Earlier this week we had a quick but violent storm front that knocked out our power. A client server went unaffected due to the attached UPS, however, our own server took a hit.
Let’s just say that our server had difficulties reviving itself. Fortunately, we have our disaster recovery ‘Shadow Protect’ configured and this allowed us to quickly restore a very recent server image. If we needed, we could have restored a virtual image of our server to ‘dis-similar hardware’and run on the virtualized system. This may even be on a cloud based system. You can not do that with a basic back-up even if you have a Windows Server image (that requires similar hardware).
The lesson to be learned is this, backups are not the same as true disaster recovery style virtualized server images. If, in the event of a fire, theft, flood, storm, plague, or some other act of God, your firm would suffer if it required significant length of time for your server environment to be re-created and then have programs re-installed and then files restored then you should investigate true Disaster Recovery.
A Time Matters question about Mobility vs Synching:
Question: “can you enlighten me on the TM mobility as to the storage of the data. Is our data stored in a “cloud” and we access it on the TM mobility website? If so, how often is the data backed up? I am trying to make sure that we can still have access to the data even if the server were to go down or we would lose power in the office. ”
TM Mobility works as follows, when you login you are authenticating via the cloud (Microsoft Azure I believe, on dedicated Lexis servers) and then you are passed thru to your own Time Matters (SQL database). So your access to data is dependent on your server and the TM database being available.
The synch is different. For example, if you synch Time Matters with Microsoft’s Exchange server (we do this routinely using the Exchange component of Microsoft Office 365) then if your server were down, you would still have web access to email, calendar and contacts. We also routinely backup documents using an offsite cloud service, which means documents could be accessed as well.
Case in Point:
If you lose your smart phone
– TM Mobility means you haven’t lost control of all your contacts and calendar.
– TM/Exchange Synch – you may have lost control of all your contacts and calendar.
If you lose your server:
There are strategies for assuring a very high degree of redundancy and for enabling a fast recovery both on-site and off-site. An on-site server image backup is good to have and easy to set-up. An off-site backup, with a plan for firing up a physical or virtual server is also a well proven strategy. Bottom line is there are different options and levels of redundancy, backup and disaster recovery.
We’ll promise not to represent ourselves in court or prepare our own estate planning documents if you, our lawyer friends, reach out to us for guidance on technical issues like those above. Let us know if you need more detail, we are here to help.