The importance of backing up your data dates back to the earliest days of technology. Yet you might be surprised to learn that, according to the World Backup Day Website, even in our technology and the gadget-driven world, about 30% of people have NEVER backed up their data. Sure, that number probably includes some of us who want to backup our data and simply don’t know how, but it also most definitely includes a large percentage of individuals and small-to-medium size businesses who simply don’t understand why backing up their data is necessary! Perhaps they see backups as something more suitable for the accident-prone, the forgetful and the technically challenged. What is your IT backup strategy for your business continuity?
What this article is about:
- Why data backup is a must
- How to backup data
Why data backup is a must
Data loss is much more common than you think. According to the World Backup Day Website:
- 29% of backup-related disasters are caused by accident
- Over 100 phones are lost or stolen every day
- 1 in 10 computers are infected with viruses every month
Here at CloudAlly, we also know that over 45% of data loss is caused due to user deletion. Let’s face it – those are some scary statistics! Even the most responsible, organized and tech-savvy among us could, in an instant, find ourselves without access to some of our most valuable digital media and critical online data. Even if we are able to piece together some of our information from the USB stick attached to our keys or an old email account, the restoration process of our data is often incredibly time-consuming and expensive. At the end of the day most are left with extensive amounts of data that is lost forever.
And yes, we really do mean FOREVER. In today’s world, service providers promise comprehensive data backup that the majority of users consider more than enough. What these individuals don’t take into consideration is all the scenarios in which they accidentally delete data, inadvertently download a computer virus, or have their phone stolen – resulting in the loss of data that no service providers or app developers can account for in their data backup policies.
The bottom-line: Backing up your data not just a recommendation, it’s a requirement. And it needs to be done in an active, comprehensive manner that enables you to quickly and easily restore all of your data, no matter what.
How to backup data
Now that we’ve established that data backup is a must, it’s time we provide an overview of how to backup your data: All the options you have for backing up your data and the pros and cons of each of these options.
While there are a vast number of companies and services operating in this field, data backup services generally fall into one of three categories:
- On-Premises Backup
- Cloud-based Backup
- Cloud-to-Cloud Backup
An On-Premises Backup keeps a updated version of your data on a local server or external drive. The mains benefits of these types of data backup solutions include:
- Maintaining complete control over all the data and related systems,
- Ensuring that all corporate data is stored and handled internally
- Dedicated IT staff can remain in charge of maintenance and support
- The initial investment may be somewhat high (relative to cloud-based and cloud-to-cloud services) but it can be a more cost-efficient option in the long-term.
While those are some pretty convincing advantages, there are significant disadvantages that accompany on-premises backup solutions. For example, the main reasons small and medium size companies (SMBs) tend to shy away from on-premises backup plans is that they require significant in-house technical know-how, as well ongoing resources to build and maintain both the backup server infrastructure and the personnel needed to manage it. That’s why today many SMB’s tend to lean towards Cloud-based and Cloud-to-Cloud services.
Over the past decade, Cloud-backup services have been extremely popular and accessible for both individuals and enterprises. From our experience, in the case of cloud-backup solutions there are multiple silver linings:
- Easy access – Cloud backup technology approaches are convenient because the information can be easily accessed, shared, managed and retrieved. It doesn’t hurt that the service provider also takes on around-the-clock monitoring and reporting responsibilities that a small business would not find affordable within on-premises backup solutions.
- Reliability – The built-in security features that accompany such services are of great value, particularly to SMBs. Such services generally include the relinquishing of responsibility for infrastructure and technology upgrades, which are often a significant burden for small businesses.
- Cost-Effective and Scalable – Organizations can leverage the unlimited scalability of a third-party cloud backup solutions without investing upfront in infrastructure. With the popularity of pay-as-you-go models in this field, SMBs can significantly reduce the resources allocated for backup infrastructure and IT staff, and simultaneously plan for the costs that would accompany organizational capacity growth.
- Quick Recovery Times – File recovery from cloud storage is generally faster than on-premises backups, and obviously doesn’t require being in a specific location in order to successfully recover and access your data.
While Cloud backup certainly has it’s perks, like any technology it also has its disadvantages. For example:
- Original Backups and Full-Restorations can be Time-Consuming – Depending on the amount of data you and/or your company needs to backup, the first full backup and/or full recovery could prove to be quite time-consuming and negatively impact organizational activities while these backups/restorations are taking place.
- Size matters – Organizations will have to take into account both the amount of data that needs to be transferred to the cloud on a daily basis and the amount of bandwidth available to complete this transfer. With companies that have extensive data, these limitations may be significant in the framework of their data backup strategy.
- No Guarantees – While cloud-based backup services are generally extremely reliable, there are certain elements like the availability of bandwidth that is simply not in the provider’s control. As such they cannot provide service-level agreements (SLAs) and their services are accompanied by a certain level of risk.
Last but certainly not least are Cloud-to-Cloud Backup Services like CloudAlly. As more and more of our business activities and interactions occur online, we continually increase the value of all of our online data. With an ever-growing global economy, it’s no surprise that cloud-based applications such as Office 365, Google Apps and Salesforce have become the optimal answer to the needs of SMBs and Enterprise worldwide.
While these services do come with certain security features, they are simply NOT built for providing the comprehensive protection against the most likely culprit: ourselves. Time and time again, we’ve seen that simple, accidental human errors can result in the loss of essential business data. We mess up, it happens. Cloud-to-Cloud Backups are specifically designed to protect us from turning those “oops” moments into more serious data-loss disasters. Clear benefits include:
- Take Control – Whether you want to secure online data for your whole team or only selected users within your organization, Cloud-to-Cloud services offer quick, easy and customizable automated backup service. With only a few clicks, you can choose the archive location, backup times and frequencies that work best for you and your team.
- Put Safety First – Cloud-to-Cloud backup services can implement internal controls and audits such that you can remain compliant with any and all data privacy requirements.
- Quickly Backed Up, Quickly Restored – Cloud-to-Cloud backups excel in keeping files that have been accidentally deleted easily accessible. Within minutes you can find, restore and export archived data from any point in time.
- Data with Unlimited Lives – No need to worry about lost or corrupted data. Whether someone inadvertently deleted a file or a virus took over your email account, cloud-to-cloud daily backup services ensure your data is not only retained, but that it remains intact and ready for use, whenever you need it.
- It’s All Yours – In our dynamic global environment, your past, current and future employees are located all across the world, weaving in and out of a variety of employment opportunities. Their constant creation of new data needs to be managed and monitored to ensure that these essential company assets stay accessible to your and your team. Cloud-to-Cloud backups provide you with the control you need to retain this data stays and easily move it from one user to another.
- Cost-effective Solutions – IT managers are often working with limited budgets, and are all about being as efficient as possible. The in-depth monitoring features you can access through Cloud-to-Cloud backup services make it easy to delete inactive accounts without deleting the accompanying data they generated, and simultaneously cut licensing costs and storage fees associated with these inactive accounts.
So that’s the low-down on how to backup your data. Perhaps we’re partial, but from where we stand, Cloud-to-Cloud backup services have proven time and again that they are able to provide the most comprehensive solutions without compromising on standards for safety, security or simplicity. If you want to learn more about what causes to data loss in the cloud, and how to prevent it, download our free overview. You could also start to backup your cloud account with a Free 14 day trial.