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ByDaniel Gottilla

Data Recovery Service – engineering a disaster recovery from scratch

Murphy’s Law states “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. And things usually go wrong at the absolute worst moment possible. If you have experienced a loss of data due to some hardware or software failure, virus infection, vandalism, human mistakes, etc. – remember to remain calm. In many cases, data loss problems are not nearly as devastating as they might appear. Data recovery service companies efforts can minimize further damage, and maximize the chances for a complete recovery of lost information. You may ask why do I need a data recovery service? The answer is a complicated.

With a right Disaster Recovery plan you don’t usually need the outside help of a data recovery service companies. If your data backups are automated and your personnel are well trained, everything should be ok. Even in a worse case scenario, after the most devastating disaster, you know that according to your plan everything will be up and running in no time. But all your computers won’t be protected sometimes the costs of securing data on a machine outweigh the benefit of the recover, sometimes it is not possible, and sometimes, by mistake, there is no valid data copy available. And then it happens. Very important information has been lost due to hardware failure, and no copy of that information exists; even worse, that piece of information cannot be re-entered manually. Data recovery service companies specialized in recovering data from all kinds of media. It can be hard drive burnt by a power surge, laptop that had fallen from helicopter or, more commonly, damage dealt by water. There is a slight chance that your data won’t be recovered, but in most cases after some time, a courier from a data recovery Service Company hands you a package that contains your recovered files.

But why trust outsiders? Wouldn’t it be easier (and safer) to just employ some specialists and be prepared for everything? There is no need for such extreme precaution. Many companies will never need any help in restoring their files; they even won’t use their own disaster recovery plan, so they won’t need data recovery service either.

Data recovery service companie are the very last line of protection against data loss. Their services aren’t cheap. Of course, most of them guarantees return in case of failure, but in fact, when you need data recovery service, that means that you need the information, and you are willing to pay for the recovery.

ByDaniel Gottilla

The Importance of Software Actualizations

There is no such thing as perfect software, and employing PC crash recovery procedures is necessary from time to time, no matter what your company does. Generally, you can expect your PC to crash at least once a year if you use only top-notch software! The programs are now so complicated that even the best coders can’t control it all and even the best the software coding may cause a system crash from time to time. Fortunately, people that are responsible for publication of that faulty software are also doing their best to repair it. On the downside, even if you perform system and software actualizations on your company machines, you can’t expect computer crashes to vanish.

Time is merciless

Let’s face a simple fact computer equipment (both hardware and software) gets old faster then anything else on this planet. The same machine won’t work properly with newer software, and old software will probably result in performing more crash recovery procedures on newer machines. While in the first case the only solution is to get rid of the old equipment and buy new one, software actualizations are the best solution to the second one. Of course, you may buy newer software instead. Unfortunately it is a) expensive, and b) this method usually requires training. Software actualizations are often the only real way to increase the system stability, but there’s much more in them than just making crash recoveries less frequent.

System holes

Another problem is holes in operating system’s security. There are people who use them to gain access to your protected data, hijack your PC and use it as a zombie to perform a DDoS attack on another websites or cause a system crash. Of course, the software engineers are constantly trying to find the holes and create patches to close them. However, you have to let your system download and install the patches. Without frequent system actualizations, a crash recovery procedures will soon become the least of your problems as your machines will soon become wide open to hackers from all around the world.

On the downside

It is important to acknowledge changes that the current patch brings, as actualization sometimes may cause harm, especially for older machines. Nevertheless, it is necessary to perform system actualizations even if you risk more frequent crashes. You just need some crash recovery-trained personnel or buy newer hardware. Whatever you do, remember that software and system actualization is a must-do without it, your machines will never be safe against hacker attacks.

ByDaniel Gottilla

Learning the basics of disk recovery: tips for beginners

There is no such thing as perfect software, and employing PC crash recovery procedures is necessary from time to time, no matter what your company does. Generally, you can expect your PC to crash at least once a year if you use only top-notch software! The programs are now so complicated that even the best coders can’t control it all and even the best the software coding may cause a system crash from time to time. Fortunately, people that are responsible for publication of that faulty software are also doing their best to repair it. On the downside, even if you perform system and software actualizations on your company machines, you can’t expect computer crashes to vanish.

Time is merciless

Let’s face a simple fact computer equipment (both hardware and software) gets old faster then anything else on this planet. The same machine won’t work properly with newer software, and old software will probably result in performing more crash recovery procedures on newer machines. While in the first case the only solution is to get rid of the old equipment and buy new one, software actualizations are the best solution to the second one. Of course, you may buy newer software instead. Unfortunately it is a) expensive, and b) this method usually requires training. Software actualizations are often the only real way to increase the system stability, but there~s much more in them than just making crash recoveries less frequent.

System holes

Another problem is holes in operating system’s security. There are people who use them to gain access to your protected data, hijack your PC and use it as a zombie to perform a DDoS attack on another websites or cause a system crash. Of course, the software engineers are constantly trying to find the holes and create patches to close them. However, you have to let your system download and install the patches. Without frequent system actualizations, a crash recovery procedures will soon become the least of your problems as your machines will soon become wide open to hackers from all around the world.

On the downside

It is important to acknowledge changes that the current patch brings, as actualization sometimes may cause harm, especially for older machines. Nevertheless, it is necessary to perform system actualizations even if you risk more frequent crashes. You just need some crash recovery-trained personnel or buy newer hardware. Whatever you do, remember that software and system actualization is a must-do without it, your machines will never be safe against hacker attacks.

ByDaniel Gottilla

Using hosting to reduce disaster and HDD recovery downtime

Outsourcing HDD recovery and data security services in general to hosting companies is a new, but strong trend in the IT industry. According to a study by IDC, companies that outsource data security services to the hosting companies feel more secure than those managing data security themselves. The IDC report states also that outsourcing helps companies reduce the downtime caused by data loss and subsequent HDD recoveries. On average, specialized hosting companies can provide faster, better and cheaper services than in-house data security & hardware maintenance departments.

How does data security & hardware maintenance outsourcing look in practice? Most of the time companies retain control over the data itself, but outsource the management of their system to the hosting company. The specialized hosting companies are then in charge of security, data loss prevention and recovery (including HDD recovery). This minimizes the chance of data loss and reduces the maintenance downtime the human error margin is seriously reduced.

The strong points of hosting the company’s IT systems are: 1) improvement of the computer system performance (reduced downtime, higher percentage of successful data recoveries), 2) lower data security-related expenses (hosting companies can use the scale effect to reduce their fees) and 3) concentrating on the company’s main goal much easier. From the economic point of view, outsourcing data and HDD recovery is a good idea that will sooner or later become a necessity.

Many companies are still worried about their data security. Letting their own hardware specialist’s do a HDD recovery of a chief manager’s PC is one thing. Outsourcing it to an external company is another. What is missing in this reasoning is the fact that most security breaches are due to either hacking or the industrial espionage performed by the company’s employers~ not by hosting companies. Statistically speaking, your data is safer if it’s moved away from your company than if they stay in. Even if you add the possibility of a security breach, outsourcing still has an upper hand.

There are already thousands of companies that have decided to host their IT systems somewhere else. They are safer, they run cheaper and their managers can concentrate on their work instead of HDD recovery attempts to restore key files they need for tomorrow~s meeting.

ByDaniel Gottilla

Why Your Current Capacity Planning May Not be Adequate

As your business grows and changes, you may find that your capacity planning isn’t adequate. Planning for future storage space and bandwidth use can be tricky, but there are some steps you can take to help ensure that you are neither under-planning nor wasting resources by over-planning.

If your business is growing, it’s likely that you will need more space to store data as well as more bandwidth to run your operation. Calculating how many users there will be and how much data you will need to store should be done on a regular basis. The needs you calculated for last year may not reflect your current usage. You don’t want to pay for too much bandwidth, but not having enough storage for your data or too little bandwidth will make for slower, less productive operations.

Not only should your capacity planning be reviewed regularly, you should reassess the adequacy of your plan when your business makes a significant change. Increasing staff by a large number, adding new software, or offering a new line of products on your website are all excellent times to reassess your needs.

One common mistake businesses make is taking random measurements of network usage and using those to build a plan. How do you know if this is peak usage or not? In order to ensure that your capacity planning will be accurate, you need to measure system usage over every hour over every day of the week. That way, you can get a good picture of how your traffic and usage change by day as well as by time, allowing you to plan better for your needs.

Perhaps the biggest mistake some businesses make is not hiring an experienced consultant to make sure their capacity planning is adequate. Hiring a consultant is smart because this person specializes in planning and can give you a solid assessment and critical assistance without you having to put a specialist on the payroll full-time. They can work through your plans and give you guidance and expertise to make sure your business can keep on growing without hitting traffic and storage snags.

If you’re not putting time and thought into it, your capacity planning may not be adequate for the future needs of your business. By properly reviewing your plan, reassessing, gathering complete data, and getting some outside advice, you can ensure that your business can keep growing without worrying about whether your future needs will be met.

ByDaniel Gottilla

Data Recovery – Finding a right data backup method

One of most important matters during disaster recovery planning is finding the right backup method. This may vary from using data recovery freeware software making copies of single files to very complex, real-time machines that offer continuous data protection.

There are four major parts of disaster recovery planning learning about company requirements, finding means to meet them, developing processes that make those means work, and, finally, assessing the budget.

As it was said before, there are many different backup methods. We can, however, find three main categories of data backup solutions. That will be pure software (starting with data recovery freeware), integrated hardware and stand-alone solutions.

Software methods are the simplest and cheapest. You may find a lot of different data recovery freeware programs; some of them are even integrated with operating systems. However, this method has one major flaw it depends solemnly on the existing operating system and existing machine. If the hard drive is physically damaged, probability of losing all data will be very high no software solution can help for broken HDD seals.

Another method is using integrated hardware devices. They might come in form of a simple compact disc recorder, a zip drive, or more complicated tape drives. That method is more complicated and a bit more expensive. However, it allows the storing of backup information on new machines, in a place that is a hundred miles from previous company building. Of course, it is also a bit risky an error in labeling a single tape might be disastrous, and there is also a noticeable risk of thievery. Also, in case of fire, or other disaster that could destroy the whole computer units this backup method simply won’t work.

The main feature of stand-alone solutions is their independence; the target machine with information that needs to be backed-up is usually linked to a backup station via Internet or local network. Mass storage hard drives that run on backup computers are able to offer continuous data protection. Because there is almost no limit in distance, company information is safe from even the most disastrous events. The cost of that solution is very high, however, even if we limit the expenses by using data recovery freeware; the only cost we pay is a cost of a storage place, but it is usually the biggest part of the budget.

Different companies need different backup solution that much is clear. Some may rely only on data recovery freeware, but most others should use either integrated hardware devices or stand-alone solutions depending on their exact needs and budget.

ByDaniel Gottilla

Outsourcing Disaster recovery planning

Disaster recovery plan is a very important thing for every company. Insurance problems, data backup, personnel training all of those and even more things are covered in a good disaster recovery plan. However, there is one problem human resources. In order to follow the plan, a company needs both people and their time. Unsurprisingly, the moment you start assigning duties, everyone seems to have a lot of work on his or her hands. What is even worse, many of them are really too busy and any change in their work timetable might be disastrous to company projects.

That’s why it is usually better to outsource the whole process of disaster recovery planning, using some staff finders to seek for right candidates. There already exist a number of companies specialized in finding staff capable of preparing and properly employing a disaster recovery plan.

Of course, outsourcing disaster recovery through staff finders is a completely different than finding new employees. First of all, you don’t look for an individual; you are interested in hiring a group of people who have already worked together in the past, or rather for a company that specializes in disaster recovery or business risk accounting. After you inform staff finders agencies about your requirements, all you need is to sit back and wait. People from such agencies start looking through their data bases searching for candidates that would be as close to your requirements as possible.

Usually after a few days you will be contacted by a staff finder company representative. He will show you the results of their searching with a bill for their services. According to their report you will now have to choose to whom entrusts planning of your company security. Of course, the report alone may not be enough. You might need to look for additional, more detailed information than you receive in the staff finders report. That’s why it is sometimes a good idea to contact more than one such agency. After you obtain reports from different staff finders, you are able to compare the information they have provided. That may give you and your company a better choice.

There are many arguments in favor of outsourcing disaster recovery planning. First of all, it allows normal work for your company, and second, people that you have found through staff finders are specialists; this is not their first time they will plan disaster recovery faster and more efficiently then any of your employees.

ByDaniel Gottilla

File recovery software – Disaster Recovery planning for IT environments

There are moments in your business life when you have to think about the future. The time to plan new strategies, review the old ones, and very important, to rethink current disaster recovery plan. A good plan covers many aspects of company activities it starts with a companies cars insurance, and ends with choosing proper file recovery software.

Recently, being able to access company information has became one of the most important qualities in business, especially in so-called IT environment. It is not a great surprise then that a great effort is made to make data recovery as accurate and fast as possible, thus making information safety one of the most important things in disaster recovery planning.

The whole process of planning disaster recovery, however, is no different in IT environment’s than it is in all the others even the need of fast and safe file recovery software is the same. You may distinguish four major parts in almost every disaster recovery plan:

  1. Finding company requirements. One recovery plan differs from another depending on differences in companies politics. An ideal plan for one company can be disastrous to another, making good file recovery software the only thing in common. In this step you actually predict what can happen to the company, and how to successfully bring everything back to normal state, in proper, unique order.
  2. Find means to make it happen. According to requirements, you have to find effective resources, such as the right technology and, of course, trained personnel. The technology should be capable of achieving the desired results. If you are expecting to have a system up and running in a matter of moments hundreds of miles away, you have to find a proper method of data recovery and effective file recovery software.
  3. Develop processes that make the resources effective. That means setting up certain procedures in case of disaster. Training personnel is also crucial; the company may be equipped with the newest file recovery software, but without skilled employee it’s just a waste of money.
  4. Institute cost accountability that provides efficiency. It is probably the most important step in planning disaster recovery. It is essential that the cost of putting the whole plan in motion does not outweigh the financial benefits it bears.

Sometimes you may find that disaster recovery is just too expensive. Even the best plan won’t cover every possibility. Sometimes the costs of data recovery systems (including licenses for file recovery software) outweigh the benefit of the recovery process. In such cases it is cheaper to backup your data manually from scratch, and simply store the hard copies of that data in a safe place in case of an emergency.

ByDaniel Gottilla

Data Recovery – the importance of data backups

Imagine that you are on your computer at work when suddenly all of the lights go out and the computer shuts down. After a few minutes the power is restored. You reboot your computer only to find that an error message appears. It tells you that a fatal error occurred, that some important data has disappeared. Situations such as this happen all too often the good news is that there are key safeguards, one of which is data recovery that can significantly reduce their occurrence.

Primary and the most fail-safe method of preparing data recovery are data backups. Data backup refers to the copying of computer’s information so that these copies may be restored through data recovery process after some fatal event. Backups are useful primarily for two purposes: to restore a computer to an operational state following an accident (also called disaster recovery), and to recover information files after they have been deleted or corrupted (file or data recovery). Backups are usually the last line of defense against data loss (but also the most important one); they require much time and consequently are the least convenient to use. The more important the data that is stored in the computer, the greater the need for backing up the data. Also, the probability of having to go through the data recovery process increases with the amount of information that is stored.
Why data backup is so important? In today’s world, information is more important than money. And a company that loses access to its critical data for more than 48 hours will likely be put out of business within one year. The necessity of data backup allows for quick and successful data recovery which grows with the size of the company the larger it is, the bigger the danger of data loss.

  • The main causes of data loss may be divided into following categories:
    Human errors – deletion of a file or program by mistake, misplacement of CDs or floppies, errors in administrating databases
  • Crimes (intentional acts) including thievery, hacking, industrial espionage
  • Natural (random) causes – including power failures, hardware failures, a sudden software crash or freeze, software bugs
  • Disaster – fire, flood, tornado, earthquake etc.

To prevent data loss a company must choose the right data backup strategy. It consists of many steps choosing the data repository model (from unstructured to continuous), right storage media (from floppy drives to magnetic tapes), and managing the existing copies (they can be destroyed during the same accident) They all have a big impact on successful data recovery, as well as on the well-being of a successful company.

ByDaniel Gottilla

How to Use Vulnerability Metrics to Prevent IT Disasters

Using vulnerability metrics to prevent IT disasters sounds like a complicated procedure, but it’s something that any business can implement. With a basic understanding of how the process works, this is a tool that can help you prioritize security issues and help you to address them efficiently.

What are Vulnerability Metrics?

A vulnerability metric is a set of values that are assigned to a variety of network and application security issues. In a nutshell, the metric addresses how widely known a vulnerability is, how at risk your business is from it, and what the impact of this vulnerability would be if exploited. The more widely known a vulnerability is, the more attackers could be using it and the more likely it is that a system will have preventative measures in place to stop the attack. There are a variety of metrics available, but at their heart this is what they do.

Using Vulnerability Metrics

Properly utilizing the data garnered from the vulnerability metric is important. For example, how often does your company search for and implement software patches? If your company does this weekly, the longest you can have a known operating system loophole open is one week. If your company patches monthly, you could have a full month with a weakness open, waiting to be exploited. Knowing what your weaknesses are and how to prioritize them can keep attackers out and your data and resources safe.

It should be noted that a vulnerability metric is not a real-time system. There are many metrics available that are free or available for a minimal charge, but they do not include the training and knowledge to be able to properly interpret the data. One cost-effective way of obtaining this knowledge without the expense of a full-time employee is to hire a consultant. The IT consultant can help assess the data and ensure that the metrics are being put to their best use, and you can hire them on an as-needed basis. A security professional can ensure you are implementing the suggested changes to keep your system safe.

Using vulnerability metrics to help prevent IT disasters isn’t difficult. Finding your weaknesses, understanding what they could do, and learning how best to prevent them is a basic security need, and the metric can provide a structure for this. Used in conjunction with an experienced consultant, these metrics can be invaluable in protecting your business from a variety of IT disasters.