Business Continuity

Backups are an outdated way to protect your Veterinary Practice’s Server.  Instead you need to assure you have a Business Continuity Solution in place to assure you can recover quickly  It is imperative you understand the following two metrics that need to be achieved.


RPO= Real-time Protection Option.  Or in simple terms how often do you want backups to run.  We recommend hourly during normal business hours and before any scheduled maintenance is performed on any of your servers systems.


RTO = Recovery Time Objective.  Or in simple terms how quickly you need to be back online from a server failure.  We recommend something that can be up and running within 1 hour or less so surgery can continue, wellness checks can occur, you can receive payment for services, you can complete your SOAPS, etc..  The more depending you are on technology the more strategic you need to be with your IT Assests!


Lower the RTO (turns into 48-72 hours) you typically pay a lower price for those solutions, I’ll be honest as those solutions just house your data.  So examples are like DataVault from AviMark, or VetVault Backups solutions from Idexx Cornerstone and even ImproMed Data Security Solutions (IDSS) all are backup only type of solutions.


We have completed a lot of IT Wellness Assessments for Veterinary Practices over the past 3 years.  So here are some of the common things we find and what you need to know when it comes to backups.


1. Server has a backup program installed, but it hasn’t been backing up for 10 months.  Yes, we see this quite often where the program is installed, but there isn’t anyone in charge of reviewing and assuring backups are running.


2. Backup to a USB Drive or Tape Backup system as your backup target.  Tape Backups should NOT be used anymore, this is technology from 1970’s, it has a very high failure rate when needed.  USB Drives connected to a server that gets infected with malware called crypto-locker, it will encrypted your backups and you won’t have a way to recovery.  True story this is going around and infecting many Veterinary Practices and killing option of recovery.


3. Backups are being taken offsite manually by the Practice Manager or even Owner.  We see this process usually works for about 2-3 weeks, but then ultimately it stops occurring.  Or we see these drives get lost and the backups are not encrypted, so then all of your data is exposed to the wrong person!  Or they leave the devices in a hot car and it melts the hard drive plastic and we couldn’t get the data off of it.


4. Cloud based only backup solution.  Backups could be occurring but again back to RTO above it can and will take a long time to get a full system restore done (could be 24-36 hours just in transfer times and hope the transfer doesn’t get cut by an internet outage!).


5. Never tested the backup or had any type of fire drill to assure backups could be recovered if needed.  We have asked that question and 99% of the time the true answer is we should but we don’t do this.  A backup program that can automatically test backups is what should be considered so that you know when it is needed it will work and function correctly.


It’s time to safeguard the wellness of your practice the same way you safeguard the wellness of your patientsContact Veterinary IT Support today and we can perform a Backup Assessment of your Veterinary Practice and provide you a full report and recommendations we would have to protect your Clinic or Hospital.