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Are Your Workstations A Part Of Your Disaster Recovery Planning?

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When the topic of disaster recovery comes up, most of the time the kinds of scenarios that come to mind are monsoons and hurricanes – events that create complete chaos, with power and other vital services being knocked out. The reality for many businesses, however, is that a disaster can be any event that results in the inability of your business to function. Disasters can come in all shapes and sizes, from major natural disasters to chemical spills, building fires, and broken water pipes. Even something as seemingly minor by comparison as a virus-infected server qualifies as a disaster scenario.

When the average business is asked about their disaster recovery plans, you’ll inevitably hear about backups of data and servers, use of server virtualization, and even hot or cold disaster sites, but rarely do you hear about workstations. That’s both odd and worrisome, because while it’s great that your business can get your IT infrastructure back up and running with relative ease, if there are no client machines to connect to the infrastructure, what good is all of that actually going to do you? At best, workstations are an afterthought, but the reality is that without them, your business simply cannot operate.

When considering the recovery of a workstation, it helps to break it down into three main parts:

  1. Operating system
  2. Applications
  3. Personal settings

Each of these parts is necessary to create a secure and productive working environment for the user. The operating system (OS) is the obvious winner out of the three of the “most critical” award. Recovery needs to consider not just the basic OS, but the current version of the OS, including patches and updates. That means your recovery efforts have to hit a constantly moving target. Also, different parts of your business may require a different operating system to accommodate application, security, or accessibility requirements. Depending on the severity of the disaster you’re facing, you may need to consider the recovery of more than one type of OS in your recovery plan.

Applications are in a similar situation. As business needs change, versions of applications are updated, and applications are replaced with competing applications. It’s also extremely likely that no two departments use all of the same applications. For example, one section of accounting may be using version 11 while the others are on version 12. Every workstation OS and the corresponding specific applications need to be considered; it’s more than just installing Office and calling it a day.

Personal settings are a bit of a conundrum. For starters, how much value should you really place on them? Can users work efficiently and effectively without them, or do they need their exact old environment to function? Consider the value of a single shortcut, say, on the desktop of a Windows machine. It may be extremely important to that specific employee from a convenience standpoint, but have little to no actual value to your business as a whole. Is it really worth recovering? Now, apply this example to drive mappings, printers, application settings, saved passwords in a web browser, and the dozens of other preferences and settings unique to each user or workstation. Each of these small parts of the overall user workspace will add up to a lot of lost time and productivity if not recovered.

Workstations are the obvious red-headed stepchild of disaster recovery. They need to be a part of the plan to effectively get a business running again, but somehow find themselves constantly being overlooked when the planning conversation happens.

The Unity IT team has a different conversation with our clients where disaster recovery is concerned. Features of our workstation backup solution include:

  • 100% cloud based backup of the entire workstation or selected files/folders
  • Protection for remote workers
  • Set it and forget it – a completely automated application that requires no user interaction and is monitored by Unity IT.

You can learn more about what our workstation backup solution can offer your business {right here} on our website.

Want to learn more about the protection the right data backup and disaster recovery solution can offer your business? Contact Unity IT at info@unityit.com or (559) 297-1007 . We’re the IT professionals businesses in Fresno trust.

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