Every business owner needs to have a plan in place to backup their company’s data. Ignoring this basic task can lead to some pretty grim consequences, like a data-loss causing disaster. Fortunately, when it comes to backing up your data, you’ve got options.
Having a Local Backup Solution
Going with a local backup solution is an okay option that will alleviate much of the risk associated with not having any backup solution. Two popular local backup solutions are backing up with tape and using external hard drives. Having an extra copy of your files on premise is a good start, but it won’t provide sure protection from data loss.
The shortcoming of depending on a local backup solution is seen when a major disaster like a fire, earthquake, or flood, destroys your PCs/servers along with your backup. In a situation like this, your local backup solution just failed and there’s a high likelihood that you’ll have to scramble just to stay in business. Plus, don’t forget about other disasters like malware, user error, and hardware malfunctions that can hit your local backup solution and cause major damage.
Backing Up to the Cloud
The advantage of backing up data to the cloud is that it’s stored in a data center off-site. This means if there’s ever a major disaster that takes components of your IT infrastructure offline, you can rest assured that your data is safely stored off-site. Plus, backing up to the cloud is a much more convenient way to back up data than having to store and replace tapes every day.
Backing Up to Multiple Data Centers
Before you sign up for a cloud-backup service, ask your cloud-service provider about how many data centers will be storing your information. Essentially, the more locations your data is stored in means the more secure it will be. For example, if your data is only backed up to one data center, then it could be lost if a natural disaster strikes that single location.
Full Disaster Recovery
For ultimate protection, there’s the complete Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) solution. A solution like this backs up your data regularly throughout the day and stores files incrementally to a local device. This allows for only the files that are changed or edited to be backed up, instead of wasting time and resources backing up files that aren’t. Then, the BDR sends all of your data off to a data center for secure storage, so it can be accessed anytime you need it.
Depending on the severity of the disaster, you can either restore directly from the device, pull files from the data center, or in the worst case scenario, have a new backup device sent overnight so you can set up an ad-hoc network to get you by while you figure out your next move.
To help you better evaluate your data backup needs, consider the following questions:
- Do you have a policy and solution that allows you to routinely test your backup?
- Are email inboxes backed up?
- Are backups done automatically throughout the day?
- Do you backup all of your data, as opposed to some of it?
- Could you get by with JUST the data recovered from your backup?