Required Monthly Investment

Posted on February 20th, 2011 by admin

This week we met with an organization that is looking for a new backup and recovery solution.  The IT Manager has been doing his due diligence and is aware of the various options in the market.  At the beginning of the conversation it became clear that he still lacked a proper understanding of the type of budget required to obtain a viable, complete DR solution.  In short, he was willing to make an up-front or one-time investment, but he was unwilling to make a monthly, continual investment to ensure that his organization is protected.  Unfortunately, this is no longer a viable stance for an organization to take when it comes to DR.  The reasons for this are simple and straight forward and fortunately for this prospect, by the end of our meeting he confessed, “briteVAULT is what I need.” 

Here are the reasons why an organization must now budget for a monthly expenditure for their DR:

  1. Recovering from a site-loss with a tape-based or disk-based solution is too slow and will result in an unsustainable amount of downtime.  In more direct terms: businesses can no longer afford to be down for weeks.  Take your average 100 employee firm.  Or take your average 25 employee firm.  It doesn’t matter.  How much money is lost, per-day of downtime?  $5k – $10k+ for the 25 employee firm; $40k – $150k for the 100 employee firm.  Multiply that by about 10 days of downtime, and you have some hefty figures: $50k – $1.5mm.
  2. If you are on a tape-based or disk-based backup solution and don’t have your servers replicated to a distant data-center that offers recovery in minutes like briteVAULT, you will be down for weeks if you suffer a catastrophic site loss.  This is because three major milestones must be reached to obtain recovery at it would take at least 5-10 business days to accomplish all of these milestones.  They are: a) Purchase and obtain new server hardware; b) find a suitable location with enough bandwidth to accommodate your remote connectivity needs; and c) restore your servers until this new, dissimilar hardware
  3. Loosing $50k – $1.5mm vastly outweighs the monthly expense of a top-tier DR solution like briteVAULT
  4. Statistics prove that organizations that suffer this amount of IT downtime are likely to go under.  (Contact us to receive a copy of this 3rd party report (888) 94-VAULT)

Therefore, it is financially and fiducially irresponsible for organizations (or their IT Managers) to believe that nothing thatbad ever happens and therefore they don’t need to spend monthly to protect themselves.  Yet in the defence of IT Managers, in this business climate they’re getting very used to management saying ‘no’ when they make a recommendation.  Why would this be any different?  It’s actually very different.  And here’s the simple question you ask your business owner or CEO/CFO when she balks at the suggestion of a monthly DR solution: ‘Do you have homeowners insurance?  Why?’ (Let them answer.)  “Is this business worth more than your house?”  (Let them answer).  Then why, on God’s good green Earth, do you not have briteVAULT?!?

Competition

Posted on February 11th, 2011 by admin

Peter Drucker garners great respect from me.  It seems like each time I come across his advice, it is salient and purposeful.  One of his maxims that I think of now and again and I wish I thought of a whole lot more often is this: a business should not focus on the competition but rather focus on making itself better.  Continually better, day in and day out.  His words are wise and proven; our challenge is to apply them to our lives and businesses.  Here is my attempt to do that today:

I just got back to my office after meeting with a prospect who is interested in briteVAULT.  The meeting went well and we will be presenting our proposal next week.  Budget may be a non-starter on this deal, but since we are utterly convinced our value far outweighs the cost, we will spend the time and effort.  briteVAULT is the best solution on the market (IMHO – In My Humble Opinion – for the non texters out there).  Yet since cloud DR is a space that is rapidly becoming crowded, I’m discovering that the new-comers are bringing to market under-baked solutions and selling not on value but on price.  Case-in-point is my meeting today.  Due to our ability to communicate the superiority of our solution, the prospect, under no request or pretense from us, decided to pull out a competitive bid he recently received and disclose it to us.  Since I’m in the DR business it wasn’t too revealing – they were attempting to sell an inferior solution that wasn’t well-fit for the customer at a price that reflected such deficiencies.  Therefore it was cheaper than ours.  As it should be!  But the challenge that it poses to briteVAULT is that we have to be better at communicating our differentiators and our value.  WHY we are the best, and WHY we charge what we charge.  Ultimately I know the answers to these questions, but communicating them to the prospect in a way that is easily understood, assimilated, and acted upon is a wholly different challenge.  And it is an expensive challenge.  Constantly retooling your delivery is important and indeed critical at staying relevant to today’s businesses.  Yet what does this cost an organization?  I imagine the costs are high.  Hard costs in training; continual training.  Soft costs and opportunity costs in learning the hard way.  And yet this is what, in my business life, today, Drucker was urging me to continue to pursue.  Retooling and making our sales communication and strategy better.  Don’t worry about the competition – focus on getting better.

Therefore since competition, be it good or bad, causes us to hone our message, articulate with decisiveness, and offer actionable options, I welcome it to the briteVAULT party.  Yes, competition costs us.  Yes, the cost can be dear.  But it transacts in a currency I want, and need, to be more fluent in.  That currency is Excellence.  We can always improve.

The Pain of Indecision

Posted on February 1st, 2011 by admin

Unfortunately, too many companies wait until it is too late to think about their disaster recovery plan.  Case-in-point, we received a call this week from a local university who last week suffered a major server outage.  The RAID controller (the component that connects all of the server’s hard disks to the server) failed, resulting in data loss and an outage of several days.  The issue was compounded by the fact that they let the server lapse out of its warranty and they didn’t have a managed services relationship in-place to provide much-needed expertise in the event of a server failure.  But ultimately, their worst mistake was in not having a disaster recovery technology solution that would ensure quick recoverability when faced with such a disaster.  Their situation was dire and their only option was to suffer the consequences of several days of downtime that soured the mood of all involved and critically impacted the bottom-line.

Admonishing you to heed the warnings generated by the failures of others may do little or even nothing.  Statistically, humans become numb to ill news and the human mind has a tendency to fancifully believe that all will be well, forever.  So, although you may dismiss our encouragement because we have a biased motivation for seeing you do something about your disaster plan, we would be poor stewards of the knowledge we do have if we were to not share it.  So, take it however you will, but you need to do something, today, to make sure that you don’t suffer hardship when disaster strikes you.  Visit www.briteVAULT.com to learn how we can help.

Cloud Disaster Recovery In Action

Posted on January 17th, 2011 by admin

A client of ours reported that one of their employees had to reset his smartphone and unfortunately in the process, wiped out his Outlook Calendar.  They were looking at an arduous restore process of the individual’s Microsoft Exchange mailbox, so they contacted us to see what briteVAULT could do for them.  Not a problem!

After ascertaining the approximate date and time that the wipe occured, 15 minutes later their Exchange server was booted into the briteVAULT cloud environment.  They replicate their server’s changes to briteVAULT every hour, so we just booted the server from the replication interval just prior to the loss (briteVAULT saves 30 days’ worth of client replication images).  We also booted the clients Terminal Server from the same time-frame, and then opened the Terminal Services port to allow inbound access.  By default, all outbound ports from these cloud servers were blocked, effectively prohibiting these servers to interfere in any way with the client’s production Exchange and Terminal Server, which were still running in production.

The client instructed the user to login to the restored Terminal Server, open Outlook, export his calendar to PST, and then downlod the PST file to his machine.  Within 5 minutes his calendar was restored back into the production Exchange server, and the user was happy as a clam.

With the flexibility of being able to restore production servers into the cloud in a secure, ‘fenced’ environment, briteVAULT continues to amaze even us with its versatility and power in providing recoverability solutions to its customers.

Why Disaster Recovery Is Important

Posted on January 14th, 2011 by admin

I met with a small business in Southern California last week and we were discussing the disaster recovery goals, objectives, and needs of this particular business.  The business employs about 40 people, half of whom are laborers who don’t use a computer.  However, even in this blue-collar business, I was informed that if their computer systems are down, the business will lose $40,000 PER DAY.  $40k!!  Now, imagine a significant disaster were to strike this business like a fire, flood, or earthquake (this is California).  With the current backup strategy in-place, this business would suffer downtime measured in days, if not weeks.

Here’s how it breaks-down.  When a business suffers a disaster, recovering the IT infrastructure requires passing three major milestones before the business can become operational again.  And this assumes that they were diligent in somehow getting their backups off-site either through a tape or hard disk rotation.  So, assuming they have some tapes or hard disks off-site, and assuming the media isn’t damaged, here is milestone #1:

1) Procure new equipment and a location to adequately host the new equipment.  Have you ever ordered servers before?  Did they show up in less than 3 weeks?  I know you could probably overnight some equipment from Dell or HP (via CDW or some other HP reseller), but this presents a significant problem – this hardware is different than the hardware smoldering in the old building.  Does your backup software have the capability of restoring your Operating System onto disparate hardware?  Oops.

2) Perform the restore.  Depending on your backup software, you’re likely in for a doozy here.  Different server hardware means you need an IT guy as sharp as they come to be able to get your servers back up and running.  Unfortunately, brilliant IT guys don’t grow on trees.  Either way, you have to figure out how to restore your server onto this fan-dangled new hardware.  Now, assuming you have a location with good enough bandwidth, you are ready to tackle your last hurdle:

3) Grant remote access to the servers and the applications and data they house.  Easier said than done.  Hopefully you wrote a DR plan in advance and did the leg-work of installing whatever remote access technologies you were going to use in a DR scenario.  Path of least resistance is going to be setting up a Terminal Server, begging Microsoft to issue your usage licenses at the speed of light (plan on 2-3 business days) so you can get up-and-running

So, all told, you’re looking at 1-3 weeks of downtime.  Assuming the best of all worlds (which doesn’t happen in a disaster – thus the name ‘disaster’), the above business would have lost $200,000.  Or, worst case, $600,000.  That’s a tough pill to swallow.  And that’s assuming they are currently backing up everything and taking it off-site.

THERE IS A BETTER WAY!  With briteVAULT, this company could be spending a few hundred dollars a month and would be up-and-running in about 15 to 30 minutes. 

Amount of lost revenue with briteVAULT: $0