Data loss happens. Even the best and most prepared companies are susceptible to server hard drive failures, ransomware attacks, sabotage, natural disasters, and even simple employee error. Luckily, there are technicians like those at BucherTech who have their back… ups.
"We've come a long way,” said Tim Bucher, President of BucherTech. “When I started in the business in 1983, I can remember making backups with floppy disks and having a stack of floppy disks. And then I'm on disk eight or nine of a restore and suddenly get an error that it can't read the disk. Guess what? My backup is lost."
Now, thanks to advancements in storage and networking technologies, lost data is pretty much a relic of the past. Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery, or BC/DR, configurations allow BucherTech to backup, test, and restore managed file servers in mere minutes, with built-in redundancy in case of emergencies.
“The client that uses BC/DR has three copies of their data at all times—they have their live production data, they have an image-based backup in their building, and then they have an image-based backup in our data center," Bucher said.
Here’s how it works: BucherTech employees install a dedicated Network Attached Storage, or NAS, server at a client’s office, then install software on the existing client file server to allow BucherTech to manage the backup process.
Once installed, the backup software scans the file server at specified intervals, usually somewhere between once every hour and once a day, and captures a snapshot, or image, of everything that has changed since the last scan. At the end of the day, all the gathered snapshots are batched and uploaded to another NAS at BucherTech headquarters.
Having a backup copy housed locally in a client’s office means files and directories can be restored in a matter of minutes, instead of hours or days it typically can take more traditional offsite backups. For large files such as Terabytes of data, this transfer can still take hours. The process drastically reduces the business impact of data loss-related downtime.
"If you can deal with the data on the premise, you can restore it more quickly than you can if you have to take it off-premise and go over the internet to restore big images," Bucher said.
Just recently, one of their clients accidentally deleted hundreds of files from their server. Bucher and his team were able to restore everything that was missing from the on-site NAS backup in less than an hour.
"When clients have a small problem like a file lost or a server crash, we will go to the NAS in their building and restore it,” he continued. “Right there in the building, we put the image back, and away you go. That is what we call business continuity."
Sending the batched daily backup to BucherTech’s offsite location is where the disaster recovery part comes in.
"If things really go south—if your building is damaged or the NAS server at your office is destroyed, then we come to our offsite image and use them," Bucher said.
It also enables technicians to test the viability of the backups they create for clients. Twice a year on a rotating schedule, Bucher and his team will load up a client’s server on one of their test machines and makes sure the data is intact.
BucherTech offers a second managed backup solution for smaller companies, typically with fewer than 10 employees. This more cost-effective option is a traditional file-based offsite service. With this process, files are backed-up to a server at another location over the internet once a day, where they are stored in case of an emergency.
The downside to this older solution model is that the restoration process for businesses can take a significant amount of time—from a few hours for a few accidentally-deleted spreadsheets, to a few days for entire folders or more of files.
"It's not as good. It's not as fast. I can't do test restores like I can with BC/DR. But it does function, and it works and it's inexpensive," Bucher said.
Both options provide a secure, encrypted data backup service, fully-managed by BucherTech’s staff of specialized and highly-trained technicians. Currently, over 60 clients have entrusted more than 200 servers to the company’s managed BC/DR care.
To find out more about Bucher Technologies Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery data solutions, visit the data backups section of their website, at buchertech.com/solutions/backups.