Read this BEFORE your five year old network dies!

We had a situation recently that really drove home a key point in technology planning for Small businesses. This is especially relevant to “paperless” professional offices, like doctors, dentists, veterinarians, and other business that don’t routinely keep paper backup…and rely on their computers to run business day-to-day.

First off, let’s make this clear: Data backup is the single most important protection for any business. Or person. Period. If you don’t have a tested data backup that is the first thing you need to do. Call or e-mail us today to make it happen. We won’t laugh, yell, or judge you, but we will act with all possible haste to make sure you’re protected.

So once you have your files safely backed up once a day you’re done, right? Indeed, for many small businesses a file-based backup is all they need. Sometimes, though, there is more to the story.

Another type of loss

A new client had a problem: Their server “died” unexpectedly overnight. The office manager arrived in the morning and found that she couldn’t access the system. They had a reliable data backup in place, so there was no initial panic, but after a few moments she realized she

  • could not view the day’s schedule
  • could not access patient phone numbers to ask the day’s patients to reschedule
  • was not able to access patients’ records
  • was not able to confirm tomorrow’s patients
  • could not record procedures and calculate charges
  • could not accept checks or run credit cards for payment

In short, this busy professional office was brought to a standstill.

A $300 per hour professional business owner and her $75 per hour technicians were unable to perform most of their core job functions. The office staff was unable to contact clients, compute bills, or collect payments. This collateral damage will set the operation back by thousands of dollars in addition to our emergency response labor charges.

Ouch. Of course we have a better way.

The Alternate Reality

One of our other clients had an event that started in a similar way: Their server “died” unexpectedly overnight. They knew they had a tested file-based backup system in place and didn’t panic. After a few seconds, the impact of a server-less day started to hit the office manager. She called us.

We connected into their network and accessed an on-site backup device….signed on…selected the server name, set a few options, and clicked a link called, “Virtualize this server.” Within ten minutes we saw a message saying “Server started” and were able to connect into a complete copy of their server  taken at the end of the previous day.

Within 30 minutes the office manager was viewing the day’s schedule. A full day’s work was done (and billed for!) We fixed the server in our lab during daytime hours at our normal labor rates, returned the system a couple days later, and performed a “bare metal” restore to re-install the server with then-current data.

This incident left the operation down for one hour. About a day’s labor at normal rates. Total cost is reduced by more than 70%.

Advanced recovery from major problems

We can also add off-site virtualization, so that in the event of a fire, flood, theft, or other major disaster we can start a copy of the server “in the cloud,” so that the practice owner and office manager can get into a working copy of their database to get the most critical information (next day’s schedule, financials, client contact info) and begin provisions to work from a temporary location…or at least notify the next day’s patients of schedule changes.

These systems are surprisingly affordable for businesses where they are needed. We generally use a combined approach with a file-based backup that maintains multiple revisions of key files, combined with a backup device to keep important systems available for use.

It’s almost certain that an investment of a few hundred dollars per month will save your business from several thousand dollars of loss during its life. Even if your server is relatively new we can show you how it works and determine if an advanced business continuity solution makes sense for your operations.

Call, e-mail, message, or connect with us to get the details!


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