When a server isn’t enough for small business backup

What would you do if your backup server failed? Would your business data still be protected?

That’s what happened to Colorado-based accounting firm, Geris Zebarth as it was closing its doors for a few weeks during the holidays. The backup server failure almost cost the small business accounting firm everything – its client data, operations and more – right before its most critical time of tax season kicked off.

Fortunately, by sheer luck, the firm was able to resurrect their backup server. But they had learned a valuable lesson: a disaster recovery plan, including an automated cloud backup strategy is critical to prevent future risks like the one they had just experienced. That’s why the firm turned to CrashPlan for Small Business.

“CrashPlan for Small Business is super simple, does what it needs to do, and it hasn’t let us down. Each restore probably saves us thousands of dollars,” says Mike Stefanski, CPA and designated “IT Hero” at Geris Zebarth.

The accounting firm is a classic warning tale for small business server backup: They knew their files and digital information contained incredible value—and they thought their on-site backup was enough. After coming “this close” to losing it all—their files, their data and their business—they quickly deployed CrashPlan for Small Business. Today, CrashPlan for Small Business isn’t just this small business’ disaster recovery solution, it’s delivering tremendous value to staff and their clients on a daily basis.

“We were truly on the brink of losing everything—of going out of business,” said Stefanski.

Automated cloud backup: more than disaster recovery

The accounting firm is a classic warning tale for small business server backup: They knew their files and digital information contained incredible value—and they thought their on-site backup was enough. “Nobody realized how easy it is to lose our data,” he says. After coming “this close” to losing it all—their files, their data and their business—they quickly deployed CrashPlan for Small Business. Today, CrashPlan isn’t just this small business’ disaster recovery solution, it’s delivering tremendous value to staff and their clients on a daily basis.

Like many accounting firms, Geris Zebarth does most of its work in Quickbooks. The firm’s CPAs and their 50-60 clients actively make changes in their Quickbooks database, directly entering and amending information. This Quickbooks data represents the bulk of the firm’s value. “It’s pretty much everything” to the firm, says Stefanski. For years, the small business had been using on-site server backup to cover its Quickbooks database.

Victims of server backup’s simple flaws.

A few years ago, as the firm prepared to close up shop for the holidays, the primary server failed. The failure triggered an alarm—one which staff recognized only as “an annoying whine coming from the server room,” says Stefanski. To solve the problem, they closed the door and went on with their business.

When the backup server failed a few days later, Stefanski got a doomsday call. “I’m the designated ‘IT Hero,’ so I got a call when the backup server failed and Quickbooks went down,” he remembers. With the prospect of recovery looking grim, Stefanski prepared to make a tough call to the firm’s owner: “He was already on a holiday cruise, and I was going to call him and tell him we lost everything, all our clients’ data—that his business was dead.” By sheer luck, Stefanski was able to resurrect the backup server and recover clients’ Quickbooks data. As soon as this “miraculous recovery” was compete, Stefanski knew the small business needed a better disaster recovery solution.

Backup that does everything it should.

The firm needed a backup solution for both on-site and cloud-based backup. This would ensure that all Geris Zebarth staff, as well as all clients, could quickly access the database from anywhere. Adding cloud-based backup protected the firm from the server-failure disaster it had just experienced.

CrashPlan for Small Business is super simple, does what it needs to do, and it hasn’t let us down. Each restore probably saves us thousands of dollars.”

Mike Stefanski, CPA and designated “IT Hero” at Geris Zebarth.

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