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Data Backups vs. Replication: What Does Your Business Need?
11/09/2017

Data backups and replication aren't one and the same. There are important differences in what they are used for and how they are configured. Only by understanding the differences can you determine whether your business needs just one solution or both of them.

Data Backups

Data backups involve copying both critical and non-critical data periodically. They are typically performed once a day, however it can be more or less often depending on a company's requirements. Once created the backup files are stored on a device which can be located onsite, offsite (e.g., online, at a company facility in a different part of the country), or both. Storing backup files onsite only where your data resides is not ideal should the building be lost e.g. fire or flood as the original data and the backup files could be destroyed. It is relatively inexpensive to perform and store data backups and are well suited for compliance with government and industry regulations as the backup files can be kept for as long as needed. Data backups do not ensure continuity of operations if there is a disaster or system failure since it can take a while to set up a new system and restore the data from the backup files.

Replication

Replication involves copying and moving data to a secondary system usually in near real-time. Replication is typically used for critical data that must always be available. The replicated data is kept in a secondary system which is identical to the primary system. As soon as a change is made to the data on the primary system it is permanently made to the data in the secondary system. There are no recovery points which can be problematic, for example if ransomware encrypts the data on the primary system, the encrypted data will be copied and moved to the secondary one. Combining replication with continuous data protection or snapshot technology to create recovery points to roll back to. Replication solutions are designed to ensure that critical data and the applications used to work with that data are always available if there is a system failure or disaster. Configuring and maintaining a replication solution can be expensive because the secondary system needs to be identical to the primary system.

What Should You Use?

Data backups and replication address different types of risks. Backups ensure that a business can recover its data after a system failure or disaster (disaster recovery), while replication ensures that critical data and applications are available for use if the primary system goes down (high availability). Every business needs to be backing up its data regularly as well as making sure it can restore its data from those backups. A business might also need a replication solution if it has critical data and applications that always need to be available. If recovery points are created the secondary system could serve as a backup mechanism for the critical data. A data backup solution would still be needed for the business's non-critical data. We can help you determine whether you need one or both solutions in your business.

Can Voice over IP (VoIP) Save Your Company Money?
04/08/2017

The economy might technically be out of recession, however businesses are still doing everything in their power to cut costs and save as much as possible without compromising on quality. One avenue for savings is switching from a traditional business phone system and lines to a VoIP plan. VoIP is a technology that has been around for a little over a decade now and allows you to make and receive phone calls over digital internet lines instead of over traditional phone lines. Some common VoIP providers include Skype, Vonage or our own system Novavoice.

VoIP offers a lot of advantages over traditional business phone systems for example the technology is a lot more customisable giving you a huge range of options for how, where, and when you receive calls. A VoIP based phone system will take phone calls on an office phone during business hours and then to transfer them to your private mobile after-hours. They also offer features such as video calling, the ability to run your own internal telephone board exchange (PBX), and to control all of the equipment that handles telephone service in your office. As the telephone system is cloud based and depending on provider many new features can be added or removed giving you much more flexibility to scale up or down depending on your business requirements.

The biggest benefit of VoIP for business though is the cost saving with VoIP systems often being significantly cheaper than similar services offered by traditional commercial telecoms. With the removal of traditional phone lines and moving the phone system to the cloud the reduction in hardware costs alone makes a significant saving. If you have branch offices or remote workers the call costs are free, allowing businesses to scale and improve flexible working and communication.

Of course VoIP services offer some disadvantages too, these need to be weighed carefully before making a decision. Unlike traditional telephone lines VoIP requires both power and internet to be functioning in order to work. Lose either one and you lose your phone lines, however services are increasingly more reliable or contingency can be planned for depending on your business requirement.

To find out more about VoIP telephone systems, see our demonstration suite or request a brochure please contact us.

Martin Completes Kirklees Way Ultra-Marathon for Forget Me Not Children's Hospice
25/07/2017

Martin Page, director of P2 Technologies completed the 75 mile Kirklees Way ultra-marathon on 8th July, raising almost £800 for Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice.

Starting at 7:20pm Friday 7th July the competitors had 21 hours to complete the route, setting off in clockwise direction visiting the Upper Colne Valley, Spen Valley, passing Batley and Dewsbury before heading towards Clayton West and the Holme Valley.

The route is 75 miles long and has over 10,000 feet of climb, almost entirely off-road, following footpaths, open fields and moorland. Some of the route is way marked, however some navigational skills were required particularly during the night.

The event was completely unsupported so runners had to be self-sufficient, although with some of the competitors having GPS trackers friends and family could locate runners and did come out on course to support which was very welcomed. Martin completed the race in 16 hours and finished in 1st position, first ever podium of any running race.

Martin said: “I was surprised how well it went and felt positive and in good shape for most of the race. The cool conditions during the evening were perfect for me which meant I could keep a good pace through the night as I was conscious the morning sunshine would make the last part in to the Holme Valley hard work with all the hills and the heat to contend with. At 60 miles I was starting to slow, however after a quick refuel of a bacon sandwich and coffee gave me enough energy to get up the last few hills from Marsden and to the end. I was over the moon to finish this tough challenge and overall on reflection I enjoyed it. I’ve been overwhelmed with messages of support and I’m particularly grateful to my sponsors for supporting me and this great charity”

Martin chose to raise money for the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice because of the amazing contribution they make to the local area. P2 Technologies are also proud members of the Forget Me Not 99 Business Club, and make regular donations to the charity.

The charity support children who suffer from life shortening conditions, offering respite and support to both the children and their family members. Without the support of businesses, volunteers and kind donations from supporters, Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice is able to provide this crucial service for the people of Huddersfield and the surrounding areas.

There is still chance to support Martin and donate to his Just Giving page here

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