Backup is essential for a modern business but with so many different methods available how can you pick the one that is best for you?
There are a few important variables to consider including how much data you have, how sensitive the data is and to what extent you can still function as a business without it.
How much data do you have?
How much data you need to backup and the combination of total data and daily generated data will have a significant impact on your decision. Although physical disks are getting larger in capacity and cheaper, if you have a lot of data (read, tens of terrabytes – not gigabytes!) then an on-site backup server (especially if you are keeping previous versions of files) might not be the most feasible or cost effective solution. This is where cloud solutions really excel – almost unlimited storage capacities at tiny prices.
Storage is cheap, but time is not. An important and often overlooked factor is fast your internet connection is and how long it takes to backup the data you generate each day and how long it would take to download all of your data from the cloud in a disaster situation. If you have a super-fast leased line this they might not be a problem, but if you are sharing a building’s internet connection or have a slow transfer speed then this could be a major problem.
How sensitive is your data?
Amazon, Microsoft, Google and all of the other big names spend a lot on security to ensure that your data is safe however it is still stored nu-encrypted in a public data-center. An on-site backup server gives you full, secure access to your files and data but there are also other options out there; cloud backup and storage services tuned specifically for privacy with 100% data encryption and private, UK servers with 100% network uptime and 1 hour hardware replacement SLA’s.
Monitoring and Testing
All backups should be monitored so that if anything starts to fail, it can be fixed before it puts any data at risk. In a similar way, recovery should be simulated on a regular basis so that you can be confident that the data is being duplicated perfectly. In our experience this is where most backup solutions fall down. They are setup, untested and when the time comes to recover data files are corrupted or not available.
The best of both is the best for most
Our recommended solution in most cases is for an on-site NAS Server that is setup for regular cloud backups. This provides you with the best of both worlds; an on-site backup for instant recovery of files combined with the resilience of a off-site cloud backup if there were every any major disasters.
Our Managed Spotlight NAS drives (built with Synology hardware) are completely scalable, secure and integrate in with cloud backup solutions such as Amazon Glacier for cheap, reliable off-site backup.
The first step of any backup strategy should always be a consultation and risk analysis of your current infrastructure. This will allow us (or any other consultant) to identify current vulnerabilities and put a plan in place.