The Importance of Backing Up Your Data
Hardware failures. Natural disasters. Theft. User error. Your data isn’t safe! All of these things are notorious for claiming massive amounts of valuable data at any given time. Thankfully, your data can be protected from all of these threats with a backup and disaster recovery plan. One of the most effective tools for accomplishing a successful recovery is having a remote backup solution.
While you may already back up your data to an external hard drive in your office, you are still not immune to total data loss. In the case of a natural disaster or theft, your computer and external hard drive will likely be taken by the thief or the storm. This is why offsite backups are so invaluable. Offsite backups keep data away from your business, creating not only duplication, but also security through separation.
Why You Need to Have a Remote Cloud Backup in Gulfport
Losing a single unfinished spreadsheet is pretty inconvenient. Now consider how inconvenient it would be to lose a day’s worth of work. Now a week’s work. Imagine losing your client database, your financial records, and all of the working files your company has ever saved to a hard drive. These are truly devastating scenarios that we would not wish on any business owner.
However, all of the worst-case scenarios we just laid out can be solved quite happily with a solid backup and restoration plan. Keep in mind: it’s not a matter of if you will have a problem with your storage systems, it’s when. Do not take backups lightly. They will save your business one day.
To reiterate: the best way to achieve complete peace of mind when it comes to your data is through the use of a remote data backup solution.
What are Remote Backups?
Remote data backups (interchangeably known as offsite backups, remote online backups, or cloud backups) are services that allow you to maintain a secure copy of your data in a location far away from your office. Remote backups involve the uploading of data to servers running in a highly secure facility. You can manage backups yourself with low-cost “self-serve” offerings, or you can pay a little extra and gain the expertise of backup professionals who work tirelessly to ensure the integrity of your data. The latter of these two options is known as a “managed backup.”
In addition to backing up your data remotely, we also recommend keeping a local backup. The combination of a local and offsite backup allows for the fastest restorations and ultimate data safety.
7 Characteristics of a GREAT Remote Server Backup Solutions Provider
Not all backup solutions are created equal. Below are 7 factors that separate the average from great backup providers.
- Great backup providers provide security, data transfer and data storage that is often military-grade safe.
- The backup provider should have multiple data centers dispersed around the United States. This dispersal of data centers is best because it prevents the same natural disaster or theft from gobbling up your data at once. Remember, when it comes to your business’ data, you can hardly have enough redundancies.
- Your backup provider should be capable of providing copies of your data on DVDs, hard drives, or other storage devices as soon as the next morning after a data loss on your end. The ability to restore from physical storage is fantastic, because when your network is crippled, you do not want your bandwidth speed to stop you from collecting your files and getting back to work.
- In the same vein, your backup provider should be able to perform the initial backup of your data from a DVD or hard drive that you provide them with. Again, this is a great convenience compared to the length of time it might take to upload your company’s data via the Internet. It can take upwards of a week to backup a terabyte of data with some providers!
- Make sure that your data can be restored to a computer other than the one it was backed up from. Amazingly, some backups can only be applied to the same computer the files were sent from. Of course, this is no help at all if your computer was stolen, burned, or washed away. Insist that your backup service of choice is capable of this kind of “asymmetrical” restoration.
- Great backup providers send daily status reports of your backups. Any backup service worth considering will furnish you with a daily notification verifying that your backup actually ran, and alerting you of any failures or problems.
- Finally, the best backup solutions have a qualified technician available to help you. It’s true that many online backup offerings are “self serve” insofar as you are the one who is responsible for the upload, organization, and maintenance of your files. And these offerings are great for many individuals. If you’re a busy professional, you might not have time to properly set up a backup. Your busy schedule puts you at a greater risk of making an error and altogether nullifying the effectiveness of your backup plan. So call an expert.
If you want to save some money, at the very least ask your backup provider to walk you through the proper steps over the phone or take a look at your settings. An IT expert can also make sure that the correct data is backed up on your computer/server.
The Most Important Quality of a Remote Backup Service Provider
While all of the qualities listed above are extremely important, what follows is the single most important characteristic of all: good backup provider.
The best remote backup services perform regular test restores to verify the integrity of your backup.
This is critical because backups are useless if the data cannot be put back onto your computer. Do not wait until data has been wiped to put your backup to the test! Think of these tests like military drills, except your provider is drilling backups instead of soldiers. Just like an army, if your backups are not in their best physical condition and ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice, they are extremely limited in their usefulness.
This test restoration also allows you to make sure all critical data is being backed up. Far too often, we find that servers are being backed up, but critical data is housed on an employee’s desktop PC (with no backups).
Interested in a free backup audit? Give us a shout!