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Business Continuity

Business Continuity FAQs

Do we still need to use tapes?

This is a “no win” question! It’s your call if we say “no”, we could be accused of undermining the very principles of Disaster Recovery; if we say, “yes”, we will be questioned on our belief of our solution! It may help to know that we use this solution ourselves and no longer use tapes. It’s our quiet observation that after the first successful 6-monthly test restore, most of our customers appear to drop tapes too. Understandable.

Why don’t you include insurance to cover hardware loss?

Most (all?) companies already have Contents insurance. By also including an element of insurance, this would increase the service cost and create a conflict between insurance companies (you would have to declare alternative cover to both parties).

Why don’t you include back-up cover for PCs?

There shouldn’t be any user data on PCs (data should only be on your servers).

In the event all your PCs were stolen/destroyed, this would be a good opportunity to rationalise / standardise the replacement PC installations.

Given all new PCs come with XP Pro or Vista (and typically with an OEM license of Office 2007) pre-installed anyway, it will take more work to re-install over these installations + subsequent licensing issues too.

However if you have a particular reason to back them up, by all means, make an installation copy on your server.

Do you offer pre-reserved office space?

Absolutely not, for a number of reasons:

If we were to offer reserved office space this would dramatically increase the service cost even if we multiple-booked each desk. If the DR event were widespread (e.g. terrorism), there would also be an allocation problem (please check exactly what guarantees other “reserved desks” companies actually offer). Further, if the event was terrorism, access to the more central offices would be questionable (transport?) and would staff want to travel into London anyway? Most incidents are short term (<1 week) and it would suit most people to work from home. Unlike most solutions, ours provides remote working through Terminal Services.

If you need to get everyone working together in the same office or it’s clearly a long term incident, then plot everyone’s home on a map and identify sensible local serviced offices that would benefit those staff for the temporary period. Every town in/around London has serviced offices! (Try searching “Serviced Offices” into Google and you’ll see what we mean).

Finally, if your offices were unavailable (fire, flood etc), most insurance policies (check yours) will provide cover for temporary relocation. This means if we included an element of cover for alternative offices, you would be paying for this month to month and should you ever need it, your insurance would have covered it anyway!

Why do you only offer BC for Microsoft networks and then only Server 2003?

The Business Continuum infrastructure/technology can back-up any Operating System (Novell, AS/400, Unix variants, Apple). Whilst we have cross-platform skills (indeed the restore CD you will be given uses Unix), we have limited our target market to Microsoft only in order to provide all the necessary resources to support your installation at all stages.

Server 2000/SBS2000 didn’t have a component called VSS which allows back-up software to handle Open Files. This means any files in use (even if all users are in bed) cannot be backed up. We will be releasing a BC version for Longhorn/Server2007 once out of beta.

What about phones?

You should arrange instant diverts with your ISDN line provider. Our customers have (optional) access to a web portal to instantly redirect all their calls to another location. When you’re planning your phone resilience, don’t work on redirecting to a mobile as soon as one call is in progress, all other calls are then engaged you need to select somewhere with a phone switch (PABX) and staff to take calls on your behalf.

Either:

Organise a reciprocal arrangement with a “sister/mutual” company

Subscribe to any one of a number of “Emergency Call Centres” (see Google)

Ask IntraLAN to provide this service for you. We simply answer your calls (in your company’s name) and forward all calls to individuals’ home/mobiles or email messages.

What about email?

Remember that your server should be recoverable within 24 hours (worse case). However, as the principles of DR require robustness, we also provide you with an alternative email server, accessible by POP3 by the Internet.

What happens if there are problems with my Internet line?

Total line failure: The LDM carries on as normal, faithfully backing up every night. On (eventual) recovery of the line, the synchronisation to the datavault can be completed. If the line is down for >24 hours, you simply can’t roll-back to a night where no synchronisation took place.

Intermittent line failure: The Differential file is encrypted, compressed and broken into 1Mb blocks. So if a block is messed up during synchronisation, it is simply 1Mb that is resent not the entire file!

What are the limitations of the test restore?

We don’t complete links with external services since-

When testing your email, this needs to use OWA. We restore each server to it’s own box, however there is a Microsoft limitation where Outlook and Exchange will not sit on the same server. This won’t be a problem in the event of a Level 4 hosting since Outlook will then be sitting on an external Terminal Services server.

Business Continuity Overview

Read what our customers say

What a cracking job you have done, I hadn’t appreciated the extent of what you (IntraLAN) had achieved, how professional you are and how impressed we are with the “can do” and teamwork to still deliver in spite of some serious adversities

Nelson, CEO at Pabulam Catering Ltd, Fleet Hampshire

Thank you to you and the team for another year of superb IT support and advice

Tom Brown, IT Manager at Liberty Wines Ltd London SW4

We cannot praise highly enough everyone at IntraLAN, from Helpdesk Support to Account Managers, they really do greatly assist in the smooth running of our business which is heavily IT reliant

Simon Grimmond, Partners Wealth Management, London EC2

IntraLAN have provided regular, comprehensive progress updates and achieved deadlines in a timely fashion

David Briggs, General Manager at London Medical, London W1