Server Failure Recovery

Server failure, even for the shortest time, can be disastrous for any business. Hackers capitalize on system failure to propagate online attacks, which can lead to costly damage. If you want to protect yourself from the damaging effects of server failure, you need to understand how interruptions occur. It’s also crucial to know how you can get up and running after such an occurrence. Most importantly, you must know the steps to take to protect your business from system failure.

What Causes Server Failure?

Server failure can be because of internal or external factors. The most common causes include:

  • Human error through accident or negligence: It is impossible to safeguard systems against human error completely. However, organizations can take steps towards reducing the risk of error.
  • Cyberattack attempts: Vulnerabilities within networks make it easy for hackers to access systems and steal data. Even when systems are relatively secure, they may still be at risk of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. This can crash servers that are not prepared to withstand a spike in traffic.
  • Equipment failure: Physical infrastructure is always vulnerable to disaster, making it a leading cause of downtime. Equipment failure includes UPS battery failure, a malfunction in the data center cooling system, or a server going down.
  • Software failure: Software failure is less common than equipment failure. It happens when you update systems with poorly tested patches. Outdated software is also problematic as it cannot keep high-traffic networks functional.
  • Natural disasters: Natural disasters may not be as catastrophic as they sound, but they pose significant threats to networks. Weather events like excessive heat, tornadoes, and lightning strikes have proven to be causes of severe network downtime.

Approaches to Server Failure Recovery

One of the things you must do to ensure successful server failure recovery is to have a backup system. International industry standards like ISO 27001 demand that you develop a data protection concept for your business. This standard stipulates who is responsible for data backup and decision-makers who can provide data recovery.

The data backup schedule determines when you have to create backups and how many generations you must save. It also outlines the storage media to use and the specific transport modalities required, for example, encryption.

Using the 3-2-1 Backup Strategy 

The 3-2-1 backup approach entails keeping a minimum of three copies of your data. Two of the copies should be on two different on-site devices, and the other one off-site. The two devices could be an external hard drive and the other one the internal memory of your computer.

Your online backup solution is constantly at work to scan your computer and upload your data off-site. This serves as the third copy of your data.

Why should you use the 3-2-1 backup strategy? Whether you want to back up a Mac or a PC, on-site data provides you with quick access to your data. If anything happens to your computer, you can get much of your data back from the external hard drive. If you keep your external device fairly updated, data loss will be at a minimum. The risk of data loss is only to those files you had not copied to the external storage at the time of the crash.

Having an off-site backup completes your backup strategy to on-site backup. For example, having a PC and external hard drive on the same desk makes both of them susceptible to data loss. Fires, theft, or floods could happen, destroying your data backups. The only thing that could save you, in this case, is having a copy of your data in a different physical location.

While the 3-2-1 backup strategy is not entirely perfect, it serves as an excellent start for many businesses. In a paper for the United States government, Data Backup Options, Carnegie Mellon recommends this approach to data backup.

Take Proactive Action Against Critical Server Failure

The best thing you can do to protect your company against server failure and data loss is to take proactive action. You must have a reliable IT company to help you take the correct measures to prevent server failure. For example, you might feel apprehensive about backing up data on your own. A professional IT company that specializes in these services can ensure that you do it the right way.

More importantly, choose a company that can help you with data recovery if a disaster occurs. The correct disaster recovery measures help your company maintain or resume critical functions after system or server failure. Your business cannot afford to be tolerant of downtimes, considering that the world has become fast-paced. Disaster recovery is a crucial component of doing business to help companies recover after data loss.

Two crucial components used in server failure recovery are recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO).

  • RTO is the maximum amount it takes to recover files from backup storage and resume normal operations. From another perspective, it is the maximum downtime period that your company can endure. If the RTO is an hour, the systems should not be down for longer than that.
  • RPO is the maximum file age you must restore from the backup storage for normal operations to continue. This is the determining factor of your minimum backup frequency. If your company’s RPO is 12 hours, the backup must occur every 12 hours.

These two factors are crucial in helping you choose a server recovery strategy, procedure, or technology for your company. Preparation for disaster recovery also encompasses power, hardware, connectivity, networking equipment, and testing for maximum recovery. Ensure the company you choose to work with offers all these services as a package.

Final Thoughts

Server failure recovery and data backup are not mutually exclusive. Your company’s best practices for cybersecurity should involve both approaches.

Putting up regular and consistent backup plans to protect your business is no easy feat. Recovery is even more crucial if system failure happens. An expert must step in to help you with the process to prevent further loss. This is what we specialize in doing at 4BIS. We provide technical support and managed IT services to businesses in the Greater Cincinnati area.  Call us today to schedule a consultation and find out what we can do for your business.

Written by James Forbis
Posted on: May 17, 2021