If you have been a regular reader of my blog, you know I’ve discussed backup and disaster recovery in some detail. For this blog, instead of just defining the terminology and rational, I want to share a true story of what can happen if a business does not have the right backup solution.

There are two major types of backup: File Based and Image Based. Many cloud backup providers offer very inexpensive File Based backup solutions and there are circumstances where we do recommend them. However, our Imaged Based backup solution will always provide a quicker recovery time, more recovery points, and less manual work to get back to a usable environment.

So, what happens if you do not have the right backup solution? Here is a scenario based on true events.  The Big Picture Company (fictitious to protect their identity) is in a business where many mobile employees take photos of property damage and return to the office to save them on their server. These photos must be kept for five years in case they have to defend a claim. The owner of the Big Picture Company decided that having the recommended image-based backup was too expensive when compared to the many cloud backup solutions that are available.

After many years without issue, they were impacted by two hard drives failing within two days on the same server. This resulted in the server and all their files, including over five years of photos, having to be restored from the cloud backup provider. First, there was a delay due to having to repair the server, reinstall, and reconfigure the operating system from scratch since file level backups cannot be used to restore a running server, only the files on it. With all hands-on deck, the company’s server was back up and running in one day, but without their line-of-business software, files, and all their photos including ones needed for active jobs. The next step was to restore just the database for their line-of-business software. Unfortunately, most databases do not backup up consistently with file level backups, including theirs. Within another day the database was restored, repaired, and they had access to some things they needed for daily operation. Next, we needed to recover over five years of files and photos from the cloud backup provider. After starting the restore process and letting it run for a day, it was determined that at the rate the cloud backup provider limited the recovery speed, it would be 8-10 days to finish restoring all their files and photos.  After almost two weeks, the Big Picture Company was back to normal from a technology standpoint. If the Big Picture Company invested in the image-based backup solution from the beginning, the recovery time would’ve been significantly less.  All in all, after considering the lost revenue and payroll, it became much easier to understand the return on investment of a quality image-based backup solution.

Tune in for our next blog, where I will discuss another real scenario, but with a customer who had Able’s Backup and Disaster Recovery solution in place which allowed for a much smoother recovery.