BES IT Systems Blog

Do you have a backup strategy in place? How to know what your business needs!

Posted by John Dowd on Nov 2, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Offsite Backup is a hot topic for businesses of all sizes. Securing reliable data backups is vital to the business continuity of every business. Most data loss is caused by hardware problems, system issues and human error. Do you have a backup strategy in place to secure your data? 

Whether you are:

  • large
  • small
  • a dental practice
  • an accounting firm
  • a law firm
  • in the health industry
  • in design
  • in marketing
  • in kid's parties

 

Your business has valuable data. Protect it! 

You already know this, and that’s why you’ve probably already got backup tapes or an external hard drive kicking around that you replicate your stuff to on a regular, or semi-regular basis.

There are a couple of common challenges with this approach.

It’s not automated and you have to remember to do it regularly enough so that they remain current and valuable.

You may or may not keep your backup tapes or drive onsite. Good for if your server fails, bad in case of disaster such as fire, theft or flood destroys them as well as your server or PC’s. (We all know a business that was affected in the floods in Brisbane in 2011 and even 2013.)


If you're only relying on backup tapes, they are 100% proven to fail you eventually. Relying on only one backup type is risky.

backup-tapes-often-fail
An easy, solid and affordable solution is managed data backup. Whether you have one precious folder, or ten years of several thousand clients-worth of data, there’s an option for you.

How does managed data backup work?

The first point to note is that it uses your internet connection. Your managed backup provider (let's use BES IT Systems in this example, seeing as we're telling the story) sets up a backup program on your PC or server, wherever your data is stored, that “phones home” every night, and transfers your data back to a secure location in our datacentre.

Your data travels from your PC or server, across the Internet, to the datacentre over a secure channel. The program is smart enough to only transfer the changes that have happened during the day from the last time it was backed up. Obviously the very first time it transfers the data it transfers the whole lot.

Occasionally we go to a new customer’s office and take a copy of their data on a USB hard drive, then bring it back to our offices and install in our storage system. This initial grab of data saves having to send large amounts of data over the Internet, which could take a day or two.

 There are generally 3 types of managed backup:

 1. Folder

You have one precious folder or group of folders. It has your family photos in it. Alternatively, it has the most important data for your small business. We set up the backup program to send a copy of the folders to our datacentre – the copy is held in our disk storage system. We then on a daily basis copy it onto tape backup and from there to an offsite location as an additional safeguard.

 2. Server Image

This is for disaster recovery. Consider this scenario: You come to work one morning and find the roof leaked and your server is wet and not working. How long will it be before you can start invoicing again or receiving and sending emails? For a business with a disk or tape copy of all the important files it could be a day or two, as your IT people need to first repair or purchase a new server. That could take a day. Then they need to load all the server software and ensure it is updated with the latest Microsoft security patches. That could take a few hours. Only then can they load on your data from the backup disk or tape. That could take another few hours.

With our Managed Backup for Disaster Recovery we take a daily or hourly “image” of the whole server and send it over the Internet to our datacentre. By taking an image we have everything – the server software and your data. In the unfortunate event that your server is out of action for a while we can restore the latest image onto one of our spare servers and have you up and running.  

 3. Archival

We offer this service to businesses who have loads of data from years past that for legal reasons must be kept. It could be building project data that must be kept for 10 years until the building warranty has expired, or accounting records that must be kept for tax purposes for five years. Rather than have this data clogging up your server’s storage and being backed up every day with all the current data we offer to store it in our datacentre. We work out a plan that meets your storage security and your archival timeframe requirements. This service is a mere cents per gigabyte per month.

 How fast can you restore my data?

Depending on whether you have a folder, server or archival package, determines how long this takes. Basically it comes down to how much data we need to retrieve for you. Less data= less time, more data = more time.

Typically a folder of 50GB will take about 1 hour to restore to a USB Hard Disk that you supply BES. A server with 200GB of server software and data will take about 4 hours to restore to a spare server, which any local Offsite Backup providers worth their salt will rent to you for a short time.

If your data is mission critical to your daily business; you can’t afford to be without your data for a few hours, let alone a day or so.  

Managed Data Services and/or Disaster Recovery offers an easy, affordable, reliable solution for your business.

If you'd like more information about managing your company's data, contact me on john@bes.com.au or (07) 3340 5509.

Start thinking about your data backup today!

Download a Free Managed Backup Whitepaper

 

 

Topics: Offsite Backup, Automated Offsite Backup, Offsite Backup for Small Business, Brisbane Offsite Backup, Disaster Recovery, server image, Data Archival

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