Catastrophic Protection from Weather, Fire, Ransomware

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It’s not only important to ensure your operation is performing regular backups; it’s crucial to know how long it would take to resume operations if you had to scrap your current system and restore it from a backup. When it comes to disaster recovery, it is essential to know how long it would take to rebound from a data disaster. Establishing data Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) are key for continuity planning and are recommended for even the smallest businesses. RPO is the point in time from which you could recover your data in the event of a disaster. RTO is the amount of time it would take for a backup to restore and the business to resume operation. Increasing back-up frequencies reduces the amount of lost data and saves time due to manual data re-entry. Whether it’s fire, flood, theft or a ransomware attack, QS/1 delivers on-premise and cloud back-up solutions to ensure your RPOs and RTOs are met and help you get back in the game when disaster finds you.

For more than a decade, QS/1 has offered a proven cloud recovery solution to provide secure off-site backups that are ready if and when you need them. QS/1’s Remote Backup Service uses the Asigra® platform to securely transmit critical data across the internet to QS/1’s Data Center and stores the last 10 backups.

QS/1’s SharpRx is configured to back up transactional files every 15 minutes, along with a full nightly backup of your QS/1 files to reduce the amount of data re-entry if a restore is needed. Remote Backup is available for all QS/1 pharmacy management systems and is configured to perform a backup each night.

Each backup is monitored to ensure all data is transmitted correctly. You receive an email confirming the backup is successful or if there is an issue that needs attention. This gives you peace of mind knowing the most current data is safe and ready if needed. QS/1’s support center is alerted if a backup doesn’t complete or if errors occur during transmission and will contact you to help get the backup to resume properly. If an event prohibits accessing your data locally, you will have confidence the data can be quickly restored into our virtual hosted environment and available for you to connect over the internet within a few hours using the last successful remote backup.

If your production server takes a dive, there’s no doubt that having a good local backup would save valuable time instead of having to wait hours for a complete download of data from some cloud backups. For local back-up protection, QS/1 offers the StorageCraft® ShadowProtect® solution that uses snapshot technology to allow for traditional, daily full backups. ShadowProtect can also be configured to perform multiple incremental backups throughout the day without taking the QS/1 system offline. Each backup is stored on a USB external drive and is AES 256-bit encrypted to protect against theft. The external hard drive provides portability and allows full data restoration to a spare server or secondary workstation while the production server is being repaired. ShadowProtect customers can quickly and easily connect to the backup hard drive to create a virtual drive volume to restore single files in minutes with a few mouse clicks.

Having both local and cloud back-up solutions in your data recovery plan would help protect against a wide range of disasters. Choosing StorageCraft to protect your QS/1 data, Windows operating system and personal documents, coupled with QS/1’s Remote Backup Service to store critical QS/1 data off site, will better position your business to be ready for the unexpected. Let QS/1’s supported back-up solutions help protect your critical data.

You Won’t Find Conley’s Pharmacies Benched After a Disaster

by Richard Edmund, QS/1 Staff Writer

On Sunday, September 10, 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast as a Category 3 storm, packing winds up to 115 mph. Even though the storm was downgraded to a tropical storm as it made its way inland, it still packed a punch with strong winds and heavy rain. Nearly 370 miles away, pharmacists Jason and Susanne Conley watched Irma’s track closely. The Savannah, GA, couple owns two pharmacies in the southern coastal town. Village Walk Pharmacy and Lo Cost Pharmacy fill around 700 prescriptions each day between the two stores. With a storm of Irma’s size and magnitude, it was sure to have an impact on the Conley’s ability to serve patients, especially if residents were forced to evacuate further from the coast.

“Prior to the storm, we thought we had an iron-clad back-up procedure with another company,” Jason explained. “That did not work like we thought it would.”

Irma caused a power surge along the grid going into Savannah, and that’s when the Conley’s pharmacies began having issues. “Because of the storm, the power utility had to shut the electricity down and then start it back up again,” Jason said. “That is what caused the power surge that eventually shot our servers.”

At first, the power surge only impacted one of the Conley’s stores. By the following morning, both stores were down and unable to fill prescriptions. Jason moved into action fast. “I drove to a nearby town and bought a new server,” he said. “Once it was installed, we started the process of recovering back-up data.” Jason and Suzanne quickly realized their iron-clad plan was not as good as they thought.

The couple was using another service that did not notify them when a backup failed. They would soon discover the back-up data they had was not current. What they had was pieces of their data through a variety of sources. Through a stroke of luck, they also had a hard backup onsite to help with the recovery process.

“QS/1 was instrumental in getting us back in business,” Jason said. “The other backups were not full backups; we had to combine all of the partial backups we had to fully restore our system. QS/1’s staff was able to put everything back together, and in the end, we didn’t lose any data. But, it was not a simple and easy process.”

While the Conleys continued to fill prescriptions for customers, QS/1’s staff was busy in the background retrieving and restoring all of the old data. When the pharmacies closed for business, QS/1 was able to merge data from that day with all of the recovered data, providing the Conley’s servers all current data.

Jason said he now relies on QS/1’s Remote Backup Service to protect his data. “It takes about 30-45 minutes each night, and we get an email the following morning as soon as we come in letting us know the backup was successful. It helps us rest easier to know if this ever happens again, we can be up and running much faster without the worry we won’t have a patient’s data when we need it.”

Will the Savannah couple ever rely on another provider to protect their data? Jason said no, he’s happy with QS/1’s remote back-up process and would recommend it to other pharmacies to have in case of an emergency (fire, flood, ransomware, etc.), not just a hurricane. “If you’ve ever had to go through any type of restoration process, you know the pitfalls that can get in the way,” Jason said. “This was hands down the best backup anyone could expect. I’m confident in knowing my data is safe and accessible if we ever experience another catastrophic event.”

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