You and your coworkers have been working hard for some time to ensure business continuity of your company in case of some disaster. You also have made plans and prepared some hard drive data recovery methods. And then you probably found out that the best way to protect your data (and to protect your data is to protect your investment) is to minimize human involvement in protecting your files. This is the main reason for existence of system monitoring tools. They help minimize probability of human error during preparations for disaster recovery, thus making hard drive data recovery more secure.
There are many things hiding under the name â€œsystem monitoring. Tools that improve speed and accuracy of hard drive data recovery are just one option among many others. System monitoring may come in form of some pure software solution and it’s the most common form (sometimes very primitive versions are even implemented into operating systems). The bigger your expectations are, however, the bigger and more complicated system monitoring solution is needed.
Software monitoring system, as it was mentioned before, is the most common among its kind. It’s constantly running on the target computer, monitoring different operations and the current state of hardware. Such system can automatically perform backup of files that will be eventually needed during hard disk data recovery. It also can monitor using of universal power supply modules, warning user of incoming power failure. They can also show current temperature of processor, amount of memory being used, as well as free space and speed of hard drives.
Making hard drive data recovery process more reliable, warning users of incoming hardware problem’s sometimes it is not enough. More complex system monitoring solutions come in form of independent units. Such unit may perform more complicated tasks than software-based system monitoring solution. They can watch over traffic in your local area network as well as monitor over traffic coming in from the Internet, ensuring that no unauthorized access to your data occur. They also have built-in mechanisms that can alert the network administrator by email or cell phone before problems get completely out of hand and hard drive data recovery becomes a necessity. And there is also anti-virus protection that is often included in system monitoring units.
Constant protection of hardware, preparing hard drive data recovery, protection from hackers and viruses those are main benefits from using system monitoring solutions. All of those in addition to disaster recovery plan ensure continuity of your business, thus protecting your investment and your time.
A good incident response time can save you more than just hassle. After all, your business isnâ€™t just the goods and services you offer. It’s also your reputation for keeping data safe, for how quickly you respond to your clients and customers needs, and for having your records in proper order. In the event of an IT disaster, how ready will your company be to protect itself and get back up and running? Having a recovery plan in place is a good start, but having a comprehensive plan built and implemented by IT security and recovery experts is vital to save your company time and reputation.
The majority of work done by businesses runs on computers these days. Websites, data management, marketing, and even payroll are largely paperless. This is great for quickly accessing and utilizing data, but what happens if the data itself is compromised? Outside attackers, insider hacking, and viruses are all realities of the modern business world. Your company specializes in its particular business. Your IT staff, if you have it, manages the broad use of your technological needs. But what about up-to-date security and response times? Having someone trained to assess your system, implement changes, and to constantly revise and reassess your business needs is simply outside the scope of most IT employees. Finding an outside consultant who specializes in preventing IT disasters can ensure that you have a good incident response time, which can save your company if your system is attacked.
Disaster Recovery Plan Steps
One important step to make sure you have a good incident response time is to have a disaster recovery plan that is updated and on-hand. This plan will prioritize your applications and business needs to ensure that in the event of an IT disaster, you can get your most critical systems back up as quickly as possible. Getting up and running in fifteen minutes versus being back in business hours or days later will save your company resources and customers, both of which directly affect your bottom line.
A comprehensive plan of action is also preemptive. In order to make sure that your system is as safe as it can be and that your incident response time is quick, you should have your security, as well as your plan, reviewed and updated by a seasoned IT security professional. A consultant who does nothing but assist in security measures and in helping businesses get back up and running in the quickest time possible is one of the most valuable assets you can have. Without having to pay for a full- or even part-time employee, you can have access to a person with experience and up-to-date training who can limit your loss in the event of a successful attack or virus.
Your company can’t take the risk of being shut down due to poor incident response time. An experienced consultant can review your procedures and systems to ensure that your business is as safe as possible and has the best disaster plan available.
Monitoring your IT infrastructure with vulnerability severity ratings sounds complicated, but once you understand the process, it’s easy to implement into your business. By utilizing a rating system that helps determine where the gaps are in your infrastructure, you can find them, close them, and get on with business.
Your IT infrastructure is the hardware used to connect computers and users in your company. Cables, servers, routers, etc. are all part of the infrastructure. There’s often a large focus on securing the software end of a system, but overlooking the hardware infrastructure can leave your company at risk. Imagine what would happen if your network slowed to a crawl or crashed due to a spike in volume. Your company may not have access to vital systems and resources, and business could all but shut down. Not only is this bad for your reputation and customers, but it’s bad for your bottom line.
Benefits of Vulnerability Ratings
The first step in monitoring your IT infrastructure is to assess which pieces are the most vital to your operations. The vulnerability severity ratings can help you to determine which aspect of your hardware to address first. If you have a hardware failure that is affecting the performance of your firewall, is this more or less important than network issues causing data loss? How do you store your data, and are there ways to store it more securely and that allow for quicker access to it? What if some data is lost, how easily can it be recovered? All of these are questions that can be addressed with vulnerability severity ratings.
Another way that vulnerability severity ratings can help you monitor your IT infrastructure is through helping you find potential gaps that could cause cascading failures. The risk of one piece of your infrastructure failing may, in itself, not be critical, but if it causes a domino effect of network failures that crash your operations, your business will come to a halt along with your network. Using these ratings to determine which pieces of your infrastructure need additional space, or which ones have simply become obsolete, can help reduce the likelihood of a critical system failure due to a cascade.
Assessing and monitoring your IT infrastructure with vulnerability severity ratings is an important step toward ensuring that your network will run smoothly and securely. Finding gaps and closing them can reduce downtime, speed up your network, and keep your data safe all of which impact your bottom line. By knowing what pieces are the most vulnerable and how to address them, you are in a better position to keep your systems stable and get down to business.
If your business is growing and you’re seeing an increasing demand on network resources, it may be time to tap into predictive capacity planning. Ensuring that your system is running quickly, that your data is easy to manage, and that your clients and customers can shop and access their data is important for the growth of your company. By taking some steps to plan appropriately, you can make sure that your system runs as smoothly in the future as it does now.
What is Capacity Planning?
Capacity planning is the art and science of determining how your system needs will change over time. You need to make sure that you have the resources to handle spikes in email, network requests, data access, and other system requirements. The goal is to have the space to handle an increase in requests without having so much infrastructure that you’re overspending and wasting resources. The critical idea is to find the balance between having enough and having far too much. Predictive capacity planning takes this one step further by forecasting what increases or decreases in resources you will need for the future.
The primary goal of predictive capacity planning is to assess needs before they become critical. All too often, IT planning is put aside until there is a crisis. When the network is running slow, customers are crashing the site, and emails are jammed, you have a huge problem. Now is the time to decide how to manage your future, and by tapping into predictive capacity planning, this scenario doesn’t have to play out. Solutions can be found before they are needed, and your system will keep running smoothly.
Future Capacity Needs
Assessing your capacity needs is a complicated issue. After all, you want to have the resources to handle spikes in network usage and plan for growth, but if you overplan, you may end up with bandwidth you’re not using and idle servers that are growing increasingly obsolete. Predictive capacity planning is about maximizing resources and weighing your needs. One great solution is to contact an experienced IT consultant. These professionals have the experience and training to develop a plan to fit your individual needs. Every business is different, even those in the same industry, and you deserve a plan tailored to your company.
Tapping into predictive capacity planning isn’t just something to consider, it’s a smart business move. Not only can you avoid slow networks and downtimes, but you can maximize your growth potential and rest assured your systems will continue to run smoothly. With the experience of an IT consultant, you can develop a plan and implement it with a minimum of hassle. Maximizing your growth potential without overspending is smart business, and predictive capacity planning can make it happen.
Not all of information technology support is about setting up your business’s IT infrastructure and doing damage control if a server collapses. A large portion of the work done by reputable IT consultants and consultant firms actually focuses on regular performance monitoring of your system to ensure that everything is working as it should.
In their most basic form, System Performance Monitoring is central to productivity. Most computer networks and servers operate based on available bandwidth, which determines how many users can access the server at the same time and how fast the connection will be. If there is any sort of error that occurs on the server – from a total loss to a slowdown caused by undetectable malware or other complications related to memory, disk or connectivity – your employees might experience slower connections, lost emails, or other productivity inhibitors. While these may not always cause your business to stop completely, they can cut into the work day and slow down the progress you make as an organization.
Additional concerns might occur in your software, operating systems, or even the hardware that makes up your systems. Any and all of these things might malfunction, which means that your IT system will not be working up to its full potential.
How Monitoring Helps Business
IT System Performance Monitoring can take a variety of forms, each one designed to address different issues with your system and server. Some are as simple as routine, automatic system inspections using open-source software, while others are as complex as physical testing of the system to find ways to enhance overall performance. In all cases, the end goal is a smooth-running approach to information technology that reduces the potential for error or major catastrophes later on down the road.
The one thing System Performance Monitoring does is to address issues that have their root in a poorly supported network. For example, a computer system that runs on a server meant for a smaller business may simply not have the capacity to support additional users, and the only solution may be a new infrastructure or increased bandwidth. What monitoring can do in this situation is assess how close your business is to reaching its threshold of support and alert you to the need for additional technology.
How Do I Know if I Need System Performance Monitoring?
Almost everyone needs some sort of regular system performance monitoring, no matter how small their organization. In most cases, smaller businesses can use software that automatically tests the system and provides alerts and if anything is found amiss. Many of these types of software can perform data backups and give you regular updates on the amount of server space or memory left on your system.
Larger organizations and those supporting large servers may need to look for more intensive solutions. However, because there is so much more at stake, the cost of a proprietary system is easily offset by the damage that might occur if something goes wrong.
Implementing disaster recovery best practices in your business may seem like a time-consuming project, but it’s an essential step to protect your resources and reputation in the event of a system failure. There’s more on the line than just losing data. The time it takes to get things up and running again lowers your productivity. Not only that, but the downtime can lead to lost sales and a loss of confidence as clients and customers try to access you during the downtime.
The first step in developing a plan is to decide what hardware and software are critical for the operation of your business. Are there programs that your business can do without for a few hours or days? Which ones will bring the company to a standstill? Identifying and prioritizing these items will ensure that you and your staff are concentrating on the most critical elements of your network in the event of a disaster. It’s also important to make sure that representatives of many departments are on hand to help decide the priority list. Each department may have a different idea of what is important, and it’s only by hearing each perspective that you can put together a comprehensive plan.
A plan is the right place to start, but your disaster recovery best practices will need to be reevaluated and updated on a regular basis. It’s important to have one person or one group of people in charge of doing this. If it is part of an employee’s job duties, you can ensure that they are making sure the company’s needs are being met.
Another key step in disaster recovery is regularly backing up your systems and data. Limiting the amount of time between your last backup and a disaster means there is less data lost and you can recover more quickly.
Test your plan by having a mock disaster. If you know in advance that you are going to have a mock crisis and have your data and systems properly backed up, you can test both your employees and the plan without risking losing data or much time. This test may seem like a nuisance, but knowing in advance if there are weaknesses in your plan could save you quite a bit of money and resources should the real disaster occur.
Developing and implementing a disaster recovery best practices plan is one key way of protecting your business and customers in the event of a catastrophe. Taking the time to be thorough about the plan and to test it will ensure that your preparations aren’t just good on paper, but that they’re also good in practice. The sooner you can get up and running again, the more time and resources you save and the sooner you can get back to business.
In today’s work environment, disaster planning is about more than insuring a physical office or having emergency plans for workers. Disaster recovery planning a way to retrieve data and information from computers is also an important component of salvaging your business from a crisis.
What would happen to your business if a disaster like a fire, an earthquake, or a flood were to hit your business? What would happen to your company’s computer data? Would you be able to recover in the event that all your computers including servers were destroyed?
These are serious questions that all business owners and IT planning personnel should ask themselves on a regular basis. Although no one likes to think about disasters, they do happen, and when they do, businesses should always be prepared. After all, in a business world that is dependent on technology, ensuring that your data is safe and that your business can continue despite a disaster is often the only way to keep a business operating after the unlikely occurs. This is especially true as your technology grows and changes, since you’ll want to prepare each new piece of technology for a potential crisis.
Disaster Recovery Plan Basics
Disaster recovery planning (DRP) is also known as business continuity plan (BCP). It is considered a mainstay of enterprise computing, particularly for large or spread-out organizations. However, smaller organizations can also benefit from the fundamentals of having a disaster recovery plan, since any information loss can set you back weeks or even months.
Disaster recovery plans vary from organization to organization. In most cases, disaster recovery plans include some type of backup plan for data as well as a plan for an alternate site for work to continue in the event that the main office is compromised due to a disaster. For larger companies, a disaster recovery plan may also include a phone tree to ensure organized communication of what is happening with the company in the event of an emergency.
Data Backups and Disaster Recovery
Backups are an essential part of any disaster recovery planning. Whether data is lost due to a catastrophic hardware failure or due to a disaster, all essential data should be duplicated and kept in a secure location.
The time to think about a disaster is before it happens. By planning ahead to find a site to run your business from in the event of a disaster, running regular backups of your important computer data, and having a plan for recovery, your business will be well prepared to continue despite the odds.
It does not matter how good your disaster recovery plan is, or even how good and advanced your data backup systems are (data recovery software and hardware alike). This instance may seem a little extreme, but disaster recovery is so important that the key metric is simple: either your procedures work as intended, or they don’t. Finding out how well your data recovery software works to restore your data, is something you need to do before you need them. As it is with many other complex procedures, disaster recovery testing is divided into phases, in this case into three main validation, testing and deployment.
This part of the process depends only on finding the answers to two questions:
– Do the requirements you have for your data recovery software / hardware system represent your business requirements correctly?
– Can you prove that your data recovery software / hardware system actually meets your company’s requirements?
As its name implies, validation is mostly about proving that your disaster recovery design is correct and complete. You might have a great disaster recovery plan, newest and fastest data recovery software and still, it may not meet some of your business requirements.
During this phase actual testing takes place. There are two main methods of testing unit and integration testing. The first one concentrates on testing a single backup station (data recovery software, backup drives) at a time, while the second one tests the workings of the whole system. This may seem like an unnecessary distinction, but it’s very important first test will tell you things such as whether a particular server’s tape drive works properly, and integration testing will show whether you can successfully take a tape that this drive wrote, move it to another machine, and use data recovery software there to rebuild your information on a different machine.
Here you finally execute your plan. This phase shows if there is any need for modifications, what to improve; It allows evaluating the current disaster recovery, as well as summarizing all tests results. This is, however usually not the end of testing. Post-deployment testing is a great way to find settings or procedures that may have slipped through the cracks.
This description may make testing sound much more complicated than you’d expect. Testing your company disaster recovery plan can certainly be a time-consuming process; even so, validation, testing, and deployment are absolutely necessary to make sure that the data recovery software will not fail at that critical moment.
The last few years were a very good time for data security in the IT market. It is also much easier to find a job in the IT market. However, when you are trained in using task automation and corrective processing methods, your chance to find a job grows even more along with your potential salary. Those skills are in high demand now!
What exactly is task automation and corrective processing? Nowadays those two skills are used in almost every aspect of computer science. If you find a job as a data security network administrator, or as a programmer, you will use those two methods almost every day.
First let’s take a closer look at task automation. Let’s say that someone finds a job as a system administrator. He could easily spend every minute of every day at work performing periodic maintenance tasks unless he finds a method of automation. Automation entails creating scripts that the system can execute at a particular time each day, week, or month. Automation also includes the simplification of interactive tasks by creating scripts or programs. Tasks that are repeated often and are complicated or tedious are good candidates for both simplification and automation.
As you see, task automation is in fact a very simple process. Corrective processing is a little more complicated. However, this method also can, and sometimes must, be used almost everywhere, even outside the IT industry. Almost everywhere where data processing is used, there is a place for corrective processing. It may be something’s as simple as purifying html code, to a little more complicated calculations involving Hubble’s telescope.
In the IT business, data security and corrective processing is mostly used to check for errors in new software, but that’s not all. It is also used for optimization, like clearing or simplifying the program code to make it run faster or be better read by search engine robots. There are also many new IT companies where you can find a job that is concentrated solely on corrective processing. Such companies are usually sub-hired by other, bigger ones to check on their product. Even one of the biggest producers of antivirus software is outsourcing corrective processing of its products, so the demand for corrective processing specialists is high indeed.
But the real art is connecting task automation and corrective processing into one, single process. People who have obtained both skills can find a job almost everywhere, and for quite a good salary. So, if you are currently trying to find a job, it would be a good idea to learn at least one, if not both skills. Your chances to find a well-paid job will grow!
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.