Online backup: What are the best data recovery options for SMEs?  

If you are one of the lucky ones who has never experienced a major data loss, backing up may be something you approach with casual abandon.  But those poor souls who have experienced a catastrophic data loss will know the value of that magic word “backup”.

From an IT support point of view, backups are a non-negotiable data protection function for any office, no matter what your size or setup.

 Scarily, there are many ways that a major data loss could happen.  These include:

-       Hard disk failure

-       Human error

-       Theft

-       Software corruption

-       Virus or malware

-       Natural disaster

Having a good data recovery plan may mean the difference between a small hiccup and the worst day of your life.

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It’ll never happen to me

In New Zealand, the memory of the devastating Christchurch earthquakes is a very real reminder of just how catastrophic one event can be.  Just like having a home emergency kit and practicing earthquake drills, practicing for a major data loss scenario and having a disaster recovery procedure is a smart move.

Imagine all your computers crashed, or were stolen.  How would you get your data back?  And more importantly, how long would it take to get your business back up and running?  The cost of recouping lost revenue and customer confidence could be huge.

When we talk to clients about data recovery, we advise that every business should have a backup plan tailored to their business.  This should involve testing both data loss and data restore scenarios.  Monitor backups on a regular basis to make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to should also be part of backup procedure.

What’s the best backup system for my office?

There are a number of things to consider when setting up backup procedures.

Backup Software

To have an effective backup system, you need to have suitable backup software.  The best types of backup software should provide email notifications on success and failures.  Whilst Windows machines offer built-in backup options, often the reporting is not good.

File Based or Disk Snapshot

File based - Best for laptops or PCs where software can easily be reinstalled.  Only data is backed up using this method, programs and configuration are not included in the backup. 

Disk Snapshot BackupThis software is best for servers or critical machines where configuration and install may take a long time and a quick restore is paramount.  Quick, full-point-in-time program and data restores are possible with Disk Snapshot based backups.

Manual File Copy

Manual File Copy backup is usually done through the use of a USB stick or USB hard drive.  This option isn’t recommended as a suitable option for full protection.   As a manual process, it’s easy to forget and is only effective if the USB drive is kept in a separate location to the computer.  This system doesn’t offer versioning and users should be aware that it’s possible for viruses to travel to portable drives. 

Backup Location

To ensure you have a secure and effective backup system, data must be stored offsite.  There are a few options for how you can secure your office data.

Local Storage

While this is better than no backup at all, your data is not secured against fire or theft.

Cloud Storage

This provides a good option as files are backed up to the cloud, putting distance between your data and your office.  Restores and backups can be slow, so you’ll need to check your internet connection is up to scratch.

Local Storage and Cloud Storage combination

Offering the best of both worlds, this strategy allows for fast backups and restores,  as well as offsite cloud storage.

Cloud to Cloud

Backup from one cloud storage provider to another.  Be aware that not all cloud providers have the ability to recover data that has been accidentally deleted or altered.  Some online cloud storage only offers limited recovery options and file recovery points. 

For further information on our backup procedures, have a look at www.nzbackup.co.nz

Ayone Computers offers a full range of solutions and software for office backups to meet your requirements.  Talk to us today to tailor a reliable, hassle-free backup system – info@ayone.co.nz or phone 0800 001 487.