Server Backup 2.0: Decrease Law Firm’s Downtime to 5 Minutes

by | Jul 29, 2012 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Imagine an affordable technology that was able to get your crashed server back up and running within 5 minutes with no waiting for an onsite tech and no loss of data in the process. Essentially, you would never go down. This dream is now a reality. In the past few years a new technology has become affordable for small and medium law firms that help to decrease downtime and increase backup reliability; we are talking about BDR (Backup Disaster Recovery) solutions. Currently you’re probably backing up your firm data using one of the preferred backup methods found in Chapter 2 of Our Audio Book. You may be using a USB drive, tape drive or offsite backup solution which is most preferable. The problem with standard offsite backup is that if your server were to crash, time would need to be spent fixing the crash and in some cases reinstalling the operating system including all network applications. It’s a perfect solution that gives your critical data the ability to survive a network meltdown but depending on the network, this can take 1 to 2 days of downtime for a total server restore. Let’s be clear about something, offsite backup solutions will keep you in business, you will NEVER lose your data and it will always be retrievable, but we’d like to tackle the issue of downtime. One to two days of downtime is too much for most firms.  This downtime issue is fixed with the advent of server imaging. Imaging takes a nightly carbon copy image of your server. This image consists of the operating system, all settings and data totally intact. The purpose of the image is to be able to quickly deploy the image back on the server in case of a major crash. These images are stored onsite which is a point of weakness in case of fire or theft. Deployment time takes around 35 minutes plus the time it takes for a tech to get onsite because standard server images cannot be deployed remotely…..until now.

BDR solutions combine the reliability of an offsite backup solution with the small amount of downtime associated with server imaging. With a BDR solution, a BDR network device takes server images every 15 minutes which are then uploaded offsite for security. To recap, we now have your server images onsite & offsite consisting of all your firm data for each server. With a BDR solution in the event that your server were to crash, a notification would be sent to a Rekall technician. At this point the technician would remote into your BDR device and deploy your latest server image taken 15 minutes ago. The image will live totally virtualized on your BDR device for however long it will take to have a tech come onsite and fix your actual server. Your entire firm will continue to work as normal without skipping a beat. This virtualized version of your server can be up as long as needed. Once the actual server is fixed, data is restored back to the server from the virtualized server. The virtualized server is shut down and your actual server comes online again with updated data. This solution lowers your downtime to a mere 5 minutes and gives your IT provider the ability to remotely deploy an exact replica of your server with updated data within 5 minutes of your server crash. In case of fire, theft or act of god where your BDR device dies, a new fully loaded BDR device is overnighted to your firm. Within 5 minutes of unboxing, a virtualized server can be deployed, getting your firm up and running. With this solution, images are not only stored locally, but they are replicated and stored offsite as well. This is the ultimate in law firm downtime prevention and it can be yours for about $2,400 to start and about $600/month. Not cheap, but when your losing $9,000/hr in billing if catastrophe strikes, the unit pays for itself. These are average pricing plans, pricing depends solely on server and data size.


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