Types of Data Backups & Ways to Keep Your Data Safe
In business, information is everything. Without your client database, financial records, documents, or email, serving your customers would be nearly impossible. You need continuous access to your system to keep your business running smoothly.
So how do you ensure that your data will be protected against fires, floods, earthquakes, viruses, and human error? It’s all about backup.
Here Are the Main Types of Backups for Businesses:
Also known as local backup, this is where your backup data is stored at the same location as the original data. This could be in the form of an external hard drive or a tape backup that stays in the office. One advantage is that if you need to restore the system, the data is readily available. While this method is better than nothing, the downside is that if your office is damaged or destroyed by a disaster, your data will be lost too.
This is storing your backup data at an off-site or remote location away from your business. With your data off-site, your information is safe even if something were to happen to your physical location. The disadvantage is that if you needed to use that backup, you may be down for hours or days while you wait for the external hard drive to arrive in the mail. Additionally, there is also a high risk that the hard drive could be damaged, dropped, or lost in transit.
Online, Off-Site Backup
With an online, off-site backup, the Internet is used to back up your data. The backups are kept on hosted servers, or “in the cloud,” and can be easily accessed if needed. The best part about this method is that as long as you have Internet access, you have access to your data. However, if you have a lot of data, the backups will slow down your Internet due to the amount of bandwidth used. And if you need to recover your data, getting all of it back over the Internet can be an extremely slow or impossible process.
What's the Ideal Backup Scenario?
The ideal scenario is to have a combination of all three types. It is also highly recommended that the backups are image-based. Image-based backups are basically snapshots of your server so, if necessary, you can copy the snapshot onto another server and you’ll be back in business.
It will save you a great deal of time and money in getting your network back up. Best of all, your configurations will remain in place since it’s a mirror image of your previous machine. This used to be very expensive, but due to recent technological advancements, it is much more affordable.
No matter how you back up your data, regular test restores need to be conducted to make sure your data is recoverable. After all, the worst time to find out your backup wasn’t working is after the data is gone.
Deciding on a backup solution essentially comes down to budget and risk tolerance.
Talk to your IT provider about your options and make sure your critical business data will be available when you need it.
About Courtney Casey
In an industry dominated by men, Courtney Casey, Director of Marketing for Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., is making her mark on the world of information technology. Courtney has been immersed in the IT field most of her life and has been molded into the tech savvy expert she is today. She began working for Accent while earning her Bachelor's degree from California State University, Long Beach. Known in the Inland Empire as the "Tech Girl," Courtney is a regular columnist for the region's newspaper of record, The Press-Enterprise. Her columns address topical news trends, new technology products, and offer advice on how to embrace technology or avoid common IT pitfalls.