“I’m sure I stored the files somewhere. BUT, darn, I can’t find them! I hope I’ll remember soon enough.”
2 hours later
“Eureka! The files are in the portable hard drive……… which was damaged when I dropped it!”
Sound familiar? This scenario plays out in businesses across the nation multiple times on any given day – and it will continue to do so as long as there is life on our planet.
Backing up files locally is an option, and maybe it is the more feasible option for the non-business user.
However, backing up data locally is not the best option for business users.
Why do we say that?
Because there is a better plan.
It’s called remote backup, and it’s becoming the option of choice for the vast majority of businesses. Remote backup is the secure, off-site storage and recovery of data files (including documents, images, audio and video).
We will admit that, like everything else in life, remote backup has its advantages and disadvantages, its pros and cons.
Since we have your best interest at heart, we’re going to tell you about the disadvantages first.
Disadvantages of Remote Backup
The device needs to be online
Obviously, your device needs to be connected to the internet to ensure your backups are completed successfully. Most devices are internet connected these days but some backups may take hours to complete, so a device that is only online a couple of hours at a time (such as a laptop that is frequently offsite) may be days or even weeks behind.
High bandwidth (high data transfer rates) may be required to backup and to restore large chunks of data. However, with the increased speeds available today over NBN, or better yet dedicated business ifbre, and even faster speeds expected in the future, this concern may not be as valid as it was in the past. If you are still on ADSL though, cloud backups may not be for you just yet.
Time taken to backup / restore
It may take a significant amount of time to backup and to restore large chunks of data. Again, with the higher speeds available today this concern is not as valid as it was in the past.
There, we’ve said it. It’s out in the open. Now everyone knows.
The advantages of remote backup far outweigh the disadvantages. And that is exactly why more and more businesses are choosing to back up their data remotely.
Advantages of Remote Backup
Minimal Capital Expenditure
If you are running a start-up, you can back up your data from day one without needing to invest in expensive hardware for local storage. Similarly, you can shift to remote backup – even if you have a business that has been going strong for decades. An internet connection or a dedicated leased line connection is all that is required.
Reduced Operating Expenditure
You also don’t need to spend on operating and maintaining your storage network. Expensive software and hardware upgrades are avoided. All the required hardware and software upgrades are taken care of by the service provider.
Since your data is stored offsite in purpose-built data centres, it is safe from power surges, floods, fires and theft. These enterprise-grade data centres comply with standards that have been developed and optimized to meet the most stringent protocols. The data centres incorporate multiple levels of redundancy.
Some of the features of state-of-the-art data centres include:
- 99.995% uptime per year or less than 0.5 hours of downtime per year
- Multiple paths for power and cooling
- Extended power outage protection
- Redundant power generation and cooling units
- Fire suppression systems
- Access control
Your data is encrypted during transmission. The stored data in the service provider’s data centre is also encrypted. Furthermore, the carrier-class intrusion prevention systems implemented by service providers ensure that your data is protected against unauthorized access.
The amount of storage you require can be increased on the fly. A request sent to the service provider is usually all that is required. You don’t need to invest in additional hardware every time you run out of storage space.
Implementation of an optimized backup schedule ensures that data backups are done at regular intervals. This ensures that the possibility of your data being lost is minimized as the process is automated and does not require human intervention.
Data on the service provider’s cloud can be accessed from anywhere – from the office, from home, from your private jet, from a cruise ship, and from your remote holiday island.
Okay, so maybe you don’t have your own island yet, but you get the picture, right?
Your data is also accessible on all the devices that you and your employees are using. This ability to access data anytime and from anywhere has become even more relevant as more and more people work from home and work while on the move.
How can Itopia help you?
There is no doubt that remote backup is essential for business continuity. Having said that, it must also be mentioned that there is no “one size fits all” solution for every organisation. Each business has its own needs. Some of the specifics that may need to be put in black-and-white include:
- How much downtime can you afford per year? This could mean the difference between choosing a service provider with a Tier-3 or a Tier-4 data centre.
- Do you need daily backups, or do you need hourly or continuous backup?
- How long do you need to keep historical data? Compliancy requirements may mean that you need to keep data for a long time.
- How much data do you need to backup? This will vary with the type of data that is being backed up and the frequency of data backups.
- What type of data and applications do you need to backup? Obviously, some data and applications are critical while others might only be important.
- How much are you willing to spend for the remote backup service? No, this is not the most important question J
- How often do you need to test your backup / recovery systems? Once a year or more?
As your business evolves, your needs may change, leading to a change in how you backup and restore data.
The Itopia team understands how critical your data is to your continued success. Our consultants can recommend the remote backup solution that is optimal for you.
Call or email Itopia today for a no-obligation conversation about your backup requirements.