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Four Data Availability Tips for Contractors

Working in the construction industry is complex and demanding. This is particularly true when it comes to data availability and protection.

With demands to work from the jobsite, in the office or on the road, construction professionals have little time to concern themselves with backup and data protection. But with increasing threats of ransomware attacks and growing compliance demands, data protection – and recovery – has never been more critical.

What might happen if there was a system failure and critical contacts, change orders or CAD designs were lost for a few days? It just might mean hours of lost time from contractors, or worse, critical changes could be missed costing significant change fees and delays. In fact, according to a recent survey, "State of Disaster Recovery 2016," 67 percent estimate that their business would lose $20,000 for every day of downtime.

Fortunately, with the growing popularity of the cloud, data protection can be easy and worry free. Contractors can follow these four tips when selecting a backup and data protection solution.

Opt for Hardware-Free

Data protection comes in many forms. Traditional solutions were tape-based devices that would produce backup tapes that could be stored offsite. But tape-based options are slow, cumbersome and can be very difficult to recover data from. Plus, for construction companies that are managing tape backups across multiple sites and remote locations it can become a tedious challenge.

Backup appliances have also become an option, but managing and maintaining additional physical hardware is a burden. Should a local disaster event (such as fire, flood, or even power outage) occur, the data on a local device is not available. Some backup appliances have tried to overcome this by replicating the data they retain to the cloud, but this only slows down data protection with the hardware device becoming a bottleneck in both the backup and recovery process. Choose a solution that is truly direct-to-cloud without additional hardware to buy, manage or maintain. It will save money and time by eliminating the step in between, allowing access and restoration of data from any location, worksite or remote office.

Performance Matters

When looking for a cloud-based data protection solution look for one that’s truly enterprise grade with a high-performance architecture that will move large data sets quickly. Select a solution that will assure completion of backups within a “backup window” (or time available to perform data protection operations such as after hours) and is designed to preserve the data integrity of large, multi-layered files such as blueprints, CAD drawings and 3-D design documents, which are commonly used at construction sites. Some features to look for that will speed up the backup process include:

  • advanced change detection and data compression which ensures that only necessary data is sent for protection;
  • multithreaded transport technology which will send data over parallel threads to avoid bottlenecks; and
  • a highly efficient storage backend to ensure agility and scalability so data growth will always be accommodated.
Ensure Recovery Confidence

The most important part of backing up data is making sure that it can be restored easily and quickly. This is particularly critical when working with valuable files and content such as blueprints, CAD graphic images, video assets or work orders that can be nearly impossible or especially costly to replace. The construction business doesn’t have the luxury of time to recover from a system outage or data loss event, especially if there is the risk of recovering data where backup files have been corrupted, causing permanent data loss. Select a cloud-based data protection solution that will recover data with lightning speed, anytime and anywhere. And make sure that the solution has an impeccable reputation for recovery that’s truly error-free.

Make it Secure

Ransomware and malicious cyber-attacks can wreak havoc on data availability. Businesses that aren’t properly backing up data can find themselves paying threatening ransom payments in an attempt to get their data back. Opt for a direct-to-cloud backup solution that uses multiple controls, including continuous third party vulnerability scans and industry standard SSL encryption, to secure data so it is safe, protected and easily recoverable.

Direct-to-cloud data protection is the ideal option for today’s construction business. With the high performance coupled with the confidence that the data can be recovered easily in the event of downtime or a security breach, it will give the data availability needed to improve business efficiency, from the jobsite to the office.


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