Backup & Storage
Data backup is something that no business can afford to neglect. Our Managed Backup service will safeguard your critical business data and minimize the possibility of data loss.
Our Managed Backup service will help you protect yourself and minimize the risk of lost information or company data. This can happen easily, either by human error, such as file deletion, or by accident – such as data corruption or hardware failure.
Having something in place will:
- Minimize risks to your operations, and ultimately help prevent loss of revenues
- Contribute towards your Business Continuity plans and implementation
- Peace of mind – you’re protecting the business
Who’s it for?
We have solutions for all sizes of organisation, from small businesses right up to medium-sized organisations. We also have enterprise-level Managed Backup as a component of Business Continuity solutions.
We also offer a simple and cost effective Cloud Backup service for SMBs.
Whether you are a business owner or you’re responsible for ICT and information security as part of an internal IT team, we’d be happy to help.
What is included?
Managed Backup is primarily concerned with recovering lost data or information.
- There will generally be one or more storage devices to keep copies of your files and data, together with software that allows your backups to be scheduled and managed
- You will often be able to archive files too, freeing up resources in favor of the files and data that you’re currently working on
- The technology is low in maintenance – it doesn’t require much intervention but is reliable – it is there when you need it.
2 + 1 = Data Backup Best Practice
For critical data, businesses should make two full copies, maintained on separate physical devices. In addition, a third copy should be kept offline, preferably stashed at another location.
Having two complete copies offers some measure of business continuity, allowing organizations to continue with their business as usual even with the complete loss of one set of data. After all, even RAID volumes may be degraded for a substantial amount of time until the array is completely rebuilt. These two copies of data can be kept synchronized by a variety of means: The cloud, a third-party sync application or the sync capabilities of an increasing number of NAS.
The offline copy, meanwhile, serves as an important hedge against inadvertent mistakes and outright malice. Real-time or near-real-time data synchronization can eliminate data sprawl, which may see multiple copies of the same data. However, it can also rapidly replicate errors or overwrite good files in a way that stymies file recovery software. As noted, even Google and its multiple data centers’ worth of data storage still uses tape storage technology.
Storage Strategy Depends on Budget
Ultimately, the combination of storage you need will depend on your volume of data and available budget. Startups with modest data needs and a low budget, for example, could benefit from the Transporter and its minimal equipment costs. Data could be backed up onto a DAS that’s taken offline on a periodic basis.
A business with more substantial storage needs, though, may want to deploy two NAS appliances in separate offices. These could be set to sync with each other over the Internet or VPN. The same arrangement could be made for businesses with only one office, though the second NAS could be a disaster protected one. Data in both cases could be incrementally backed up from one NAS to a cloud storage provider.
Whatever they deploy, businesses generating large volumes of data may find that backing up to the cloud may not be tenable. Such businesses will likely need to invest in a tape drive, with data backed up on tape cartridges kept at an off-site location.
6 Common Data Storage Solutions
DAS denotes storage devices that are connected directly to a PC or server, typically using a USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 peripheral port. One weakness of DAS is that you need to do ad-hoc or batch backups to copy data, which means they could contain out-of-date versions of files.
A NAS appliance is a storage device that connects directly to the network. It features the attendant capabilities of a file server and accepts multiple storage drives. Redundancy is offered in the form of RAID capabilities, as NAS supports various file protocols to work directly desktops and laptops. Some NAS models offer the capability to synchronize selected folders or volumes with a second, remote NAS that supports the capability.
As its name suggests, disaster protected storage — which can come in the form of DAS or NAS — is hardened against the type of disasters that would have easily destroyed unprotected data. For example, disaster protected storage appliances can withstand fire for up to 30 minutes and total immersion in water for days.
While it may seem intuitive to lump all online storage into the same category, there are actually two distinct types of offerings. There’s the online storage designed to help consumers and businesses store or back up data in the cloud. For the purposes of this article, that’s what we mean by online storage.
Cloud storage can work very well if backing up data incrementally, and requires no up-front capital investments. The downside, though, is that data retrieval may take an unacceptably long time should you require full data recovery.
Not comfortable with placing their data in the hands of third-party public cloud vendors, some enterprises have taken to building privates version of cloud services to gain some of the inherent benefits of electricity and flexibility. Though this was once out of the reach of small business, innovations mean that small businesses may yet be able to tap into private cloud storage.
This is commonly understood to be tape drives, but optical media such as DVD and Blu-Ray discs are occasionally used for the purpose of offline data backup. This “technology” may seem outdated, but don’t dismiss it yet: Tape backups have saved Google in at least one Gmail outage, and Facebook is experimenting with Blu-Ray discs for data backup (albeit with a robotic picker handling 10,000 discs in a storage system the size of an entire server rack).