I’d like to start with a point-blank question: What would happen if you suddenly lost all or most of your company’s data, all emails and email attachments, if your company’s operations were forced to come to a sudden halt? That would be a completely Disaster. Don’t you agree?
And that’s a situation that is not so uncommon. In this article we’ve seen that there could be some accidental problems that can happen in daily situations, but what about a natural cataclysm or disaster, such as fire or storm, or a cyber attack, or virus or malware that infect your systems and cause data corruption?
These are situations and scenarios we surely want to avoid, but if they happen, we must be prepared with a well structured plan:
Disaster Recovery or Business Continuity?
Often there is a tendency to confuse Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery, and in fact these two terms are many times overlapped and interchanged. But nonetheless there are differences between these two plans and both are useful and functional, although in a different way and with different goals. Let’s try to understand together what they are, when they should be scheduled and why.
Usually a Business Continuity Plan is used to ensure continuity in the use of data and systems in situations where a disaster is occurring. Prevention and recovery steps must be designed and planned to minimize the damage caused by the occurrence of the disaster situation, this is to ensure as little downtime as possible.
But there are situations where this is not enough, even if having a Business Continuity Plan is very important and useful, and that is where the Disaster Recovery Plan comes in. In fact, it is planned and later used to restore critical functions after the event (both cataclysm or cyber attack) and it is focused on how to respond on a downtime event. So it works well for both physical and technical problems, but you have to be sure to have planned it well because otherwise it will be really critical to face a disaster situation, recover your data and restore your business functions in a short time.
As we already seen in this article, doing backup is important and it is for sure a practice that can help in situations where you have to do a disaster recovery, but what makes the real difference is how and how often you do that. We talk about RTO (Recovery Time Objective) as the highest amount of time that a stakeholder is willing to wait to recover its data. We talk about RPO (Recovery Point Objective) as the highest amount of data that a stakeholder is willing to loose in case of a disaster. RTO depends from data size while RPO depends from backup frequency.
Different approachs are used for disaster recovery from hand made ones to the enterpise grade, with different costs, different features different complexity and mostly different RTO and RPO. For example, one traditional solution is to copy the entire server(s) to another one that could be local or remote. This solution for sure can grant you a perfect copy of all of your data, mailboxes and all related items, but it needs you to stop all services on your primary server(s) to be completed and to avoid any possible error or corruption in data copy.
Another solution is to use virtulization, but hot backup are not supported for all platforms or software, so it can happen that you have to stop services to have a consistent replica and backup. In addition to that, if you have to backup all your infrastructure, the backup intervals start to become very long and this increases RPO!
That why the real deal is not just how to save and backup your data, but how often you do that (and you probably aim to do that daily) and how easily you can recover all of your data.
Although zero is ideal value for the RPO the the realistic values are near zero. The solution provided by Zextras Backup, is going to combine Real Time Scan and SmartScan functions to guarantee a very low RPO!
The Real Time Scanner ensures that all changes are recorded as soon as possible while the SmartScan copies all items that have been modified, hence the possible loss of data is minimised and usually limited tochanges between two consecutive run on SmartScan. So Zextras Backup lets you make backup of your Zimbra mailbox(es), files and data on any kind of local, remote or external structure. It doesn’t matter if it is a “twin” of the primary one. That surely allows you to save time and space moving data in an easy way and without having to stop any services or in any way the production and operations of your company. That really makes the difference !
All you have to do, before start using Zextras solution for Zimbra backup, is to set up the target infrastructure where you want to store your backup. That could sound quite annoying and impractical, but it gives you the opportunity to plan things ahead of time and be able to test them any way you want, actually being extremely effective. It’s better to be prepared and test things before they could happen than having to do everything in a hurry when a crash happens. It’s not nice to have to install everything when your systems are down and your only thought is to restore every feature as quickly as possible to reduce downtime and ensure your business continuity.
You can take a look on main features of Zextras Backup solution by visiting our website.
Summing it up
Being victim of a disaster, physical or technical, is definitely a critical situation to have to deal with and no one would ever want that to happen. But anything can happen when you least expect it, so it’s always best to be prepared.
As we have seen in this article, among the possible solutions, Zextras offers very efficient opportunities to protect your Zimbra. To have the opportunity to try them out yourself, giving added value to your Zimbra webmail, all you have to do is Try Zextras Suite free for 30 days