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Every second your servers are down is money lost — and that loss can be disastrous. Enterprises on average lose $7,900 per minute of downtime, according to a 2013 Ponemon Institutestudy. Data center outages typically last around 119 minutes —meaning that the average outage costs about $901,500. If that number isn’t terrifying by itself, consider that a natural disaster can cause an outage lasting days, not minutes or hours. In this situation, the speed at which you get up and running again can determine the future of your company.

Whether it’s a natural disaster or manmade calamity, IT managed services can minimize downtime and get your company back to work when the worst happens. While a reliable, highly qualified managed hosting partner can cost more than a cheap, barebones cloud disaster recovery vendor, the former can have a lasting impact on your business. You can’t afford to go without one.

If you’re looking for an IT partner to help you with your disaster recovery efforts, there are three factors you need to look for in order to ensure that your team is prepared to face any potentially threatening situation.

1. Staffing Consistency and Qualifications

Many companies cut corners, employing short-term contractors instead of IT experts. Because of the short-term, limited nature of the agreement, these contractors can miss essential steps, failing to check backup data integrity or update logs. By the time they realize data is missing, it’s too late.

Even if they backup data correctly, these contractors don’t have the same ability to work quickly as a team. They won’t be able to coordinate effectively with the client, preventing them from being able to triage and assess the situation properly. While an effective team will be able to get Tier 1 applications up and running smoothly after an event, unorganized contractors will struggle to find their footing, meaning your servers will experience more downtime.

Symmetry believes good disaster recovery services need good people on the job. We employ a highly certified team who love working together. We know our clients’ needs and infrastructure, and test our DR procedures until they’re second nature. That way, when every second counts, everyone can do their job right.

2. Quality of Hardware Infrastructure

With mission critical applications, disaster recovery services have to be backed up by top-notch infrastructure. Any cloud disaster recovery company can back up your data, but creating a backup isn’t enough. You need a company that can assess your infrastructure needs and furnish you with the right hardware to get you up and running in an emergency.

Symmetry deliberately over-invests in hardware so we can be ready for anything. We’ll work with your business to assess your cloud disaster recovery needs, and prepare for the theoretical worst-case scenario. Symmetry’s tiered DRaaS offering can provide you with everything from basic disaster recovery server hosting, tape backup, and DR testing; to a “hot” server, online log shipping, and a dedicated VPN to get emergency mode operations up and running immediately.

3. Familiarity with Compliance Protocols

Disaster doesn’t just mean fires and floods — a major hacking attack or inadvertent data disclosure can be every bit as devastating to your organization. PCI, HIPAA, and other compliance regimes expose you to major liabilities if your backup data falls into the wrong hands — even if it isn’t your fault. That means if your barebones cloud disaster recovery vendor gets hacked, you’re on the hook for the damages.

Symmetry takes pride in our infrastructure security. Our annual SSAE 16 compliance auditing ensures we maintain the highest standards of access control, data center security, and internal monitoring. And our expertise at Compliance as a Service means we can help you avoid disasters caused by malicious actors — both in daily operations and emergencies.

Your company doesn’t have to be helpless in the face of disaster. At Symmetry, we believe disaster recovery services should go beyond helping you prepare for the worst. With the right support team, your enterprise can make sure that you can quickly bounce back from any disaster.

Photo Credit: © Bakhtiar Zein/Bigstock

Randy Downey, Senior Cloud Architect

Randy Downey, Senior Cloud Architect

As the Senior Cloud Architect at Symmetry, Randy brings over 14 years of experience in Information Technology with focus in Virtualization, Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds, System Design and Implementation, Data Center Operations, and Desktop/Server Engineering. He also has extensive experience with VMware solutions at the enterprise level across multiple industries including Managed Hosting, Cloud Service Providers, Global Utilities, and Healthcare.