For many small businesses, IT and systems are a second thought to their day to day operations. We know and rely on our PCs, E-mail and systems completely but day to day activities stop most from thinking that will they do when the device fails or information is lost. Some may even feel comfortable that last year they setup backups so they should have all the information they need if the computer dies.
How do you know the backups are still working?
What do you restore your backups on to when your computer / server dies?
If you were offline for 2 weeks, how would your business cope?
How can you maintain your staff who need daily jobs?
How loyal are your customers to wait?
Disaster recovery is a big topic but an important insurance policy for your business.
In this post rather than go into disaster recovery, we will highlight some common storage methods and what Kloud9 Consulting recommends for backup practices that will be a good start to keeping your information safe. If we went into every technology and method available this would be a novel; so I’ll stick to some categories of storage options for your small business.
Direct attached storage: these are storage devices that are connected directly to a PC or server, typically using a USB port. This is probably the most common way of doing backups in small business.
Network attached storage: A NAS appliance is a storage device that connects directly to the network. These are usually larger storage devices that will have their own redundancy built in as well as software that makes backups faster as well as use less space through compression.
Online storage: For purposes of this article we're talking about online storage designed to help consumers and businesses store or back up data in the cloud. Some of these services, such as MozyPro, SpiderOak and BackBlaze, are designed specifically to serve businesses for data backup. 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 a long time should you require full data recovery as it needs to download from the Internet.
Private Cloud: If you don’t feel comfortable sticking your information on the public cloud systems, private cloud is another option. Private cloud was once out of the reach of small business but is now much more affordable. The Transporter, for example, is a network appliance that connects to a private cloud storage drive to share and synchronize its content. This can be done with client desktops or laptops.
Offline media: This may seem like old technology but there are still use cases for it. Generally this involves tape drives, but other media such as DVD are occasionally used for the purpose of offline data backup. Tape backups have saved Google in at least one Gmail outage, and Facebook was experimenting with Blu-Ray discs for data backup. It’s generally easy to setup and seen as more secure when stored with a secure vault company.
Backups and what do we backup?
There are many methods and recommended ways to backup but for the purpose of this article we are suggesting an easy method as you usually don't have someone or the time dedicated to this. Speak to us today to find the best solution for your business firstname.lastname@example.org
If you can, back up the whole machine and its contents. If not, simply take the important systems with you such as database, documents and images. Generally, the main cost with backing up is storage use. Trim down what you don’t need if it is a restricting factor, personal files, e-mail files, windows directories and software don’t necessarily need to be backed up.
Kloud9 Consulting believes that for critical data, businesses should make two full copies. One of a separate device that you’re backing up and a copy should be kept of site and not connected to your systems directly.
Having two complete copies gives you some level of redundancy should one device fail. Backup frequency really should be when data changes; so at least daily!
The offline copy, can protect you against accidents such as deleting certain information and not realising the mistake until after your backup has been overwritten. It will also protect your information from real time corruption or malware.