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Backing Up Your Business Data: Where to Begin

Businesses have quite a job. Not only do they have to provide satisfactory goods or services for customers, but they also have to jump through a bunch of legal hoops, but, that’s not all. Arguably most businesses, at least those that produce or record things digitally, should have backups of all their important files. One storm, one magnet, or one thief is all that it takes to put your business in ruin. So for all of the New Jersey businesses that have no clue what this means, here is what you need to start protecting your data, and keep it protected.

To start out with everyone should know about the different kind of backup storage solutions. The main split in backup storage is the choice of cloud backup and physical backup. Each of these has quite a few advantages. 

Cloud

Cloud backup is a bit of a new concept. The internet and its uses have grown exponentially in the last few years. One key advantage of cloud storage is its scalability. If you find a physical solution that you like, and implement it, you are stuck with it for a while, until you decide to upgrade. A physical drive that is 500GB will always be exactly 500GB. In the cloud however, when you find a solution with an ample amount of space, if you decide you need more, you can simply upgrade and get more space. So, that cloud drive that is 500GB, if needed, can be 2TB next week. It is scalable. Another benefit of scalability is the ability to scale down. If you decide you don’t need as much space as you originally thought, you can scale it down to a smaller amount.

Another great advantage of cloud backup is its protection. Since it has no physical parts it won’t fail like a physical drive. The only reason a backup would fail is if the internet itself failed. If this occurred there would be plenty of other things to worry about than backups. The cloud backup industry also has viable security practices and data encryption. The idea that cloud storage isn’t secure is highly flawed and exaggerated.

A third cloud storage advantage is that it implies very little investment costs. Cloud storage subscriptions fees are a fraction of the cost of many physical backup systems, and cloud prices are steady and predictable. One of the best parts about cloud storage is that it’s easy of use. A businessman doesn’t need to be, or need to hire a techno-geek to help him work with cloud backups. There are more simple and require less tech knowledge that traditional backup systems.

The last main advantage to cloud storage solutions is the availability of your files. If you have internet, you have files. You can access files whether you are in New Jersey, Russia, Australia, or even Alaska. If you have internet access, you have full access to your files. Instant access makes data recovery much faster. Availability of files also means that they are easy to share, with no transportation costs. Just send the link, and it is shared.

In spite of its many advantages, cloud storage does have a few disadvantages. Because it is not physical you can’t transfer it physically. If you don’t have internet, you can’t access your backups. You can’t keep them or put them in your pocket. They are on the internet, and must be accessed only by the internet. If you don’t have good internet, or internet is very expensive in your area, cloud storage probably isn’t for you. Limited bandwidth is the main disadvantage of cloud backup. Bandwidth can be a two-fold problem. Even fast internet will have problems accessing a file if multiple people are accessing that same file.

Another significant disadvantage of cloud storage is the stability of your host. If the site that your data is stored on has to do site maintenance your file could be indefinitely inaccessible. 

Physical

Physical backups have a list of advantages of their own. Sometimes physical transfers are simpler. If you only intend to transfer files from one computer to another, or even to 2 or 3, a physical storage would suit you well. A path from a storage drive to a computer is much simpler than on that goes from a computer, to the internet, and then back down to another computer. Physical can be quite simple.

Another great benefit of physical backups is speed. Speed typically isn’t a problem with physical backups. Provided there is a decent computer to computer network, or high speed data cable, your files can be transferred in no time.

You can also make multiple physical copies on flash drives and DVDs. These media types can be accessed anywhere regardless of internet availability. With a physical copy of your data you can take it anywhere you like and give it to whomever you like. This may seem like a minor advantage, but, if you want your data to be completely safe from all knowledge, present or future, that is the way to go. Cloud storage, like anything else on the internet, will leave a trail. If you have super secretive plans, having them in physical form is like using cash, it can’t be tracked.

The disadvantages of physical drives center on failures. A physical drive can have a physical failure due to age, ware, and heat, but it can also have a software failure. The most common of these failures is cause by a virus. Physical storage is susceptible to virus attacks, which is very dangerous for your records.

Both

Even though data backup isn’t the most exciting topic in the world, it is an important one. The best kinds of backups are redundant ones. Having more than one copy of your data is the best way to go. So, by using cloud storage and physical storage you can have the advantages of both and have two copies.

A good way to find reliable backup solutions is to ask similar companies what they use to backup their information. If you are looking for good cloud storage, look up: BackBlaze, CrashPlan, Carbonite, SOS Online Backup and Dropbox. If you are looking for good physical backup solutions, look up:Barracuda Backup, Acronis Backup & Recovery, and Genie Backup Manager.Another good way to find a solution to suit you is to ask an expert. Go by that local New Jersey computer shop and see what the guy behind the counter says. It could save your business.

by David Molnar