Tag Archive for backup and recovery software

Weighing the Costs of Backup and Recovery

Weighing the costs of backup and recoveryWith technology critical to all organizations no matter their size, both profit and non-profit leaders are betting their company’s life on having the right systems in place at the right time. Some leaders look at technology as a mere accounting expense. Although one does not need to be a CPA to manage an organization’s finances, a basic understanding of the concepts is required to make sound financial decisions for the business. When it comes to technology the same applies in order to make informed decisions on the IT budget. For example, a basic understanding of data storage is important when projecting costs related to backup and recovery in case of a disaster.

As would be expected, storage requirements and protection of the data can range widely in price depending on the vertical market of the company (see Gartner IT spending forecast for 2013 below*). For instance, data storage needs differ greatly between a bank and a non-profit. In the former, high-availability storage is needed for fast access to critical data so speed and performance with absolutely no down time is imperative (requiring a higher investment); in the latter, stored data may be less critical and thus can be backed up on less expensive media with longer intervals between full backups.

Knowing the risk of data loss and weighing that against the investment in appropriate computer hardware and software is also critical. One just needs to look at the damage inflicted upon the telecommunications industry following Hurricane Sandy in 2012**. A lack of investment in infrastructure was to blame for widespread outages. The damage hammered the credibilty and was a financial blow to telecom providers; even spuring an FCC inquiry***.  Despite this, and other natural as well as man-made disasters, many businesses are still not implementing disaster recovery plans to ensure business continuity.

One way to get on track is to do disaster recovery and business continuity prepartion audit.  Many of my company’s partners can provide this service and I am happy to refer you – please email me here at tom@tomfedro.com if I can be of assistance.

Sources:

* IT Spending To See Modest Growth In 2013, Informationweek, January 04, 2013.

**Looking beyond Hurricane Sandy, CounterPunch.org, November 15, 2012.

*** FCC holds Hurricane Sandy hearings into telecom failures, fixes, NJ.com, February 05, 2013.

 

Identifying Competitive Advantage in the Software Industry

In the feasibility analysis of any new business venture, one of the first tasks is to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses compared to competitors in the marketplace. A useful tool for this task is the S.W.O.T. analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Laid out like a four-square grid (see below), it helps to identify and clarify your strengths and weaknesses, as well as threats and opportunities, compared to those of your competitors.

As an example, let’s look at backup and disaster recovery developer, Paragon Software. In the SWOT matrix below, Paragon is compared with its larger, investor-funded competitors. The matrix shows that while we cannot compete in building brand awareness quickly utilizing resources such as advertising due to a lack of outside funding, we can compete by winning new customers from the competition via better customer service, a higher-quality product, and competitive pricing. By examining the strengths and opportunities squares a clear picture of how to position ourselves in the marketplace is revealed.

Tom Fedro SWOT analysis for software companies

When defining your competitive advantage, think from the perspective of your target audience: Why should it matter to me? What’s in it for me, should I decide to engage your firm?  Answer these questions from the perspective of your prospects and discover a concise competitive advantage. Clearly differentiate yourself and demonstrate clear value, then go out and win regardless of circumstances.

Paragon Software’s Disaster Recovery Tool, HDM, Launched into Space and Orbiting Earth

By Tom Fedro

Paragon Software made history last month as its backup and recovery software rode aboard the last flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis.  I can remember when the first space shuttle mission took flight in 1981; Columbia landed in nearby Edwards Air Force base here in Southern California…the sonic boom was impressive.

With such an amazing history surrounding the space shuttle program, it was a humbling experience to have Paragon’s disaster recovery tool be a part of the last historic flight. Operating under NASA’s Bioastronautics contract, Wyle and its subcontractor, Lockheed Martin selected Paragon’s backup and recovery software: Hard Disk Manager (HDM) 11 Professional.

Certification of the next generation ultrasound technology required being able to successfully restore the new ultrasound system to its launch configuration.  As is often the case with space-related operations, a customized software solution was needed. The ease of performing a backup and restore process with the selected disaster recovery tool for the astronauts was also a major priority.

Bioastronautics personnel evaluated several backup and recovery software solutions. Of the tools available, Paragon’s HDM 11 came closest to meeting the project’s needs. Our staff stepped in to close the gap by providing a customized solution designed to minimize user interaction, developing a restore script that automated the system restore process to the click of a button via a USB-bootable flash drive.

It was important to industry leaders Wyle and Lockheed Martin to ensure that the astronauts operating on the Space Station could quickly and easily restore their systems back to an operable state — with the customized version of Paragon’s backup and recovery software, Hard Disk Manager, they can recover in a matter of minutes without any additional disaster recovery tools.

Hopefully, there will come a time soon when NASA will again be empowered to explore the heavens with human flight missions.