...12 Four Questions to Ask a Cloud Recovery Provider Want More Help?...15
4 INtRoDuCtIoN Most technology leaders understand the critical importance of a secure and effective disaster recovery plan for their business. Oft-cited data from the IDC loss go out of business within a year. Frequently, however, it is more difficult to estimate the specific cost to an individual company in the event of data or connectivity loss. The topic is complex, and ranges on the low end from a few thousands of dollars for a minor downtime event, to a catastrophic estimate in millions or even tens of millions of dollars for massive data loss. systems actually are. While most organizations recognize that disaster comes in many forms, many understandably believe that they are reasonably well protected by their on-site backup systems. changing data disasters. The good news is that technology advances have placed fast, effective disaster recovery within reach for any size company. The four main On-site Colocation Cloud Hybrid
5 on-site backups Many established organizations already possess on-site data backup systems. While on-site backups seem a reasonable approach to data disaster recovery, they can also be costly and risky. For one thing, any physical disaster that affects your site will affect your data storage including backups. For another thing, on-site storage rarely provides the high level of security necessary to truly protect data. Colocation Colocation can be a high quality solution for a company that already owns provider offers room in a secure, multi-redundant off-site data center. It removes many of the hassles of an on-site data center while still providing complete control to the owner. The downside to colocation is the cost of investing in hardware and set-up on the front end. Cloud Cloud-based solutions often provide both the most affordable and the most secure has built-in redundancies of location, power, network, and cooling. It s relatively simple to implement, can be infinitely scaled up and down, and requires a relatively small up-front investment. Hybrid unique needs of an organization. The advantage of a hybrid solution lies in its equipment and infrastructure while accessing Cloud resources as needed.
6 FIve ReAsoNs A ClouD-bAseD DIsAsteR ReCoveRy solution MAy be A smart Move Cloud storage can be a vital component of an effective disaster recovery plan, but it s not right for every organization. When determining whether your organization Remote access. from any location. In the event of a local disaster, Cloud recovery can enable employees who would ordinarily be in the office to work from remote locations, providing critical continuity for your organization. Infrastructure life cycle. If you re looking at a big capital expenditure within the next year or two, Cloud can be an attractive operating expense alternative. It talent availability. Cloud solutions enable an organization to costeffectively outsource many IT tasks, including much of an organization s data disaster recovery, allowing on-staff talent to focus on the core IT functions that keep your company moving forward. 24/7/365 support. When your system goes down, there will be a support team ready to activate your well planned disaster recovery system, no question about it. The same goes for any other requests you might have. Your Cloud service provider is your lifeline at all times. 100% uptime. you calculated the cost of an hour s downtime in staffing expenses, lost sales, I have worked with them on a number of projects over the years. They are my go-to resource when I need solutions for my clients. Their recommendations are well designed and their responsiveness has always exceeded my expectations. - T. McFadden, Technology Director at Lamar Electric Cooperative
7 AssessINg security IN the ClouD 7 When considering Cloud as an option for disaster recovery, naturally the first concern is security. This chart shows the security measures necessary to bring an on-site data center s security up to par with the standard security provided by a quality Cloud solution. on-site Data backup Encrypt all information. If not encrypted, data may be vulnerable to hackers, malicious employees, or anyone who enters the data center. Hire a data security expert to configure intrusion detection systems and monitor security. Provide fireproof housings for all equipment and the facility itself, and raise physical equipment off the floor by several inches to reduce vulnerability to flooding. Prevent entry into data center by unauthorized individuals via multiple layers of identity verification. Ensure cooling systems are fully redundant to prevent overheating of data systems. Ensure power systems are fully redundant. ensure that any malicious or accidental attacks on data are caught immediately. Duplicate data, and all relevant security measures, in at least two separate locations in case of physical disaster. Cloud backup protected. Only the data s owner has access to the password. Experts in data security configure intrusion detection systems and monitor security. platforms raised off the floor. Unauthorized individuals prevented from entry via multi-layered verification, often including retinal scans, fingerprint scans, photo ID, badges, and physical key fobs. systems. systems. ensure you know the instant something comes up. locations to ensure accessibility in the event of a natural disaster.
8 six steps to IMPleMeNtINg A successful ClouD DIsAsteR ReCoveRy solution Once you ve determined that a Cloud recovery solution is a good choice for your organization, it s time to develop the comprehensive approach that will protect your business. step one: Assess threats Building a good disaster recovery plan begins with understanding the types of threats that can cause data disaster. Threats can impact physical assets or information assets, and may present as acts of nature, acts of man, or internal 1. Acts of nature may include major disasters such as a hurricane or ice storm, or damage to physical infrastructure as well as data assets. Recovery time will be impacted by whether data and equipment is duplicated offsite. 2. Acts of man may include hackers, malware, and terrorist acts. Usually, these primarily damage data assets. Recovery time is impacted by how quickly the threat is discovered and responded to, as well as what security measures are in place, and the method of duplication for systems and data. 3. Internal attacks may include malicious employees damaging or sabotaging data, and careless coding mistakes. Usually, these disasters primarily damage data assets, but in the case of sabotage can also affect the physical equipment. Recovery time is impacted by how quickly the threat is discovered, how it is responded to, and how the data and equipment is duplicated.
9 step two: Perform Recovery triage Before a disaster recovery solution can be implemented successfully, it s crucial to know what kinds of data require protection, and how critical each type is to daily operations. Engage stakeholders in a thorough audit of your company s information Once you ve identified, documented, and categorized the critical data maintained by your organization, determine RTOs (recovery time objectives) for each type of data. Take into account the cost to the business of offline time for each type of data when assessing how quickly recovery must occur. By performing this triage, you can more readily select appropriate data recovery solutions for each data type. step three: Assign Roles Disaster recovery planning is complex and multi-layered, so it s important that key players on your IT, networking, and infrastructure teams be involved in planning, implementing, testing, and monitoring. Give each member of the team a clearly defined role aligned with his or her expertise, and document responsibilities so everyone is on the same page. I have worked with them for three years now and they have been a massive help, providing me with Voice and Data services, and most importantly, coordinating all of my services back when I was moving offices. Now, we re in the process of building a Cloud strategy and I couldn t be more confident in their expertise. - J. Steele, CEO at Weston Banks
10 step Four: Align systems with Recovery Needs Involve key team members in selecting and engaging infrastructure, software, and storage solutions to match the recovery needs identified in step two. The three Deployment model Recovery time Provider selection This complex step is crucial to the success of your disaster recovery plan, so we ve step Five: Deploy With the right people in place and a well-documented recovery plan, you can oversee deployment to ensure all parts of the system are implemented according to plan. step six: test Due to the complexity involved, even a well-designed and carefully implemented disaster recovery plan won t always run seamlessly. Periodic testing of the system ensures that in the event of an actual disaster, you won t be faced with a secondary disaster in the form of a failed recovery plan. employees, mimicking an actual data disaster scenario as closely as possible. This fire drill, in addition to identifying bugs and ironing out details, also provides employees with crucial training so they can perform effectively in a true disaster scenario.
11 DePloyMeNt MoDel CoNsIDeRAtIoNs Once you ve determined that a Cloud solution is a good choice for your organization, the next task is to determine which deployment model will best serve your purposes. Public affordable, and highly flexible option. Private organization, maintained within a corporate firewall, and accessible via a direct connection only (not via the Internet). Private Cloud can offer many of the disaster recovery benefits of public Cloud, but tends to be more expensive to set up and can share many of the same disadvantages of an on-site data center. Community multiple organizations. This provides some of the benefits of both types, and somewhat ameliorates the risks and cost of each. Hybrid Often, the different deployment models are used for different functions within the same organization, taking advantage of each model s strengths while minimizing its weaknesses.
12 FACtoRs AFFeCtINg DAtA ReCoveRy time For mission-critical functions and data, maintaining backups is not enough. Downtime can cost thousands of dollars an hour, so every minute that it takes to recover lost data or systems can be significant. Depending on multiple factors, data recovery time can vary from nearinstantaneous, to a few hours, up to several days. Under ideal conditions, on-site data centers provide fast recovery, but conditions are rarely ideal in a disaster time to recover servers. more to recover, plus approximately one hour for each additional server. Availability of relevant personnel. Will the appropriate personnel be on site state of the disaster recovery plan. may contain glitches that are only discovered when it s too late, causing unnecessary delay. Reconfigure and upload time. With on-site data backups, reconfiguration and uploads often require at least a day. equipment failure. In the case of failed equipment, one must factor in the time required to obtain new equipment and configure it, potentially adding additional days to recovery time. and ensured via fully redundant systems and geographic diversity. Depending on the needs of the organization, recovery times can be nearly instantaneous, up to and slow recovery solutions can be provided to meet the varying needs of types of information and systems inside the organization.
13 FouR QuestIoNs to Ask A ClouD ReCoveRy PRovIDeR Your organization s choice of Cloud recovery partner is critical to the success of your disaster plan. Chief considerations to review are security, redundancy, support, and the service level agreement. When selecting a partner, arm yourself How Is My Data secured? Data security is multi-faceted. Threats to your data can come from outside, such breached electronically, through the Internet or hacked connections, or via physical intrusion. Physical break-ins can be just as costly as those perpetrated online, so Top-of-the-line data security software, firewalls, and other measures surveillance They helped me every step of the way in acquiring a fiber connection for my company, especially in the contract stages when we ran into some hurdles with the Carrier. Most recently, they presented a promotion that allowed me to double my bandwidth for just a slight increase in my monthly rate. They have always gone above and beyond to help me when I needed them. - L. Cockrell at Rural Wireless Network What Redundancies Are In Place? One of the benefits of a quality Cloud solution is the built-in redundancy. However, not all redundancy is created equal. Expect your Cloud provider to offer all of these
14 geographic. Your data should be repeated in at least two geographic locations, to protect against localized natural or manmade disasters. Power. sources to the servers that serve your business. Cooling. equipment and your data. Expect the Cloud providers to offer detailed information about how they ensure cooling redundancy. Network. Data stored in a remote facility that loses access to an external external networks. How Much support Is Available? When disaster strikes during off hours or on the holidays, you don t want to have to wait for business hours to have your critical systems and data restored. Just as importantly, you want to know that uptime and security are being monitored continuously to provide advance notice in the event that problems do arise. problem. Many feel that they re treated like small fish in a big sea. One way to get the service quality you need is to work with a quality Cloud broker that maintains relationships with Cloud providers and ensures their clients get the attention they deserve. What Is Included In your service level Agreement? provider company in the event of failure to restore data according to agreement, including both the way the data is restored and the recovery window agreed upon.
15 While innovations in technology have greatly simplified disaster recovery planning, they have also contributed to its complexity, thanks to the wide array of available solutions. The guidelines in this book should help put you in the right direction towards achieving an effective solution for your business. For a simple, cost-effective approach to business continuity planning, consider working with a quality Cloud services provider such a Dorset Connects. To speak with one of our consultants, you can or call us at Our experts will guide you through the steps, assess your organization s needs, and navigate the sea of Cloud options to match you with the best solution for your business. Thanks to our relationships with major providers, such as Microsoft and EvolveIP, as well as our detailed understanding of the industry, we usually save our clients money over going it alone!