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Time – The Most Important Metric in Backup and Disaster Recovery

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time_an_important_metric.pngDo you know how much an hour of downtime would cost your business? The loss of access to a CRM or emails for even just an hour can have lasting financial impacts on the business, and being unable to quantify these costs is a serious problem.

Not got an answer? You’re not the only one, for in a recent surveyed carried out on the attitudes towards disaster recovery as a service, it was revealed that more than a third of respondents couldn’t answer either.

A lax approach

Too many of us just perform data backups because we know we have to, on the off chance that we lose the primary versions of our data. But the possibility of a systems failure is, and should be for all of us, a pressing concern because when a disk crashes on a user’s device or fire destroys a data centre, it’s not just the data that needs restored. In these cases, it’s the whole working environment that needs reinstated, and the longer it takes, the more money your business stands to lose.

Such a lax approach to backup and disaster recovery is a cause for concern, as it suggests that many decision makers aren’t aware of the financial impact an outage could cause, hindering the organisation's disaster recovery planning.

Recovery Time

How long it actually takes to recover data depends on a number of various factors that should be considered in the backup and disaster recovery planning process.

Quantifying the costs of downtime

Putting a firm figure to the costs of down time is the first step in minimising your organisation's disaster recovery time. For each organisation and their systems, the period of time after a disaster strikes and the point where the consequences of downtime become increasingly unacceptable will vary. Knowing where this point (RTO) is for your organisation and its systems is essential in creating an effective backup and disaster recovery process.

The Backup Method

There are a number of backup solutions and methods available on the market from an even greater number of vendors. Each option will have an impact on the way your organisation backs up your data; the ways in which it is stored and ways in which it can be recovered – impacting your organisation’s over all recovery time.

Backup Frequency

How often backups are performed will have a direct impact on how quickly an organisation can pick up where it left off before the disaster struck, with each backup representing the exact point in time that an organisation can be restored to (RPO). The more time that has passed between the last backup performed and the disastrous occurrence, the more data which is lost, and greater the impact to the business.

Each system must be reviewed to determine its rate of change and the volume of data that the business could potentially stand to lose. The quicker the change rate and the smaller the volume will result in much more frequent backups being required.

A Secondary Site?

Data can be lost for a number of reasons. The scale of the disaster will have an impact on the number of people affected and the time it takes to recover. If a single user’s device becomes corrupt, finding them a replacement device and restoring the lost data is a tiresome but often uncomplicated process – assuming frequent backups have been performed. This has a minimal overall impact on the business.

But when you scale this disaster up to one that affects the entire organisation, the consequences can become increasingly dire as it is now a task of replacing the entire infrastructure.

Restoring data and systems quickly depends on the consideration your organisation has given to the requirements of a secondary recovery site.


Each of these interplaying features have an overall impact on the time it takes your organisation to recover from a disaster, and should be considered in the backup and disaster recovery planning process.

Backup Systems offer a fully managed backup and disaster recovery solution; written and supported in house, by UK software engineers and support staff. Specialists in onsite and cross site business backups, we are one of the UK's leading backup companies offering cost effective and secure backups to medium to large organisations for a single annual cost.

With over 10 years' experience, Backup Systems have a diverse portfolio of satisfied clients from a number of industry sectors. 


Trowers & Hamlins is an international law firm offering clients the full list of legal services, with offices throughout the UK, Middle East and Far East. 

The firm was looking for a backup solution that was quicker, more successful, more manageable, and ultimately more cost effective than their existing tape-based methods.   

With Backup Systems they found a service that significantly reduces the time and money spent backing up organsiational data. 

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Topics: Disaster Recovery