Serve Up Resilience With Continuous System Replication

Data backup and replication aren't the same thing. Here's why your small and medium-sized business (SMB) clients need both.

  • April 14, 2022 | Author: Khali Henderson
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When it comes to cyber resilience, time matters. After all, the goal in helping your clients become resilient is for them to be able to continue business operations and production even if they suffer a cyberattack or business-disrupting event. That means compromised systems need to be restored quickly. This is where replication comes in.

What is replication?
Replication continuously copies and updates data from primary servers and mission-critical business systems (your clients’ main infrastructure) to secondary, or alternative, infrastructure. When a disruption occurs in your client's primary infrastructure, users are automatically rerouted to the secondary infrastructure, ensuring business continuity. In fact, depending on the systems and setups employed, and the strength of the replication provider, users may not even realize they're operating on secondary infrastructure.

What’s the difference between backup and replication?
Although the terms are often (and erroneously) used interchangeably, data backup and replication are not the same thing.

Data backup provides predetermined, point-in-time snapshots of key data. The practice of data backup is important for full system backups, compliance and affordably avoiding full data loss. Backup doesn’t capture data as frequently as replication, but one of the biggest benefits of backing up data is multiple copies of data, which helps a business respond to data corruption. However, when data is restored from backups, the process is slow and disruptive to operations, and the system can miss valuable data that was in use or stored in between data snapshots at different points in time.

Replication, on the other hand, is all about business continuity, delivering much more frequent backups, instant or rapid recovery, and “always-on” data protection.

These two methods of data duplication and storage are complementary to one another and can serve as multiple layers of protection within a business’s cyber resilience strategy.

Use a provider that delivers on both fronts
It's worth noting that not all backup and recovery providers are equal. Any provider worth choosing should deliver a spectrum of backup solutions—from core servers and systems all the way out to individual endpoints.

And ideally, you should be able to rely on a single provider for backup, replication and restoration. This way, you can deliver an intelligent, properly planned and synchronized backup and business continuity plan that can help your clients with all their data storage, protection and recovery needs, both disruptive and nondisruptive.

It's also important to work with a provider that delivers fully automated, unintrusive solutions that don’t degrade productivity.

Talk about replication with clients
Replication is one of those areas where you need to help your clients sort through common technology misunderstandings. In this case, you need to help them understand that backup and replication are two distinct processes with different business objectives.

To help with this, we’ve prepared a deep dive into selecting a server backup and replication provider partner that can help you find solid footing in this vital but oft-misunderstood component of cyber resilience. Selecting the right provider partner can go a long way toward helping you open discussions with clients—particularly if you select one that understands your MSP’s needs and is committed to the channel.


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