HOW MUCH IS DOWNTIME TO YOUR BUSINESS REALLY WORTH.

In todays connected world the loss of a single system can have catastrophic results for your business so the loss of a server can be even worse. No longer is the requirement for your business to have access to your business data but you need access to that data “NOW”.

This puts strain on your business to come up with ways to do that and there is a fine line between costs, capability and business resilience that the business has to meet.

The costs are no longer associated with how long is the fix going to take and how much is the replacement parts going to cost. There are substantial costs in having staff sitting around doing nothing and also the cost of having your clients go somewhere else.

The loss of a server could have the following associated costs and I will apply this roughly to a business with 10 staff and a mythical server hard drive failure.

• Hardware costs for replacement parts – $1000.00
• Time taken for managed service provider or in-house staff to rebuild and restore data 10 hours @ $200.00 = $2000.00
• So that is $3000.00 to start with
• You also have the staff members sitting around doing nothing and there is only so much filing that they can do before they are doing nothing. 10 staff x (average wage = $20.00 per hour) and 10 hours = $2000.00
• And finally what about lost revenue, let’s say the staff create $50.00 per hour each in revenue = $3000.00
• So for being off line for 10 Hours your business has lost $8000.00

This does not include information and data that may have been lost since the last backup which may have been 23 hours ago and what needs to be re inputted costing you further. So a 10 hour loss could put you back by 15 – 20 hours in production

Not many businesses can sustain that level of loss.

What businesses need now is a rapid restart system, some way to reduce the time taken between your server failing and not having your staff doing nothing for the 10 hours it takes to rebuild the system.
This can be done with a virtualised system that does the following.

On site there is a virtualised server, running VMware and on this environment is a backup Server environment. This server is there as a backup location for a software package to back up your business data to in 15 Minute incremental backups. The most information that you can lose is 30 minutes.

If a failure of the main server happens then the following process is initiated. The last known good copy that is on the backup server is bought up immediately and your staff and customers don’t even notice the loss. Your staff are now working on the virtualised environment while repairs are carried out and replaced. Once the old server is repaired and running then all changes that have happened between the last backup and now are transferred back to the main server. Again this is done without the knowledge of the staff.

This system has a further benefit for your business and that is that it also backs up to an internet storage location every 24 hours. This cloud based backup also helps with your disaster recovery and business continuity plan by allowing you to have an offsite location for your data. If your building or office is affected by a natural disaster then you don’t lose everything. To achieve this, Rapid restart also has its own internet connection that can be used by your business as a secondary backup internet connection if something should happen to your ISP or internet connection.

The Rapid Restart creates a system within your business that does not have any single point of failure. That benefits your business by not wasting the valuable time of your staff and keeping them working all though the working day.

Roger Smith, is an educator. Teaching students at ADFA (UNSW) and showing them how vulnerable they are to cybercrime.

He is also CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd, an Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime and founder of the SME Security Framework. He is a Consultant who specialises in inexpensive and highly effective security strategies for small and medium businesses and not for profit organisations.

He has developed and authored the SME Security Framework and the Security Policy Training Course which are considered to be the definitive guides to helping SME's protect their organisation using the principles of Technology, Management, Adaptability and Compliance.

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