By Kate O’Neal
Your business depends on data. Everything from customer orders to back-office accounting and employee records has to be accessible and secure, even when things go awry with the weather, hardware, buildings and all the other factors that can create risk. The need to protect your data through thick and thin makes secure backups a critical priority for ensuring the smooth operation of your business.
There are several different ways you can approach the backup challenge, and all offer their own strengths. Let’s look at a variety of options to help you store, protect, and recover the data your business relies on, from the tried and true to the latest high-tech solutions.
This backup method has been around far longer than others we’ll explore, though many businesses today are abandoning it in favor of more modern approaches. Data is stored on physical, magnetic tapes that are typically used for offline, archival storage needs. Besides the potential for physical deterioration or damage over time, the main drawback of tape drive storage is that it takes longer to recover the data. If the environment has been compromised with a virus, for example, you’d need to reinstall the operating system and then recover all files from your tape drives, hoping they have not been damaged.
Online Cloud Backup Services
Cloud-based data storage services like Carbonite, Backblaze and Elephant use the internet to copy data to the service’s servers. This approach offers the security of off-site storage for your most essential files, along with a simple, one-time setup procedure. It’s a good choice for backing up business or personal PCs. However, it’s still a good idea to keep local backups because the performance is better; it’s faster to copy data to and from a connected hard drive than to restore through your internet connection. Each service provides different choices for versioning (how many versions of the document will be saved), retention and amount of storage, among other features. Cloud backup services can be configured to back up files on servers, but remember that you rely on the speed of the internet to download data you wish to recover. Depending on your connection, this could take a considerable amount of time.
Barracuda Offsite Backup Solution
Barracuda is an offsite backup service that provides for continuous local backup to an on-site appliance as well as a secure, off-site facility. Barracuda backs up your data at the file level, with backups occurring at configurable intervals throughout the day. These events are typically scheduled after business hours (due to bandwidth) but you can choose another time if you prefer. Up to 15 snapshots of your data can be saved and accessed later if necessary. This solution requires installation and configuration of a backup appliance on-site.
Backup & Disaster Recovery
Backup & Disaster Recovery or BDR is another solution that creates backups on a local appliance in addition to automated back-ups at a secure, off-site facility. A BDR on-site appliance can fill in for one of your servers if one crashes, and in the event of a total site disaster, you can access your entire environment via the back-ups at the secure, off-site facility. This solution is virtual machine (VM) capable and can spin up backed up servers in your environment within 60 minutes. As with Barracuda, backups of the data and server images occur throughout the day, meaning that file restoration is quick and easy. In the event of an emergency that requires you to wipe your server, you’ll be able to restore your environment, including files, software, and operating system, from the most recent snapshot in the backup.
For companies that rely on virtual environments, Veeam is an ideal backup solution. Veeam provides fast, flexible and reliable recovery of virtualized applications and documents. Veeam works exclusively with virtual environments, such as VMWare and Hyper-V, and works similarly to a BDR . Of all the backup options available, Veeam provides the quickest way to restore your data environment.
Backing up data is an important way to protect your business by ensuring data is safe despite minor or major disasters. Luckily, there are many ways to achieve this safely and reliably. Choose the right backup solution for your business and implement it now, or you’re sure to regret it later.
With multiple years’ experience working with clients in many industries, Kate brings her skills and positive attitude to Network 1’s team, clients and partners. She strives to provide the best service and solutions to her clients so they can achieve greatness through Worry-Free IT.
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Network 1 Consulting is a 19-year-old, IT Support company in Atlanta, GA. We become – or augment – the IT department for law firms and medical practices. Our IT experts can fix computers, but what our clients value most are the industry-specific best practices we bring to their firms. This is especially important with technology, along with regulations and cyber threats, changing so rapidly. We take a proactive approach to helping our clients use technology to gain and keep their competitive advantage.