Have you ever lost data, or think that will never happen to me and then it does! What now? Unfortunately you don’t have a backup to restore it. Well don’t let that be you. To help you wade through all of the considerations in selecting a system, we’ve created a table that identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the three kinds of backup options.
- Local backup: This is the method of backing up to a local tape or disk drive that businesses employ on-site. It’s good for fast recovery but the original and on-site backup can be lost in a fire.
- Cloud backup: Answering the need to store data off-site, Cloud systems use the internet to upload backup data to a remote data center. The best Cloud solutions automate this process so the user can basically just ‘set it and forget it.’ There are two levels of Cloud backup systems: business class and consumer class. Unlike business class, consumer class systems are very inexpensive (or free) but offer little support, security or extra service.
- Hybrid Cloud backup: Simple cloud systems have one problem: in a data crisis when large volumes of data need to be restored from the cloud, Internet data transfer by normal ADSL or cable is often too slow. A Hybrid Cloud system solves this by adding an integrated local backup to the cloud backup system. The same software automation ensures ‘set it and forget it’ simplicity while the duplicated local data means data can be restored in minutes instead of hours.
Backup Options Breakdown
CD/DVD, flash drives, tape drives, hard drives.
Consumer class, business class & Corporate WAN.
Cloud backup with integrated local backup for rapid recovery.
Company’s focus on core strengths and outsourcing support strategy
A considerable amount of time and expertise are required from your staff to maintain a bulletproof backup system. Is that a good investment of your resources?
“Set it and forget it.” Your staff can focus on business.
Minimize the need for staff intervention and handling. The cloud part is still “set it and forget it.”
|Ongoing costs to sustain a backup system:monthly charges for maintenance and storage plus staff time required for disciplined backups, training and recovery drills||Considerable time and effort is required to assess all of the true costs associated with sustaining mechanical backup systems.||Consumer class: competitive, especially when all costs of mechanical systems are factored. Business class: more expensive but may still be competitive.||Ostensibly the most expensive.|
|Data volume||If reliable staff time is not too expensive then local media backups can be quite economical, especially for small volumes.||More volume means more expense but some providers offer tiered pricing.||Most expensive but tiered pricing from business class suppliers helps to mitigate the cost of duplicate backups.|
|Offsite challenges (media must be stored offsite to prevent fire or other disaster from destroying both original and backup): physical media requires a disciplined system to get it offsite. All offsite media must be stored securely to prevent theft and ensure quick retrieval.||Useless in the event of fire or other disaster. To prevent loss of both original and backup, media must be stored in a separate location.||Stored safely offsite. Unfortunately, full data recovery can take hours or even days depending on the volume. Some business class services ensure faster recovery by offering emergency courier delivery of physical media.||The best of both worlds: some business class systems offer integrated solutions for both offsite and local backups.|
|The regulations and standards under which your business operates||It’s very difficult for local media storage to meet standards set by industry or government for protection of personal and financial data.||Only the best business class solutions meet industry and government standards.||Only the best business class solutions meet industry and government standards.|
|The capital cost of purchasing backup hardware and software||Inexpensive hardware/software solutions are the least secure and the most trouble to maintain.||None||None|
|Technical expertise and resourcefulness of staff available in event of a data loss crisis||Do you have more than one tech-savvy person who can manage data recovery from physical media under the extreme pressure of a data loss emergency?||Consumer class, you’re probably on your own for data restoration. Business class ensures there is always an expert technician on hand to help you.||Only business class offers integrated hybrid solutions with expert technicians available to help in an emergency.|
|Transport time (time it takes for backups): slow, tedious processes are a disincentive to disciplined backups.||Can be relatively quick if there is low volume of data and no need to change disks or tapes. Still, there is time required to label media and move it to storage.||Backups are done automatically and in the background while you continue to work. No intervention is required from staff.||Some handling is required for local backup but it is minimal since only the most current data needs to be stored locally.|
|Seek time: time it takes to find a single file or files on backup media for a partial restore||Depends if the local media is on disk and the disk is handy.||Depends on file size and how long it takes to download but for smaller files, this can be very quick.||Very quick either way: restore small files from cloud or large files from local media.|
|Recovery time (time it takes to restore a complete backup): offsite solutions need high-speed connections and/or a courier for rapid transport of physical media.||How long will it take to locate and load the physical media. (How easily can you find backup tapes or disks and retrieve them in an emergency? Are they labeled properly?) Once loaded, recovery is very fast.||Large volumes of data, typical ADSL or cable connections are relatively slow. It is probably faster to physically transport backup media from the cloud storage facility by courier. This service is available for business class vendors.||Recovery using the locally stored media is very fast.|
|Professional support: required to implement a new system||Some systems are relatively simple; others are more complicated. Either way, more than one person should master the physical processes.||With business class systems, professional support is always available.||With business class systems, professional support is always available.|
|Hardware reliability of backup and restore system: Are you absolutely sure the backup was recorded perfectly and can be restored?||Moving parts can fail or get out of alignment resulting in corrupt and therefore useless backups.||Nothing to break or fail||The physical media may fail but there is always a backup for the backup in the cloud.|
|Security against data theft: You are aware of your legal responsibility to protect personal information aren`t you? This includes certifications required by your industry.||This depends on the rigor of security for your physical media storage. More security requires more expensive training, safeguards and elaborate procedures.||Consumer class offer little help in meeting stringent security certification requirements. The best business class is certified to tough government and industry standards.||Consumer class offer little help in meeting stringent security certification requirements. The best business class is certified to tough government and industry standards.|
|Flexibility: Trouble, time and cost required if you want to move to a different backup system. Does the backup technology (or contract obligations) inhibit changing systems?||A substantial investment in staff training, hardware and software may discourage you from changing platforms.||Term contracts (usually 1 yr.) may inhibit changing technologies or vendors. Business class usually have many vendors offering the same service and some allow you to move from their consumer class to business class systems or vice versa depending on your needs.||Term contracts (usually 1 yr.) may inhibit changing technologies or vendors. Business class usually have many vendors offering the same service. Consumer class systems do not offer integrated hybrid solutions.|
Contact us today and we can help you determine your company needs and find the best option for you.
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