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CTN Solutions has been serving the greater Philadelphia area since 1997, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

BDR Is Better Than Just Data Backup Alone

BDR Is Better Than Just Data Backup Alone

Maintaining a proper data backup system is one of the most important parts of business continuity. Even if it’s something you’d rather not think about, if you don’t take data backup seriously, then your organization is at considerably greater risk. We’ll walk you through the proper steps toward making your organization’s future more secure through data backup.

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What Can You Do to Improve Data Recovery?

What Can You Do to Improve Data Recovery?

Let’s face it; nobody wants to talk about disaster recovery, as even invoking these words makes the possibility a reality. Unfortunately, this is something that has to be discussed, as your business depends on it.

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Tip of the Week: You Better Test Your Backup

Tip of the Week: You Better Test Your Backup

Data backup can be the difference between a business that fails and a business that succeeds. If an organization suffers from a data loss incident, it wouldn’t be able to survive without data backup. With a data backup and disaster solution, you can ensure business continuity. But what does this kind of system need in order to succeed, and how can you make sure your organization benefits from a data backup system in place?

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4 Backup and Recovery Terms You Should Understand

4 Backup and Recovery Terms You Should Understand

With data looked on as more of an asset than ever organizations are finding that their data backup and recovery system needs to be comprehensive. By knowing more about backup and recovery, you stand to be able to plan the solution to meet your company’s needs. Today, we will look at the different types of data backup and introduce you to four terms you need to understand.

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Just How Important Is the Data Recovery Process?

Just How Important Is the Data Recovery Process?

Data recovery can make you break your business continuity plan, and you absolutely cannot underestimate how important this is for the future of your organization. There are countless ways your business could lose data, and if you encounter even a single one of them, your organization could be put at serious risk. We’ll take a look at operational data loss and how your organization needs to strategize data recovery.

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Disasters Aren’t Always Caused By Disasters

Disasters Aren’t Always Caused By Disasters

Disasters are a very real possibility that businesses have to deal with, but not all disasters come in the form of a flood or fire. You can predict weather effects that can create problems for your business, like thunderstorms and ice storms that bring down power lines, but you can’t possibly predict when and how your organization will suffer from a data loss incident. We’ll discuss in-depth how your business can save itself the trouble of dealing with cyberattacks and user error--particularly in regard to data backup and disaster recovery.

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A Short History of Data Backup and Storage

A Short History of Data Backup and Storage

Data backup has become an essential piece of the modern business computing infrastructure but the act of protecting data from being lost is centuries old. Before there was recorded civilization, there were humans writing on the cave walls and carving notches into bone to aid counting and other primitive mathematics. Today, we take a look at the history of backing up data, and how it has brought us to where we are now.

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Understanding RPO and RTO

Understanding RPO and RTO

Data backup. Nobody wants to think about it until it’s too late to do anything about it. While no business ever hopes that they will be struck by a data loss incident, no business will ever regret implementing a backup on the off-chance that they ever suffer from a worst-case scenario. What are some of the most important parts of a data backup and business continuity system? We’ll start with Recovery Point Objective and Recovery Time Objective.

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How to Best Utilize a Physical Backup

How to Best Utilize a Physical Backup

How does your business handle its on-premise, physical data backups? This is a question that you don’t necessarily have to ask yourself under pressure of a looming data loss incident. Despite the cloud being the clear victor in terms of restoration and reliability, physical data backup is still an important part of the business continuity process. In the worst-case scenario, a physical backup can be helpful for getting back on track.


First, what do we mean by on-premise, or physical backup? This is the traditional type of data backup that is run and stored at your location, as opposed to only having your backup in the cloud. Unless your data is already fully in the cloud, it’s crucial to have a physical backup of your files on site. Even if all of your data is in the cloud, it doesn’t hurt to have a local copy archived, just in case.

Here are some helpful tips to consider when you are considering physical data backup for your business use.

Types of Physical Data Backup
It’s possible that your business is using all manners of physical data backup devices, even if you don’t initially realize it. The most common types of physical backup devices are USB hard drives, thumb drives (or flash drives), network attached storage (NAS), and tape-based backups. Most have their uses for your organization. A thumb drive could be a great way to make certain information portable. A hard disk drive or solid-state drive can be valuable for storing large amounts of data for portable use. Generally speaking, these devices aren’t necessarily recommended as reliable data backup for your business, but they do exist and are better than nothing. However, don’t EVER rely on a consumer-based storage solution like a USB drive to be the only backup you have.

Also, remember the more portable your backup is, the easier it is to get lost or stolen, and that opens up a whole other can of problematic worms.

Tape-based backups, on the other hand, are a different story altogether. They are meant to be used in tape backup systems that store data on magnetic tape and restore them in the event of an incident. In this case, it’s best to store your tape backups off-site and away from compromising events. Tape backup isn’t the most popular or efficient way of doing business continuity these days, as they are slow and arduous to use (especially when you need to get your data off of them) and hybrid solutions that store your data on disk while archiving it to the cloud have since taken over as the premier business continuity method. This saves the business from relying only on cloud backup, while protecting and ensuring their local physical backup.

How to Effectively Use Your Physical Backup
The most important part of using physical data backup is keeping it safe. This includes making sure that it isn’t misplaced or destroyed in the event of a disaster, as well as performing regular maintenance, monitoring, and cybersecurity protection. Physical backup solutions are just as vulnerable as the rest of your network, so the same level of care (if not more) needs to go into keeping them safe. With these things considered, you can build a physical backup solution that can come into play in the event of a disaster scenario.

The 3-2-1 rule is helpful for ensuring your business continuity is seamless. Basically, you want three copies of your data in total--one stored off-site or in the cloud just in case, one stored on-site for easy access, and the original that you use.

The Importance of On-Premise, Physical Backup
If your data is safely backed up in the cloud, why do you need to put so much care into ensuring that it is also backed up at your location? It comes to a matter of convenience and peace of mind. The cloud isn’t infallible. Even though cloud solutions promise redundancy and near constant uptime, it doesn’t mean something can’t happen. Keeping a copy of your backup on a local device is an extra measure to ensure that you’ll still be in business after a catastrophic data-loss event. Plus, it is more convenient to restore a single file or directory from a local backup than spinning up the data from the cloud in most cases.

In other words, your backup solution needs to have both an onsite and an offsite component.

Does your business need data backup or disaster recovery? If so, CTN can help. To learn more, reach out to us at (610) 828-5500.

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What You Need to Know About Data Recovery

What You Need to Know About Data Recovery

Data backup is one of the most critical parts of protecting your business, but many moving parts need to be considered before implementing a solution. For example, did you know that data backup and disaster recovery are two different things completely? While they may both be involved in the business continuity process, the two represent equally important, yet disparate, parts.

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Are You Properly Backing Up Your Business?

Are You Properly Backing Up Your Business?

It’s critical that you protect your business’s important assets, including perhaps the most important of all: its data. One of the best ways to do this is by implementing a solid backup solution. But what’s the best way to approach data backup? After all, every business is going to have different needs. We’re here to tell you how your organization can implement a reliable backup solution, while considering those needs.

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A “Disaster” Covers More Than You’d Think

A “Disaster” Covers More Than You’d Think

What one organization considers a disaster might be much different than what another business might see as disastrous. Perhaps one sees the loss of a few hours and a few files as something that can be recovered, while another sees every lost moment and each iota of data as a catastrophe. Whichever camp you find yourself in, you need to be able to do two things: first, gauge how serious a given data loss disaster is, and secondly, establish what must be done to get back in action following said disaster.


Cost of Data Loss
The total cost of your disaster scenario is the only real way to know just how much work needs to be done to get back into a favorable position following a loss. Of course, the type of disaster that you suffer from is going to play a major part in how much it will cost your business. A hardware failure is arguably the least costly data loss scenario, but it can still be a devastating event. You’ll have to replace a workstation or server unit, but the kicker is the data that’s stored on the device, as well as how much time you’re paying your workers for when they can’t do their jobs due to a situation like this.

Other kinds of disasters have much greater impact on the way that your organization recovers from a loss scenario. Imagine how much damage could be caused by a flood or a fire. Not only would your data infrastructure be affected, but so too would your organization’s physical computing infrastructure. It’s hard to work when you don’t have a place to be productive. Would you be able to relocate? How much would it cost to repair your workplace, or rent out a new one? It’s likely that all of these costs could compound and create a major problem for an unprepared budget.

Once data security is involved, you have the potential for a lot more trouble, especially regarding the price tag of resolving these issues. The information stolen could drastically affect how much your business stands to lose from a disaster. Some of the more costly information that could be stolen include credit card numbers, personally identifiable information, and secure personal records like a person’s health information. This data loss could even mean having to deal with regulatory fines related to HIPAA compliance laws or otherwise. Being known as a company that leaks sensitive information can also harm your reputation, which makes working with your business a significant risk for any potential clients.

Downtime can also be a major factor in determining how bad a disaster can be. In essence, downtime is any time that your business isn’t working as you intend it to, and it can have multiple layers of depth. It’s one thing for an employee not being able to access important information, but another entirely if your entire workforce can’t work properly due to the Internet or electricity being down. Basically, anytime when your business isn’t making money or being productive, it’s in a state of downtime. You need to do everything in your power to make sure this doesn’t happen.

One of the best ways to ensure that your business suffers minimal downtime is by implementing an enterprise-level data backup solution. CTN can help you with business continuity to make sure that your organization isn’t derailed by a disaster scenario. To learn more, reach out to us at (610) 828-5500.

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Data Recovery Considerations: the Other Side of Your Backup Plan

Data Recovery Considerations: the Other Side of Your Backup Plan

If we asked you how your organization backs up its data, would you be able to smile and tell us all about it in detail? While it’s important to be optimistic about the future of your organization, you should never believe that you are impervious to data loss. We’ll discuss some of the most important terminology behind data backup and recovery, as well as the best way to protect your organization from the crippling situations presented by data loss.


Recovery Point Objective
How much data can you reliably restore in the event of a data loss incident? This number can be measured by RPO, or Recovery Point Objective. Basically, the recovery point objective is determined by how much of your data can be recovered following a loss incident. Situations that could cause data loss include natural disaster like a flood or fire, or it could be at the hands of a hacking attack or user error. Either way, you lose data and it is a negative situation for any organization.

Depending on the type of data backup you have, you could go from either losing a negligible amount to up to a whole day’s worth, or more. Tape backup, which has long been a staple in the business world, is only capable of so much. Since tape backup is considerably more resource-intensive than network-attached or cloud-based backup, you can only take one large backup at the end of the day, meaning that you could lose so much more data through tape than you would through a backup and disaster recovery solution like the one we offer.

Recovery Time Objective
Once you’ve established how much data you can recover in the event of a disaster loss scenario, then establish how long it will take for you to achieve recovery. This downtime, while your organization is recovering data, causes your business to not function as intended and to create negative revenue. Therefore, the goal should be to minimize downtime and achieve a low recovery time objective whenever possible.

Tape backup offers a longer recovery time compared to a network-attached or cloud-based backup solution specifically because the backups are larger and take more time to process (not to mention that they aren’t automatic like the backup process you’ll find with the BDR). Since backups can be taken as frequently as every fifteen minutes, they can be restored more quickly as compared to the antiquated processes you’ll find by using tape backup. It’s just one of the ways that our BDR can reduce downtime and make recovering from a data loss incident more manageable.

Does your business want to guarantee that it can survive from a data loss incident? CTN Solutions can equip your organization with a BDR solution that can maximize its chances of successfully restoring operations following a data loss incident. To learn more, reach out to us at (610) 828-5500.

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Getting Back to Basics with Data Backup

Getting Back to Basics with Data Backup

It’s no industry secret that one of the most important technology pieces is a data backup solution. However, this is like saying that every business should have a plant. The type of plant, and (by extension) the type of data backup, does matter. You want a data backup that is more like a peace lily or a cactus, hardy and resilient, and less like a basil plant or orchid, high-maintenance and requiring very specific conditions to prosper.


In today’s blog, we’ll go over a few basic considerations, if you want a data backup that you can trust.

Keep Your Backup Safe
Your backup is more than just an insurance policy for your business operations. In a disaster or other cause of data loss, your backup essentially takes your business’s place, allowing you to recover more quickly with fewer consequences. This means that your backup needs to be kept safe. The first step to doing so is to make sure your data backup is stored separately from your primary data storage. After all, a backup that is damaged by the same disaster that damaged the original data is hardly worth maintaining. Cloud-based backups are especially effective at preserving your data in a major disaster.

Develop a Disaster Recovery Strategy
How quickly could your business return to full operation after undergoing a disaster? While establishing an off-site backup to preserve your data is a good start, you also need to have a plan in place that will allow you to put that data to use, as quickly as possible. This is where it is useful to have a disaster recovery strategy, as it allows you to proactively prepare for circumstances that would otherwise lead to data loss, wasted time, and decreased productivity.

Make Sure Everything Works
Imagine what it would be like to go through the entire process of establishing an offsite backup, only to have it fail when you rely on it. Fortunately, this can be avoided through some simple tests to ensure that the backup works effectively. You’ll be happy you did, if you ever find yourself in the position that you need to restore from a backup, and it works.

If you can’t trust your data backup, it needs to be modified. CTN Solutions can help. Reach out to us at (610) 828-5500.

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Natural Disasters Can Have a Major Impact on Business

Natural Disasters Can Have a Major Impact on Business

A recent surge of hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and floods have crippled major cities and devastated entire regions all over the world. In the aftermath of these events, business owners are faced with a few glaring truths - one of which is the undeniable vulnerability of their business’s future in the event of a disaster. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40% of small businesses never recover from a disaster. Despite all the literature and precautionary tales surrounding these catastrophic events, an overwhelming amount of businesses choose not to prepare for a disaster until it's too late.

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Data Backup isn’t as Simple as You May Think

Data Backup isn’t as Simple as You May Think

The protection of your business includes many facets. Physical security, training, and network security get most of the attention (and rightfully so), but does your business have a plan in place if those strategies fail? For the growing business, understanding that your data is an asset doesn’t have to come after you lose some. If your management team prides itself on taking proactive measures to keep business running smoothly, one element that must be on the table is the practice of data backup and recovery.

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3 Steps to Successful Business Continuity Planning

3 Steps to Successful Business Continuity Planning

By now, you’ve probably heard about the importance of business continuity and disaster recovery planning for small businesses. More businesses have continuity plans than ever before, according to FEMA. With so many SMBs looking to secure their future, there are a few aspects of business continuity planning that today’s businesses must comprehend. After all, there is more to it than just data backup. Disaster recovery is something that needs to be planned, practiced, and updated.

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Threats to Your Data Come From All Sides

Threats to Your Data Come From All Sides

Just over a third (36 percent) of businesses don’t back up business data at all, and apparently this number isn’t keeping some IT providers up at night (not the case for us). Your businesses’ data is precious, irreplaceable, and extremely expensive to lose. Let’s talk about how delicate and dangerous it is to not have it backed up.

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