It’s been one year since Superstorm Sandy devastated large swaths of the Midatlantic and Northeast, and many organizations are still trying to recover. Some were prepared, some did nothing. But many underestimated the strength of the storm, which is now known to be the most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic season and the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history.

A lot goes into preparing for an event such as Sandy, with the primary focus on protecting lives and property. Another key concern is protecting applications and data, the information assets that are the lifeblood of many businesses. Without effective backup and the ability to recover applications and data quickly, organizations can experience the kind of extended downtime that can doom a business to failure.

True disaster recovery goes beyond simple data backup to provide a mirror IT infrastructure at a remote location that can take over if the primary infrastructure is destroyed. Traditionally, disaster recovery was an expensive proposition, requiring organizations to purchase and integrate thousands of dollars of equipment to set up the remote site. The capital investment and ongoing management headaches put disaster recovery out of reach for most small to midsize businesses (SMBs).

Quorum offers an alternative. The company’s onQ disaster recovery solution combines an onsite high-availability appliance with remote-site data replication in a cost-effective solution designed especially for SMBs. onQ maintains up-to-date, ready-to-run virtual machine clones of critical systems right on the appliance, which can transparently take over for failed systems within minutes.

Virtual machine images and data are also replicated to the Quorum onQ cloud or a second onQ appliance hosted at a remote site. In the event of a site disaster, the system administrator can initiate recovery with a single click, and users will be reconnected to their applications and data within minutes.

Quorum’s hybrid cloud approach provides the best of both worlds. The onsite appliance backs up your data as often as every 15 minutes, and can be used as a virtual server in the event of a storage, system or site failure. This protects against the garden-variety IT disasters that are the most common cause of downtime and data loss.

onQ also enables true disaster recovery through remote-site application and data protection. The virtual machine clones can run in the cloud with or without the presence of the local onQ appliance or image. As a result, onQ effectively fills the gap between simple backup and expensive, resource-intensive disaster recovery solutions.

It might be tempting to look at Superstorm Sandy and say, “That was a once-in-a-lifetime event. It will never happen again.” This approach is a dangerous gamble, however. You can’t control or predict when it will happen, and could be left with nothing if you’re not prepared.

Don’t gamble with your organization’s critical applications and data. IPC and Quorum can help make sure you’re protected with easy, fast and reliable disaster recovery at a cost that meets the budget requirements of SMBs.

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