Backup Technology Has Become Better Than Ever!Don Cockayne
It seems like everyone is peddling some sort of cloud backup option these days, from the Apple iCloud product, to the consumer PC products you’ve no doubt seen advertised on TV such as Mozy or Carbonite. What we have found is that all this marketing seems to be confusing people more than it is informing them, and nearly everyone believes that there are free or very inexpensive options that can be setup by people with no technical skill and very little budget. But of course, there’s more to cloud backup than slick TV commercials.
To be truly effective for business, a backup strategy needs to have both a local element and a cloud element. If you are backing up your home PC, and all you need to do is recover some pictures you accidentally deleted, the time it takes to get them back really isn’t all that important. In a business environment though, time can be extremely important. This is where the local component of a backup strategy comes into play.
In the past, backups were written to things like tape cartridges or even floppy disks. Today, normal Disk Arrays are used for backups which provides for fast backups, and more importantly, fast restores. If a file needs to be recovered off a local Disk system, the restore can be completed in just a few minutes. In the event of a major machine issue like a disk crash, the full amount of data that needs to be restored is right there in the building, making for quick recovery. Consumer, “cloud only” solutions can take many hours to stream your data back into the building, leaving you sitting idle while you wait for your data to trickle back in.
While disk systems are great for local backups, it is still vital that the data be taken off-site just in case something catastrophic happens such as a fire in the building. Again, in the past, someone had to physically carry the backup media off-site every night and bring it back the next morning. Today we use an Internet connection to get the data off-site so the off-site replication process can be automated and setup so as not to require any employee messing around with carrying things home at night.
The only thing we need to keep in mind with modern off-site replication of backups is that we can sometimes be required to push very large amounts of data out of the building over an Internet connection that doesn’t have the speed to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time. However, the best off-site solutions provide a means to perform large initial “seeding” of the off-site data store, to move the first big chunk of data quickly so that the nightly updates only have to send the data that has actually changed.
So to summarize, the best cloud backup process provides fast, stable local backups and recoveries, an automated off-site synchronization process and if necessary a process to get large initial backups “seeded” out to the cloud. The consumer grade products you’re seeing advertised typically let you have just the off-site portion, which is typically ok to handle your personal pictures and such from your home PC, but certainly not enough to properly protect Business systems.
If you have even the slightest doubt that your business backup strategy isn’t absolutely up to the challenge of quickly recovering you from both minor and major disasters, you owe it to yourself to have us perform a full assessment of your current strategy to identify possible gaps in your coverage. Just fill out the form below and we’ll schedule a full assessment and report of your current backup strategy and show you how current technology can give you the best possible options when something goes wrong.