DATA BACKUPS: ONSITE VS. OFFSITE 08/22/12
Human error, hardware malfunctions, viruses, theft and disasters such as flooding and fire all can result in the loss of valuable data stored on your network.
A formal backup and recovery system will guarantee the safety of your data and insure that it can be easily retrieved if a problem occurs.
Data storage and recovery options are endless but they essentially boil down to onsite or offsite or both. Choose the method that suits the needs of your business and your clients.
Onsite data storage typically consists of devices such as flash drives, external hard drives, network drives, DVDs and CDs. Since portable storage devices can easily be lost or stolen, make sure your data is encrypted and backed up on more than one device. Your onsite storage devices should be kept in a safe, secure place to avoid theft and damage from fire and flood.
The main advantage of onsite storage is you can retrieve your data easier and faster than you can with offsite storage.
Offsite data storage and backup involves storing data at a remote location by physically transferring the removable data storage devices mentioned above or by electronically accessing an online or cloud-based backup service.
Online backup services such as Carbonite allow you to back up your files to a secure web-based site. Typically, the service will collect, compress, encrypt and transfer the data to a server on a regular basis. Encryption ensures the data is secure by making decryption available only to the data owner.
Cloud computing allows you to choose from a menu of software, hardware and networking services that are housed in an Internet “cloud.” Unlike traditional web hosting, cloud service is sold on demand allowing users to lease whatever resources they choose. Cloud computing for data storage and recovery can be an attractive alternative for companies with limited IT resources and infrastructure.
Some experts suggest that small and medium-sized business keep three copies of critical files and data and that they backup and store their critical data both onsite and offsite.
Once you have a backup system or method in place, you should back up your data daily. Beyond that, you should check the review logs and reports daily to make sure your data was property backed up.
While backing up your business critical data to a secure device and/or service and making sure that the data is properly backed up and stored on a regular basis, may take a lot of time, effort and money, it’s much better than having to re-start your business from scratch.
Have you had any experiences with onsite or offsite data storage and recovery you would like to share?