Disaster Recovery Data Services from Brush Mountain Data Center

Brush Mountain Data Center, LLC, specializes in data security and remote data backup servicesFrom Brush Mountain Data Center, LLC, a VT KnowledgeWorks member company:

Brush Mountain Data Center specializes in disaster recovery data services for middle volume companies and corporations in the Blacksburg, Virginia and Roanoke, Virginia regions.

For maximum security, speed of recovery, and reasonable storage and bandwidth costs, we offer off-site storage of mission critical data and intellectual property.

Brush Mountain Data Center, LLC has top tier security specifications and offers expert services to small and medium-sized businesses.  We specialize in data security and remote data back-up services.  Offering server co-location and offsite disaster recovery protection, Brush Mountain Data Center serves as your company’s “data vault in the mountains."  For more information about secure, offsite data storage, please contact Doug Mauer.

Read more about Brush Mountain Data Center on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks.

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VT KnowledgeWorks is a unique growth enhancement program open to entrepreneurs in the New River Valley and beyond.  Acceleration center and incubation facilities are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia.  Programs for Members are divided into two categories according to the evolutionary status of the member company.  Pre-Launch program components are carefully constructed to help market-worthy ventures organize, formulate strategy, obtain outside investment, and launch in an efficient manner.  Enterprise class members benefit from emphasis on strategic support for ongoing growth, continuing intra-preneurship, and professional development for the corporate leader.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law GroupLeClairRyan, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

Questions to Ask a Cloud Services Vendor

Brush Mountain Data Center, LLC, specializes in data security and remote data backup servicesFrom Doug Mauer, founder, President and CEO of Brush Mountain Data Center, LLC, a member company of technology incubator and business acceleration center VT KnowledgeWorks:

While backing up a company's data on its own infrastructure can be a good idea, storage space can be an issue.  Some companies try to allocate limited space based on what's "valuable."  For expanded space, others consider off-site storage - one specialty of Brush Mountain Data Center– and cloud services.  Here are some components to consider when determining what's "valuable" along with commentary:

1. Document management (DM), especially collaboration of projects which have work product that is the result of collaboration.

For cloud services, we must remember that the hosted application is proprietary to the vendor and whatever work product is produced by the client's efforts and use of that cloud app are stored and retrieved in their proprietary infrastructure, both hardware and software.

All would be good if one could count on the cloud service app being in existence  for the duration of your intended use, and that you are pleased with them forever. That seldom is the case. All the "costs" calculated in evaluating such a decision should include the cost of getting out of the service with your "work product" intact or at least recoverable. In document management, as long as you have projects that have deliverables in terms of documents, a company must make sure to have those final documents (the ones that are no longer actively built through collaboration)  archived somewhere. This will give you some portability away from the service should/when it comes to that.

All this means is that finished documents should be archived in your own infrastructure or some other that is independent of "the cloud service."

2. Understand that if Knowledge Management (KM) is part of this application, the relationships between the documents, the indexing, and search are all proprietary to the Service and not portable. If KM is a key part of the need here, most knowledge management solutions are NOT portable to other systems, mostly because there is no standard system for exportation. Exporting documents is easy, exporting KM functionality isn't.

Much of the work involved in KM systems is done by the users when they key word, classify and index the documents upon creation and must be re-done to change systems. Bottom line, you are somewhat stuck once you get into a KM dependency. The state of the Art of Artificial Intelligence to automatically and accurately read and index document stores intelligently with context remains the Holy Grail that is still missing. A lot of your hard work will be lost when you leave a KM system.  Best to get it right from the beginning.

Questions to ask a Cloud Services Vendor:

  1. What are the established vendor-supplied methods of getting your work products out of the application for backup or service termination?
  2. Are they legally obligated via contract to provide you with usable independent documents on termination and what is the cost of such provision to the parties?
  3. What are the backup facilities, particularly if you want to control and backup to a third party your own the usable work product that the service environment contains?

Essentially, you want to provide independent disaster recovery for yourself for your valuable IP that is produced with their asset. The cloud services company may tell you that they back up all their data. That is fine, but not enough. We must assume and consider all possible scenarios.

Co-locating your own servers in "the Cloud" and hosting your own applications means you don't have that Pain in extricating from a Service provider, however a company must balance that against the need and the cost to provide either custom or off-the-shelf application software.

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Doug Mauer, founder of BizNet Technologies, Inc. in 1993, began Brush Mountain Data Center to meet the expanding needs of his clients, many of whom were located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, as they grew from one-founder start-ups to established companies.  His clients were creating mission-critical data that would result in business-crippling results if it were lost.

Mauer coined the phrase, "your data vault in the mountains," to urge companies to envision a secure location for their data. 

Brush Mountain Data Center, LLC has top tier security specifications and specializes in services to small and medium-sized businesses.

Brush Mountain Data Center, LLC, specializes in data security and remote data back-up services.  Offering server co-location and offsite disaster recovery protection, Brush Mountain Data Center serves as your company’s “data vault in the mountains."  For more information about secure, offsite data storage, please contact Doug Mauer.

Brush Mountain Data Center, LLC is a sponsor of the New River Valley Triathlon which will benefit the Mental Health Association of the New River Valley, Inc.

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VT KnowledgeWorks, a regional business acceleration center that helps companies bring ideas to market, will present the Second Annual Entrepreneurship Summit on April 7-8, 2010 at the Inn at Virginia Tech & Skelton Conference Center in Blacksburg, Virginia. This two-day comprehensive workshop is for prospective company founders, entrepreneurs launching or re-vamping a business, growing companies seeking expansion capital, and individuals interested in investing in early-stage companies.

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VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law Group, Latimer, Mayberry & Matthews IP Law, LeClairRyan, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

Data Back-Up on the To-Do List

Brush Mountain Data Center, LLC, specializes in data security and remote data backup servicesFrom Anne Clelland:

Given that I can be remiss in backing up my business data, and knowing that sometimes if I "know better," I add items to my to-do list, I e-mailed Doug Mauer for his know-how.

Doug Mauer is the founder, President and CEO of Brush Mountain Data Center, LLC - a member company of technology incubator and business acceleration centerVT KnowledgeWorks.

Doug replied:

There are three environments for back-up of data.  Off-site is one of those three.

In order of preference:

1. Same machine back-up:  This is where you make a copy of important data on the same machine the data is on originally. This guards against accidental erasure, something that happens more often than one would think. This is the least desirable of the three, but better than nothing.

2. Off machine: This is where back-up is either over a Local Area Network (LAN) to another machine, or to tape backup on the same, or a combination of the two, e.g. where the tape back-up is accomplished over the LAN. This protects data against a machine or disk failure but not against physical destruction of the property where both the original machine and the back-up device reside.

3. Off site: In case of fire or other physical disaster, the company's important data is recoverable as the back-up was accomplished either to tape as above AND the tape was physically removed to another physical location, such as a bank security box, or best of all, over a network to a remote physical location.

Off-site back-ups accomplish all the functions of the other two PLUS add disaster recovery as the icing on the cake.

Hope this helps.

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Thanks, Doug.  It does help.  Data back-up as "icing on the cake" sounds essential to a recipe for business security and success.

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Doug Mauer, founder of BizNet Technologies, Inc. in 1993, began Brush Mountain Data Center to meet the expanding needs of his clients, many of whom were located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Reseach Center, as they grew from one-founder start-ups to established companies.  His clients were creating mission-critical data that would result in business-crippling results if it were lost.

Mauer coined the phrase, "your data vault in the mountains," to urge companies to envision a secure location for their data. 

Brush Mountain Data Center, LLC has top tier security specifications and specializes in services to small and medium-sized businesses.

Brush Mountain Data Center, LLC, specializes in data security and remote data back-up services.  Offering server co-location and offsite disaster recovery protection, Brush Mountain Data Center serves as your company’s “data vault in the mountains."  For more information about secure, offsite data storage, please contact Doug Mauer.

Brush Mountain Data Center, LLC is a sponsor of the inaugural 2009 New River Valley Triathlon which benefits the Mental Health Association of the New River Valley, Inc.

Deciding What Is Mission Critical

Brush Mountain Data Center, LLC, specializes in data security and remote data backup services

From Anne Clelland:

In Before Brush Mountain Data Center There Was No RAS, I wrote about Doug Mauer's coining of a new IT acronym.

Fully appreciating a new IT acronym takes a little bit of “you had to be there.”

I was "there" – in business in Web 1.0.  Remember "robust" and "ubiquitous"? 

In addition to terms like those, Microsoft certifications were all the rage then – in Tampa, anyway – and considered the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in network administration.  The certifications were exam-based and sequential, so a friend and I bought the first thick exam prep text from Amazon.com, studied a certain number of chapters solo, then met weekly to discuss LANs and WANs.

I unearthed the first text for the first exam, Networking Essentials.  On the inside cover, in my earnest handwriting, is my name and the date:  August 1998.

I took and passed the Networking Essentials exam and the NT Server 4.0 exam, enough to become a “Microsoft Certified Professional,” the coveted MCP – one of those IT acronyms - but I didn’t feel passionate about continuing.  To quote Jim Flowers, director of VT KnowledgeWorks, it didn't "light me up."  My friend earned many sets of letters, including MCP and MCSE, but after she let me help her build a server from a box of parts, I always think of her as A+.

What also lingers from those days is the imperative of data back-up and data protection.

By 1998, most small and medium businesses had already been through storing mission critical data on their brand new, top-of-the-line stand alone computers, having the hard drives fail, and losing all their data.  They had learned to back up data on floppy disks, then Zip disks, then tape drives, even on external hard drives.

In the lightning capital of of the nation, Tampa, businesses would learn from electrical surges, hurricanes, and fires that storing backed up data on-site was a no-no.  They would tell their stories at networking meetings and everyone would "Tsk-tsk" and say, “We really should look into storing our data off-site, too.”  But then they would decide something else was more mission critical than mission critical data – and what were the odds of their businesses getting hit by lightning anyway? – and leave that mission unaccomplished.

Here I am in business again, this time in Web 2.0, and being reminded by Doug Mauer of Brush Mountain Data Center of the data management and data security best practices I learned a decade ago.

If I lose my data, I lose my business.

That's mission critical.

Thanks for the reminder, Doug, and thanks for providing mission-critical, business-saving services.

Brush Mountain Data Center, LLC, specializes in data security and remote data backup services.  Offering server co-location and offsite disaster recovery protection, Brush Mountain Data Center serves as your company’s “data vault in the mountains."

Before Brush Mountain Data Center, There Was No RAS

I found Doug Mauer’s Turn Your NAS into a RAS a very clever explanation for the services offered by his VT KnowledgeWorks member company Brush Mountain Data Center.

And in the overflowing universe of IT acronyms, in which competition is fierce, Doug Mauer has created an elegant, new set of letters.

Before Brush Mountain Data Center, there was no RAS.

Well, except for Microsoft's RAS, Remote Access Service, but that's so Web 1.0.

During Web 1.0, I very responsibly backed up my mission-critical, small business data on floppy disks once per month and stored them in a safety deposit box at the bank.

Brush Mountain Data Center offers offsite storage of mission critical data - which may include pictures of cats.Now, during Web 2.0, I back up my mission-critical, VT KnowledgeWorks member company wild and crazy start-up data in an entrepreneurially predictable fashion – not often enough – on a Seagate Free Agent Desktop USB Portable Hard Drive.  It’s the equivalent of a Network Attached Storage device – a NAS.  But I can see it sitting right there on my bookshelf.  My data is not stored off-site.

Brush Mountain Data Center has set up a way to turn my NAS into a RAS. 

Mauer writes in his Brush Mountain Data Center blog, “As a client of Brush Mountain Data Center, for instance, a company can buy an inexpensive commercially available Network Attached Storage (NAS) device and place it in our Data Center for $100 per month."

"This Network Attached Storage, or NAS, is then configured to appear as a local NAS but is securely attached via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnel over the Internet. This arrangement can be thought of as a 'Remote Attached Storage (RAS) device.'  So you turn your NAS into a RAS and get the benefits of both.”

Nice, eh?  I buy a NAS and put it in Brush Mountain Data Center.  It looks like my data is still “attached” and on my bookshelf, but it’s really stored off-site, remotely, as a RAS in Brush Mountain Data Center’s “data vault in the mountains.”

Let me see if I understand this.  In doing business with a company led by a guy IT-savvy enough to generate a new IT acronym, I get to extend my responsible business practices?  I protect myself through protecting my company’s data and I protect my ability to serve my clients by having immediate access to that data should anything falter here at mission control?

Remote data backup at Brush Mountain Data Center of my pictures of my cat – I mean of my small and medium business (SMB) start-up's mission critical business data?

I gotta have that.

Brush Mountain Data Center, LLC, specializes in data security and remote data backup services.  Offering server co-location and offsite disaster recovery protection, Brush Mountain Data Center serves as your company’s “data vault in the mountains."