When searching for a business data backup solution, there are five key features you should look for. These are the ability for a complete backup, automated backups, backup history, off-site cloud storage, and backup storage security. If your data backup solution doesn’t come with these features, there is a chance that you could lose work, time, and money in the event of a disaster.
If the only thing your backup service is backing up is your data, then it’s not backing up nearly enough. Not only should your data be backed up, but so too should all of your programs, operating systems, and everything else. When it comes time to recover your backups, you will want them to be one, all-inclusive package that you can install on a machine. The more your backup service backs up, the better off you will be if you need to rely on it.
Backup history is important for two main reasons. First, it allows you to see what was backed up, when it was backed up, and how frequently it was backed up. But the second, and more important reason for backup history, is that it allows you to recover backups from specific points in time, not just your most recent backed-up files.
To illustrate this benefit of backup history, let’s imagine that your company backs up your work once at the start of every month (which is far less frequently than recommended). In this scenario, let’s also say that file X was corrupted in June, but you didn’t notice until after the August backup. If you were unable to access your backup history, there would be no way of recovering file X from a time before when it was corrupted. But with backup history, you would be able to go back and grab the working version of file X from June or earlier without rolling everything else back as well.
Automated Backup and Recovery
Automated backup and recovery ensure that your data, progress, and programs are always saved, just in case. Manual backups tend to be forgotten or otherwise neglected, which can lead to massive gaps in your backup history. If you rely on manual backups, then when it comes time to recover your backups, you may find that they’re all outdated. Outdated backups can mean hours, days, or weeks of lost work. However, even automatic backups can have gaps if they aren’t frequent enough. For this reason, the more frequently the automatic backing up of files occurs, the better off you will be in case of emergency.
The recovery of your data is just as important as the backing up of it. If recovering your backup isn’t easy to do, then the backups themselves won’t be very useful. In the case of recovery, automation may be useful in some situations, but manual recovery may be better in others. For example, there may be cases in which you need to recover different files from different points in your backup history. Additionally, when recovering backups manually, you can ensure that everything is recovered and working properly along the way.
Off-Site Cloud Storage
It is important to use the cloud because it allows you to access your backups from anywhere on any device. If you’re unable to access your backups from anywhere, then what are you going to do if the power is out at your office or your computer is inoperable? In cases such as those, you will want to be able to restore a backup of your system onto another computer so you can continue working.
Backups of your machine that are stored on your machine are as good as useless. You won’t be able to access them if something goes wrong. You also don’t want your backups to be stored in a single location just in case something goes wrong there as well. The best option is to have your backups served over the cloud from multiple data centers spread across geographically diverse areas. That way, if one data center is compromised due to an outage, there will still be others capable of serving your backups and stored data to your devices.
When it comes to the security of your backups, they should be just as secure as your main system, if not more so. Just as your backups are useless if you’re unable to access them, they’re similarly useless if they have been corrupted, deleted, or otherwise compromised. And, this is another reason why you should make use of cloud storage — so that the security of your system and backups are completely separate. Additionally, data within your backup should be compartmentalized so that if one portion of it is compromised, the rest of the backup and backup history remains secure.
Your backup should be protected by a combination of both physical and digital security. The physical environment of the data centers hosting the cloud should be secure locations with limited access available to them. And, the same should be true of the digital environment. Access should be limited only to those who require it.
There are five key components to a robust digital backup system for your business. The system you use should be able to perform a complete backup of everything on your device, including the operating system. It should also feature a backup history log where you can recover past backups. The act of backing up (and in some cases recovering) should be automated to ensure that the data is always up to date. And, your backups should be stored off-site on the cloud with robust physical and digital security systems in place.
IT Services Group
FailSafe is a data backup system that incorporates both StorageCraft® Backup/DR and ShadowProtect® Server software to ensure that your backups are always secure and there when you need them. Contact us today to learn more about how we can set FailSafe up for your business.