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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.

Backup and Disaster Recovery Can Keep You from Losing It All

Backup and Disaster Recovery Can Keep You from Losing It All

Backup and disaster recovery (BDR) might seem like a singular process, but in reality it’s more of a combination of processes that work in tandem. Backup and disaster recovery both require a different perspective and approach in order to make sure they play nicely with each other. We’ll attempt to address this difference and give you the information needed to make the best decisions possible for your solution.

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A BDR Can Limit Organizational Downtime

A BDR Can Limit Organizational Downtime

Businesses need to be extremely careful about how they protect their interests, but just in case something unfortunate happens, you want to have measures in place to guarantee that your future is secure. To this end, data backup and disaster recovery is critical. We’ll walk you through what you need to know about implementing data backup and disaster recovery, including the best way to make it happen.

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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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Find a Successful Data Recovery Balance

Find a Successful Data Recovery Balance

Businesses deal with compromises every day, whether it’s leaving late to let someone else get an early out or coming in on your day off to get a critical project finished on time. One of the compromises you absolutely don’t want to leave out is your business’ future. It’s up to you to acquire a solution that minimizes downtime without costing your organization an arm and a leg, but this is much easier said than done.

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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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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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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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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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How Much Damage Can The Weather Do To Your Business? Lots.

How Much Damage Can The Weather Do To Your Business? Lots.

Nobody ever wants to admit that their business has a problem with security. Unfortunately, as the one responsible for the future of your organization, you have to consider all possible outcomes of any potential data loss incident. Many of these incidents are beyond your control. Thankfully, you can soothe the pain of a data loss disaster by thinking ahead and planning for the worst.


While you can protect against cyber security issues, you’ll also need to be wary of unplanned disasters that could threaten the future of your business infrastructure. Everything from natural disasters to just flat-out bad luck could occur, so it’s important to have contingencies put into place.

Think of your company's future as something rather fragile, like an egg. You could crack the egg’s shell at any time unless you do something to keep it safe. This is why you store it in the refrigerator in a controlled environment, tucked away within its carton for future use. In a similar manner, you can keep your business’s data in a safe, controlled environment where it can’t be harmed by external factors like the weather or hackers.

Data isolation such as this is generally required to preserve your data infrastructure, but isn’t usually possible with your traditional tape backup system. This is because your business takes one backup a day, after the office has closed for the evening. This tape would then be stored off-site or in-house, depending on your needs. Yet, storing it on-site creates problems by exposing it to the possibility of being misplaced, stolen, or even destroyed by a disaster. Since you only take one a day, you could lose a full day of work, disrupting progress on an important project.

The downtime is an even crueler punishment, as it forces your business to twiddle its thumbs while you’re waiting for your data to be restored. Traditional tape backup can take several hours or whole days, especially for large volumes of data to be restored. Naturally, when no work is being done, progress is halted, which can be detrimental to your business.

A backup system that relies on the cloud can allow for more dynamic data preservation through a virtualized environment. You gain the ability to take multiple backups as often as every fifteen minutes, which keeps data loss at an all-time low. Plus, you can recover your data in a moment’s notice by restoring data directly to the BDR device itself, providing recovery that takes only an instant compared to the sluggish rate at which tape works.

To get started with a cloud-based data backup solution, reach out to CTN at (610) 828-5500.

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A Good Data Backup Can Save Your Bacon

A Good Data Backup Can Save Your Bacon

Data backup. It is something that all businesses need, but not all businesses know how to approach its implementation. This is largely due to the tendency to underestimate how disastrous data loss scenarios can be for business. You know how it goes; it’s impossible, until it happens. Thankfully, you can significantly reduce the damage done by data loss incidents with a little bit of proactive thought and a comprehensive backup system.


The unfortunate truth is that not accepting that your organization is at risk for a data loss incident could result in colossal trouble. So many problems can come about as a result of data loss, especially in the face of issues that you can’t control, like power surges, fires, floods, and even user error. Here are five indicators that you’ll need to take a second look at your current data backup and disaster recovery system.

You Rely on Contact Information and Other Data
If your operations rely on keeping important contacts and other important data safe, you’ll be sad to encounter a data loss incident. A quality backup and disaster recovery system is imperative in these situations, as without them, nobody can do his or her job. You should do everything in your power to safeguard this data, as the livelihood of your business depends on it.

You Need Access to Historical Files or Records
If your industry has specific regulations that must be met, you need to ensure that you keep historical files and records to achieve compliance. What happens when these files are lost? Well, you lose compliance. Other requirements may also be necessary, including data encryption or off-site storage.

People Make Mistakes
You need data backup and disaster recovery in case one of your employees makes a mistake. What if one of them saves over an important template after making extensive changes to it, resulting in it being changed for good? Being able to simply pull the single file from your backup can save you significant amounts of time. More than anything else, it’s important to remember that a majority of businesses that experience a major data loss incident will go bankrupt within six months, if they fail to recover from a disaster. That’s not to mention that 70 percent of employees experience data loss first-hand; a figure that could add up over time.

Your Technology Breaks Down Too Often
When your technology isn’t as reliable as it needs to be, you should consider a full data backup and disaster recovery solution. Hardware failure is one of the more common causes of data loss, and if you don’t maintain your hardware as well as you should, you might experience it at an inopportune moment. If you look for warning signs, such as strange noises, operational issues, and general slowdowns, then data backup will be a valuable investment.

If You Don’t Have Backup At All
There’s only one word for not using any data backup and disaster recovery solution: risky. Implementing a backup solution is a great way to minimize damage done by unforeseen circumstances. While not the most preferable setup, even an on-site backup solution is better than not having one at all. If you want the best, most reliable solution on the market, CTN Solutions can outfit your organization with a cloud-based Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution.

To learn more about data backup, reach out to us at (610) 828-5100.

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