ECQ Success Stories: CT Link Managed Services restores Client’s Web Services from Failed Physical Server

ECQ Success Stories: CT Link Managed Services restores Client’s Web Services from Failed Physical Server

Disruption to your business can happen without any notice. This was felt by everyone when the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was suddenly implemented last March 2020. Companies were forced to adopt a Work From Home program where servers are expected to be always available even when unattended.

Client Challenge

A couple of days into the ECQ, one of CT Link’s customer’s web server became inaccessible. The server hosts the web portal of the company, which runs on a physical server. They have an appliance deployed on-site to back up some of the customer’s servers which are replicated to a private cloud to serve as a Disaster Recovery (DR) site. However, despite no one is in their Data Center, they must bring the web portal back up running as soon as possible, without anyone going on-site.

Our Solution: CT Link’s Managed DR as a Service

With a subscription to CT Link’s Managed DR as a Service, a teleworking CT Link Engineer was assigned to the case after the customer contacted CT Link Customer Service. By accessing the BCDR Orchestrator, a working backup from the previous night was identified. However, with the physical server not accessible remotely, how can the back-up be restored to the original server?

CT Link’s Managed DR as a Service used a two-part solution:

Restore Even Before Repairing via Local Virtualization

The on-prem appliance being used for CT Link’s Managed DR as a Service has a capability called local virtualization which allows the appliance to host virtual machines restored from the backups. This feature was used to restore the most recent backup of the web portal into the appliance. This enabled the web portal to be accessible to users once again. The web portal was hosted on the backup appliance for 4 weeks until the systems administrator was able to visit the Data Center.

Easily Move Over to a New Physical Server via Bare Metal Restoration (BMR)

Once the systems administrator was able to replace the physical server, the web portal had to be moved back from the backup appliance into the physical server. Manually reinstalling the operating system, installing the web server software and patching and hardening the server would take a couple of days.

Instead of reinstalling the operating environment, CT Link engineer used the Bare Metal Restoration technique to quickly restore from the backup appliance into the new server. Bare Metal Restoration removes the need to reinstall the OS or applications prior to restoration, making the transition smooth and easy.

Commendation

Customer sent a commendation to the engineer assigned to their case, for having their web portal back up running and accessible in just two hours after contact. Having seen the benefits of CT Link’s Managed DR as a Service, the customer is now considering enrolling more servers into this service.

Keeping BCDR in mind

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plans are investments into keeping your operations running. Our client experienced this first hand, having faced two disruptions simultaneously from the ECQ and having their server go down when no one could service it physically. However, they came out of this ordeal with minimal downtime, reaping the benefits of their investments.

If you are interested in learning more about CT Link Managed Services, you may email us at sales@ctlink.com.ph / marketing@ctlink.com.ph.


Images were provided by Vecteezy and Freepik

Working Amid Enhanced Quarantine: Protect your Business from Disruptions and Keep Workforce Productivity

Working Amid Enhanced Quarantine: Protect your Business from Disruptions and Keep Workforce Productivity

With the Covid-19 impacting almost everyone, companies are reviewing their business continuity strategy during this unplanned disruption. To keep the business up and running, organizations must take a more comprehensive approach encompassing both organizational measures and technologies to minimize disruption, maintain security, and support uninterrupted productivity for users and teams. Best practices for a complete business continuity strategy should address business continuity team structure, business continuity planning, disaster recovery and business continuity testing, crisis communications, and employee safety and awareness programs.

Providing users with the experience they need, a secure digital workspace can grant seamless access to business apps and data on any device, over any network, hosted on-premises or in a public cloud. Contextual awareness allows just the right balance of security and flexibility for their current situation, without compromising corporate resources. Analytics and insights help IT maintain security, compliance, and threat protection wherever and however people work.

With Citrix, companies can be protected from consequences such as financial loss, damaged reputation, weakened customer and partner relationships, and lost productivity. The same secure digital workspace technology lets people connect with apps and data in both routine operations and emergency situations, using any device, network, or cloud. This makes it simple for people to do whatever their priorities dictate – whether to continue working normally, perform new tasks required by the event, or focus on the needs of their families and themselves, then resume work as circumstances allow.

Below are some ways that Citrix can help you improve your BC efforts:

Secure Access from Anywhere on Any Device

Allow your workforce to access their workspace from anywhere on any device using whatever available connection.

Data Stays in the Data Center

Through application virtualization, data is managed and stays in your data center. It also gives your IT the ability to limit user’s access to your network as well.

Provide IT Help Desk Support to WFH Users

Give your IT team full visibility, so that they can provide real-time analytics and resolve issues faster. Connect to your user’s session to help them resolve their IT issues.


To learn more about Ctirix’s solutions, you may send an email to sales@ctlink.com.ph or marketing@ctlink.com.ph!

Ransomware attack causes a US Telemarketing Company to shutdown before the Holidays

Ransomware attack causes a US Telemarketing Company to shutdown before the Holidays

Last year before the holidays, an Arkansas-based telemarketing firm was hit by ransomware.  Their employees at the time didn’t even know they were hit by it, however they felt the repercussions of the attack.  More than 300 employees were sent back to their homes and told that it would be best to try looking for another job as a worst-case scenario if they are unable to recover their data.

The attack that happened on October 2019, forced the CEO of the company to send a letter informing their employees of the situation.

“Unfortunately, approximately two months ago our Heritage servers were attacked by malicious software that basically ‘held us hostage for ransom’ and we were forced to pay the crooks to get the ‘key’ just to get our systems back up and running,” wrote Sandra Franecke, the company’s CEO, in the letter sent to employees.

With the initial recovery plan failing, it was estimated to only take 1 week, management decided to suspend operations while the process is ongoing.  However, many of the 300 employees are doubtful that the company will be able to survive this situation.

This situation is not as uncommon as you would think it is.  In the last few years, many other companies have decided that a ransomware attack was too costly for them to recover and ended up shutting operations down.  One example would be a Medical practice in Michigan opting to end their operations 1 year earlier than planned rather then deal with the fallout of a ransomware infection.

Situations like this could have been avoided given that they were able to:

  1. Have proper security measures implemented to detect and isolate suspicious files
  2. Had their data recovery plan regularly tested or had on implemented in the first place.

If you would like to learn how we at CT Link Systems, Inc. can help you company better secure your IT environment or even ensure that you have a good BCDR plan in place, Contact us at 8935 9515 and we would be happy to help you!

Five Data Protection Requirements in Healthcare that Unitrends can Help you Solve

Five Data Protection Requirements in Healthcare that Unitrends can Help you Solve

When it comes to business continuity, the healthcare industry faces many unique requirements and challenges.  With the need of 24 hours, 7 days a week and 365 days availability, and the need to safeguard the content of their electronic health records (EHRs), it can be a hard task to fulfill while still keeping within a reasonable budget.

This is where Unitrends can help.  Below are a few unique requirements that the healthcare industry faces and how the Unitrends solution meets to solve them.

  1. Uptime Requirements

When it comes to recovery time objectives (RTO), most industries have them in hours as they have more time to work with.  This doesn’t follow for the healthcare industry as they need their RTOs in a matter of seconds or minutes.

Unitrends Instant Recovery can failover applications in literally seconds. Unitrends Recovery Assurance delivers automated recovery testing, site and application failover, ransomware detection, and disaster recovery compliance, both locally and in the Unitrends Cloud.

  1. Highly Targeted by Ransomware

Due to the nature of healthcare, data of patients are critical for the business to function.  Ransomware criminals are aware of this and that is why the industry is a prime target.

Unitrends products can do security scans against your production applications – but using your backup data instead. It can spin up your applications in a specific order, isolate them from production, execute security tests, and automate reports and alerts immediately upon detection of ransomware

  1. Highly Regulated

For companies that need to work with the Protected Health Information (PHI) must ensure that all the required physical, network, and process security measures are in place, well documented and strictly followed.  This is required by HIPAA.

Unitrends offers a portfolio of 15 all-in-one enterprise physical appliances that are pre-loaded and pre-tuned with powerful software that not only covers on-premises backup but also long-term retention and disaster recovery in the HIPAA compliant Unitrends Cloud.

  1. Must Control Highly Proprietary Data

Healthcare IT must know where their physical data is located at all times of the lifecycle as well as control who can access it.

Unitrends Recovery Series and Unitrends Backup software can replicate data locally, to a remote site or to the HIPAA-compliant Unitrends Cloud. From any of those locations data can be stored for long term retention and / or used for disaster recovery purposes.

  1. Support Large Numbers of Non-computer Savvy Users

Usually, the general staff of healthcare are considered to be beginners or illiterate when it comes to new IT related technologies that have come out in the recent years.  This makes them very prone to mistakes which in turn can keep their IT counterparts quite busy.

With a common and intuitive user interface across all products, even untrained IT staff can easily find individual files in backups. A few clicks and the entire recovery process, from login to file restoration usually takes less than 5 minutes.


To learn more about Unitrends, you may contact us at 8893-9515 and we would be happy to help you!

Cloud Backup vs. BCDR: The Difference Between the Two

Cloud Backup vs. BCDR: The Difference Between the Two

When discussing whether business’ have a business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) in place, many would say that they have some in place but really only have Cloud Backup in place.  So, what is the difference between the two?  Cloud backup, simply put, is backing up your data to a remote cloud-based server which is accessible to many different and connected resources.

While BCDR is focused more on ensuring that your business will be able to continue after a disaster, whether it be natural or due to human error.  Business continuity focuses more on the continued activity or how fast your business can go back into operation after a disaster, while disaster recovery refers to the set of policies which are put in place to protect your business’ technology infrastructure.

You can separate backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity by the time it takes to restore and/or recover your data and get back to work.  BCDR plans can help you speed up recovery time from days and weeks to simply just minutes or hours.   Below are three main reasons why businesses should have a proper BCDR plan in place:

To prevent downtime and loss of revenue

Businesses usually can’t afford downtime as it can significantly affect profits, with a BCDR plan, you can minimize the downtime and loss of revenue you would incur.

To prevent data loss

A BCDR plan in place can help you prevent the loss of data to ensure that your business can still operate, a study once found the 87% of businesses that lost access to their data for more than a week would eventually close down a year later.

To protect the business reputation

With how consumers expect most business to accommodate them 24/7, it can damage the business reputation once long periods of downtime is experienced by consumers.  With a BCDR plan in place, you can help prevent these types of reputation losses from happening.


To learn more about BCDR solutions, you can refer to our product page here, or you can contact us directly at 893-9515 and we will be happy to help you!

Data Protection: Looking Closer at Cloud Storage

Data Protection: Looking Closer at Cloud Storage

The way we store data is evolving, from the days of punch cards, magnetic tape, discs, solid state, and flash we have now arrived to having what is called cloud storage.  A research from IDC shows that IT Infrastructure sales into the cloud has finally surpassed traditional IT environments for the first time in the third quarter of 2018.

With Cloud Storage being the new trend in the storage sector, it is no wonder that organizations are hopping on the bandwagon.  Cloud storage boasts that it will ensure business continuity and scalability. However, when done in practice, the transition is nuanced due to reasons such as financial restraints and multi-generational IT infrastructures.

We should also still consider that even though there are newer technologies, some forms of the older technology for storage still retain their use cases depending on the industry.  This is why even though cloud is seeing more usage lately, most companies are still between different storage solutions so that they can determine which data should be moved to the cloud and which can stay on premise, a hybrid cloud approach. 

Moving to the Cloud needs to be well thought-out

Although many companies are currently adopting a hybrid cloud approach, Gartner predicts almost 90% of companies will be on a hybrid-cloud infrastructure by 2020, many are still struggling to find the right balance.  Research from backup solutions vendor, Arcserve, found that 64% of respondents believe that it hasn’t gotten easier to safeguard business critical data compared to 5 years ago. This is despite all the technological advancement we’ve had throughout the years; the problem is still the same for them.  This means that finding the right technology is only the first step, you will also need a proper process and team who will help you with the transition to a cloud-based system while not neglecting the on-site system.  This is key if you want to ensure continuity in the current global environment filled with cyber threats and multi-platform integration.

Therefore, it is advisable that you take your time when attempting to move your data to the cloud.  This should be done with the help of those who can help you deliberate which data would benefit from moving to the cloud and staying on premise.  You will need the help of a provider who will make sure that the solutions that you have are considered while also looking into your best interest when it comes to cost you will incur. 

If you are interested in learning more about Data Protection, you may refer to our data solutions page here, or you can also contact us directly at 893-9515 and we will be happy to help you through your journey!

Data Protection: Comparison of Data Backup and Business Continuity

Data Protection: Comparison of Data Backup and Business Continuity

Data has always been the key factor in ensuring that business operations are always running.  Once the data is lost however, it may cost you even more than just the lost of that day’s business operations.  As per the Aberdeen Group, a business that experiences downtime loses on average about $164,000 per hour of downtime.

One thing to note as well is that data loss is not only caused due to natural disasters.  About 10% of downtime is caused by natural disasters and almost 50% and 45% of downtime can be attributed to network outages and human error respectively.  Although when looked solely at downtime by data volume, the main culprit would be human error with a whopping 58%.

This is where a Data protection solution can help your business.  Creating a frequent backup of our data is on of the simple ways of making sure that your data is protected from unexpected data loss.  However, there are many other considerations that you must make if you really want to ensure that your data is being protected while still being able to resume business in a quick and timely manner.

Data backup vs business continuity: what’s the difference?

You must have heard the term Business Continuity, so what’s the main difference between it and data backup?  Data Backup answers the questions, is my data safe? And will you be able to restore it in case of a failure or loss.  Business Continuity on the other hand, answers higher-level questions like, how quickly can I get my business up and running again in case of system failure.

Data backup is a good first step if you currently have no data protection strategies in place for your business.  However, business continuity must be a step that must be put in place to ensure that your business is not disrupted by data loss or worse, stalled for a long period of time due to a natural disaster.  Imagine a situation where you server malfunctions and become unusable. 

If you only have a file-level backup, then it would be close to impossible to immediately have your system up and running.  You would have to wait for the replacement server, re-install the system and then reconfigure it back to your settings and preferences.  This process could take days, something that your business may not be able to afford.

When talking about business continuity, we think in terms of Recovery Time Objective (RTO), and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). RTO: The Recovery Time Objective is the duration of time within which a business must be restored after a disruption to avoid unacceptable consequences. RPO: The Recovery Point Objective is the maximum tolerable period of time in which data might be lost due to a disaster. By calculating your desired RTO, you have determined the maximum time that you can be without your data before your business is at risk.


To learn more about Data Backup and Business Continuity, you may visit our page here or you may contact us at 893-9515 and we will do our best to answer your inquiries!

Data Protection

Data Protection

Data has become the centerpiece of any organization.  It is the driving force in which they base major decisions and even day to day operations.  This is why safeguarding such important information has become key in a successful business.  However, securing data and protecting data are two different agendas.  Data protection is focused more on safeguarding your data from compromise, corruption or loss rather than focusing on outside threats.  CT Link Systems, Inc. specializes in the following data protection solutions: Clustering and Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR).

With clustering, CT Link can help you minimize the downtime and service interruptions of your production infrastructure.  We are able to accomplish this by implementing a high availability clustering solution which uses two servers to act as an active one while the other as a passive server.  The passive server is a clone of the active server and will automatically be used upon the failure of the active server.

Through Business Continuity, CT Link can guide you through the steps in which you can take to ensure your data is well archived and retain-able using the right backup solution.  We are able to provide you with two types of backup solutions, either on-premise or on the cloud.  With this flexibility, we are able to help tailor fit your solution to better fit the need and budget of your business.  In disaster recovery, we can help  your business by setting up an offsite backup of all your essential data and configurations which can be used in restoring your system upon an unforeseen data loss to your on-premise infrastructure.