Illustration depicting a computer dialogue box with a Back Up concept.

Is Your IT Backup System Being Monitored?

If Not, You’re Heading for Trouble

It’s one thing to have your IT services provider perform a backup of your system on a regular basis. But it’s quite another if those backups are not being monitored and tested.

After all, you may think you have a backup to rely on when your system goes down . . . only to discover that the hard drives had failed and no one caught that egregious error because—you guessed it—the backups had not been monitored by your IT partner.

Sadly, we see this all the time at IND Corporation. Clients come to us after a system failure and an inability to restore data because there was no proactive monitoring (or those backups had not been done to begin with!). Even worse, these situations could have easily been avoided. Here’s one example.

How IND helped a healthcare provider avert deadly IT disaster

A physician’s office in Manhattan was working with a different managed IT services provider and although the system was being backed up (presumably), it was not being monitored. The staff came in one day to discover the server was dead, without any warning. No one could work, costing the practice time and money, as a few dozen employees were unable to access the system.

The bad news: The call to the IT provider did not go well.

  • First of all, this failure was news to him because he had not been monitoring the backups, so he did not know this in advance.
  • Second, his recommended course of treatment was to rebuild everything from scratch—costing additional time and money that was not expected (and as it turned out, totally unnecessary).
  • Third, his diagnosis was that all the electronic medical records (EMR) data—the patients’ medical histories, their prescriptions, past and current treatments, and emergency contacts—would be forever lost.

Needless to say, the physician was angry and stressed, the staff was flustered, and the back office operation was in havoc.

The good doctor reached out to IND for a consultation and a look under the IT hood. Our engineers found that the server has multiple drives for redundancy (so that the backups can fail over to another drive if necessary). However, in this case, both drives had failed, causing the server to go down.

Here’s the catch: If the system were being monitored and tested all along, the IT services provider would have known that the first drive failed and would have had time to replace that before the second one died. The disaster could have been averted with proper, proactive system management.

The good news:

  • IND’s engineers were able to rebuild the drives and restore the critical data; they knew it was still on the drives and knew how to access it.
  • The medical practice got a new server to replace their aging, out-of-date equipment with a new backup system and a new TotalCare managed IT services plan. (The server and drivers were eight years old and overdue for replacement, another problem that their prior IT partner had not been monitoring.)
  • The office’s computing system is now being proactively monitored and maintained by IND Corporation. Plus, the physician and his office manager are confident that their equipment will avoid failure due to age, because IND keeps tabs on the lifespan of all equipment as part of our asset management service (included in TotalCare).

Are you working under the assumption your system backups are working as expected? Has your current IT partner provided you with reports, a system assessment, a vendor management and asset management program, and 24/7 proactive network monitoring and maintenance?

Don’t let a server or other failure cause you the headaches this healthcare practice endured. Contact IND about our comprehensive, flat-rate TotalCare plans for your NJ medical practice, financial services firm, professional services company, or any type of business that relies on computing to run your operation. Call our office at (973) 947-4449 or fill out our form to arrange a consultation.