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

Financial Services: Adding Business Continuity to your Bottom Line

Financial Services: Adding Business Continuity to your Bottom Line

Financial firms have the task of making sure that their clients are making the most of their fiscal decisions.  From services such as accounting, hedge fund management, and stock investments, your clients put their trust in you to handle their funds and ensure confidentiality.  Once that trust is gone, you will most likely lose that client for life.  Therefore, maintaining that trust is important in the financial industry.  So how do you ensure that their data is safe?  Do you have plans just in case your clients are unable to retrieve information or make withdrawals?  How about if their identity was stolen and you were are unable to access their data that would help stop it?

Downtime is one of the causes that hampers the industries performance, and this does not just apply to downtime caused by natural disasters.  The other and more recent causes of downtime from data loss come in the form of cyber attacks and malware like ransomware.  These are the kind of situation that your company should try to avoid at all costs as this can not only ruin the trust from the said client, it could also affect your future prospects.

A False Sense of Security

While you may be taking some precautions, such as securing and backing up your sensitive data, sometimes that’s not enough. There is a common misconception that data is safe if backed up once a day, but this outdated practice is no longer sufficient for several reasons:

  • If you forget to perform the backup or the backup process fails, you’re not protected.
  • If you only back up your files once a day, you’re left vulnerable to the loss of an entire day’s work.
  • If you don’t properly validate your backup files, you could be in for an unpleasant surprise when you try to use those files to restore your company’s operations.
  • If you only back up your files on-site, you could lose them too, leaving you with no way to meet client requests.
  • If you only back up your raw data, rather than all your application and server configuration files, it could take several days to restore your practice —because you will also have to rebuild your servers, operating systems, applications, etc.

Below are a few best practices your company should follow to start the most basic of ways you can protect your data:

  • Outsource your company’s IT needs to an expert who has experience in the financial industry.
  • Don’t sacrifice quality to save money when purchasing hardware. It will benefit you (and your bottom line) to have strong technology in the long run.
  • Perform timely hardware and software updates, maintenance and backups.
  • Establish, review and maintain system security of all practice technology.

The Better Way: Business Continuity

Although best practices are good to follow, it won’t give you that extra layer of insurance that you would like to have when handling with a lot of confidential and important data.  This is where a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) solution comes in to help you with your backup and disaster recovery.  It will help you protect your data whether it is on-prem or in the cloud and even help backup data in your SaaS applications.  While still being able to help you restore your data in case of unforeseen incidents.

When a business faces an incident in which their systems are majorly affected, whether it be natural disasters or a man-made, a strong BCDR solution can help you get back online in minutes.

When leveraging hybrid solutions as well, can ensure that your restore time will be quicker as using local storage exclusively can cause issues if the area it was stored was also affected by the disaster.

Going full cloud is also be slow as well due to bandwidth issues that will pop up as you try to bring back all the hundreds of GB back to your system. A hybrid model works to alleviate the vulnerabilities by implementing both processes to fill in the gaps. That’s intelligent business continuity.


To learn more you may contact us at 8893 9515 to learn more about BCDR solution or if you have any questions that you would like to clarify.

The State of Data Protection in 2019

The State of Data Protection in 2019

Unitrends has been doing an annual survey these past 5 years to find out the state of data security to see if improvements have been made to companies overall.  With more than 400 companies joining the survey, it was found out that data loss is still a prevalent problem despite us having better technology which should have prevented many cases.  This can be attributed to challenges such as reduced IT budgets and headcounts.  It was also found that cloud-based solutions such as DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) and direct-to-cloud back up of PCs and servers are now on the rise.

The challenges of Data Protection

One of the most basic job requirements for IT is to protect corporate data and keep the business applications running. However, that requirement is getting increasingly more difficult due to a variety of circumstances.

Organizations have seen a rise in their storage that require protection in the last four years, this has forced organizations to look for ways to keep their storage costs down.  This is seen from the data that organizations that needed 100TB of data has gone up from 11% of respondents in 2016 to 31% this 2019.

Organizations have also had their expectations for fast recoveries increased in the past 5 years.  An increase of 12% was seen compared to the last as organizations are now expecting to recover from downtime in less than 4 hours.  This increases the IT requirements that needs to be used from the existing tools an organization uses to procedures that need to set in place to ensure it happening.

Another thought to keep in mind is the direction in which customers plan to do with their data in the near future.  Many respondents of Unitrends’ survey have said that their direction is to move a larger percent of their enterprise data out of the traditional on-premise data center.  Although endeavors like this take a while, many years in fact, it is something worth considering when you are working on your road plan.

To learn more about your Data Protection options, you may contact us at 8893-9515 and we would be happy to help you with your inquiries!

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

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.