“We are our greatest threat” - disaster recovery tips from an IT pro
Over the past 10 years, backup solutions evolved from a focus on servers to a critical need to backup individual end-user devices. This is because just as we are on the go, so is our data in the laptops we carry. And with this ease of mobility comes significant risks to keeping the data on the business device – the endpoint – safe.
“It’s cringe-worthy when a new client says, ‘I don’t have a backup.’ They’re SOL,” said Michael Luehr, an IT Manager at Chicago-based 7 Layer IT Solutions, Inc. “If a computer is lost or stolen and if the data is kept only locally on it or network storage, when that computer dies, so does the data.”
“If a computer is lost or stolen and if the data is kept only locally on it or network storage, when that computer dies, so does the data.”
Planning for disaster recovery starts with protecting the end user
Luehr is an IT Manager at Chicago-based 7 Layer IT Solutions, Inc., which is where he has been providing IT services for private equity firms for more than a decade. 7 Layer IT provides IT services to 250 private equity firms, working as their clients’ trusted IT consultant and providing high quality technology solutions.
Luehr currently administers CrashPlan for Small Business for his clients. With any new client, Luehr helps the company form their own internal policy around backup, but always recommends CrashPlan for Small Business as a backup tool.
“As an IT consultant, I’m happy using CrashPlan for Small Business because each user has an account that the backups are tied to with an overall global admin.”
Cloud backup that offers easy backup and restore
Luehr says he performs restores for his clients about once a month, with 98% of these restores due to user error and the other 2% from a saved or transfer corruption.
“Thankfully, most of the time file loss incidents are people unintentionally moving to a folder they forgot or didn’t mean to, or someone deletes off a network drive to then use backup and restore to bring back to life,” says Luehr.
Although Luehr has never had a client hit with ransomware, he knows if that ever happens, CrashPlan is there to restore quickly and efficiently.
Protecting against everyday mistakes
About 50% of Luehr’s clients travel by air, meaning they have to take their laptop out of the bag with lots of chance for errors and mistakes like dropping their laptop or getting it stolen.
“Nothing protects those in progress files that hours of work generates and could easily be lost on a flight, commute on a train or taken out of a backpack when no looking,” says Luehr.
Luehr’s clients mostly work in Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint files and he’s seen over and over again, users save these files locally first and then put the final form on a server.
“OneDrive is great for being able to share data outside of the organization, but at the end of the day it doesn’t protect the entire computer and that’s where CrashPlan software comes into play because it does protect the whole computer,” says Luehr.
Regardless of the end user training Luehr has implemented with his clients, his biggest issue comes down to end user error. “Even though OneDrive is protecting more areas on computers, it is still only one half of a solution.” In addition, some of Luehr’s clients use Mac computer. “My clients that went the Apple route would still need to manually save things to the OneDrive folder,” says Luehr.
“OneDrive is great for being able to share data outside of the organization, but at the end of the day it doesn’t protect the entire computer.”
From “server centric” to “endpoint centric”
Every month, Luehr makes the case to each of his clients about why a good backup is a line item when it comes to budget. “The value of a good backup solution is to your business and your clients’ business,” says Luehr.
The last five years have shown Luehr why he pushes his clients to backup all computers and individual devices. “It’s so much easier to have a software on a computer that backs up to the cloud and doesn’t need a VM connection to it,” says Luehr.
The value of a good backup solution
With 10 years of experience as an IT consultant, Luehr has found the value of having a backup software like CrashPlan for Small Business. Whether human error, lost laptop or ransomware, Luehr has the peace of mind that he can recover his client’s data no matter the cause.
If you’re not sure, ask IT first.
- Back up to the cloud. “When clients insist on keeping things local on their laptop, it ends up being a nightmare if they leave the laptop behind on an airplane or their hardware dies.”
- Back up important files. “I look at weekly usage reports. If a client has only backed up a megabyte in a week, I know they’re not doing it right. It comes down to storage reports to make sure they’re consistent in storage, office or with clients.”
- Manage compliance regulations. “Our clients are private equity firms who have a strict SEC compliance they need to adhere to. CrashPlan for Small Business meets those requirements.”