Managing data backups may not be the most glamorous part of IT, let alone business in general, but it is an essential one. The good news is that a little thought and planning is all it takes to implement a robust data backup strategy, without breaking the bank. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to what you need to know about data backup services in Woodland.
1. Local data backups are for local issues, off-site data backups are for disaster recovery
The old rule about data backups is summarized as the 3-2-1 strategy. That’s three copies of your data, over two media (or clouds) with one copy being kept off-site (in a different cloud). For the most part, this rule still holds good today, regardless of the environment in which you are working.
This may seem obvious to anyone working in a data center or a private cloud, where you have full control over everything and, hence, also full responsibility. It may, however, come as a bit of a surprise to people in the public cloud, who might, understandably, see disaster recovery as their provider’s responsibility. While there is some truth in that, there is also nuance, which it’s important to understand.
In the cloud, security is a shared responsibility. The platform provider secures its platform against external threats. The clients (or “tenants”) have to make sure that their legitimate user access is neither misused nor compromised. If the client fails to do this and data is deleted, then legally and ethically, that is the client’s problem. It’s also worth noting that, even though the mainstream public cloud providers have excellent track records, nothing is guaranteed, so it’s reassuring to have a Plan B, especially when it can be implemented very economically.
2. Data backups and disaster recovery
A data backup is simply a copy of your production data. A disaster recovery solution is a solution that gives you access to the data you need, plus the tools you need to use it. There are several points to consider to make this happen.
First of all, you need to define your recovery time objective(s) and your recovery point objective(s). Your RTO determines how quickly you need your data to be made available after a disaster and your RPO determines how long you are prepared to go between data backups. If you’re backing up data to physical storage, then you’re probably going to have to stick with one RTO and one RPO for all your data. If, however, you’re backing up data to the cloud, then you have the option to fine-tune this and it could be very beneficial to do so.
If you can fine-tune your RTOs, you can use different speeds of storage according to the priority of the data and implement a tiered-recovery strategy that brings the most urgent data online most quickly and leaves the least urgent data to last. Similarly, if you can fine-tune your RPOs, you can assign your bandwidth where it matters most and save it when data is less important. Both of these measures can help you to hit the sweet spot between maximizing productivity and minimizing costs.
3. Almost all data backups should be stored in the cloud
You’ll take your local data backup to your local environment (or they’ll be taken for you). If you’re still working in a data center, then that typically means using physical storage (which you presumably can store safely on-site), but these days, it’s probably safe to say that the vast majority of SMBs are going to be wholly or mainly in the cloud and hence their local data backups are going to be taken to their local cloud.
Even in a data center, however, it generally makes sense to use a cloud to store off-site data backups. This allows you to restore without having to retrieve a physical device from a storage site. If you’re already in the cloud, then cloud-to-cloud data backups are usually the only sensible way to go.
If you’re in a data center or a public cloud, then backing up to a (second) public cloud is usually the right move. You’re not using a private cloud for your daily work, so why would you spend money on one to use as part of a disaster recovery solution?
If you’re already in the private cloud and want to use a second private cloud as a disaster recovery solution, then it may make sense to use it to hold your data backups as well. If, however, budget is an issue, you might want to look at storing your data backups (encrypted) in a public cloud or even using a public cloud as your disaster recovery solution.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced data backup services provider in Woodland, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.
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