Data management may not be the most exciting area of IT, but it’s crucial to the long-term health of modern businesses, including, and sometimes especially, SMBs. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to what you need to know about data backup solutions in Roseville.
1. Before you choose a data backup solution, make sure you understand your data
You only want to backup active data, in other words, data that is being used. Everything else belongs in an archive (if you need to keep it at all). Archiving is one area of IT where there is still a fairly strong case for keeping a copy of your data on physical media, although these days, this is generally done alongside keeping a cloud archive and some companies even skip the physical copy completely.
Ideally, you should only be archiving data that is genuinely needed (for compliance purposes) or genuinely wanted (for example for historical reference). In the former case, you’ll need to keep the law in mind at all times. In other words, make sure that you keep data for as long as necessary, but, in the case of sensitive data at least, for absolutely no longer.
Once you’ve archived your dormant data, you’ll be left with data that is currently active and you’ll need to determine how much of that data is sensitive. Remember that data collected from your employees also comes under data-protection laws. Sensitive data can usually be backed up to a public cloud but it has to be encrypted first.
Last but not least, you need a clear process for determining when data moves out of production and needs to be either archived or deleted and in the former case why and hence for how long.
2. Managing the data backup process
In theory, there are three options for managing the data backup process. You can use a hardware solution, a standalone software solution, or a cloud-based solution. In practice, even in a data center, it’s hard to see any sort of case for using a hardware-based solution. They are not only limited but vulnerable to failure and when they fail, they need physical repairs/swap-outs.
This means that, in practical terms, you’re looking at either a standalone software solution or a cloud-based solution. The former tend to be more flexible and offer a higher level of customizability, which translates into flexibility. Most of them will function on virtual servers just as well as on physical ones, but this is not guaranteed, so it’s important to check before you part with your cash. The latter tend to be more straightforward to use.
As a rule of thumb, the more you want to be able to pick and choose your storage options, the more you should lean towards using a standalone software solution. The more you value simplicity and convenience, the more you should lean towards using a cloud-based software solution.
3. Choosing the right storage for your needs
Your most basic choice is whether you’re going to use a public cloud or a private cloud. Most other decisions you have to take will stem from that. If you are in a data center or a public cloud, your default option should usually be to back up to a public cloud.
If you’re running a data center, this is presumably because you can’t (or don’t want to) work in the cloud, so there’s nothing to be gained by setting up a cloud-based disaster-recovery solution. You simply want the cost-effective flexibility of storage in the public cloud. If you’re already in the public cloud, then it’s presumably because you’re perfectly happy in that environment, so it makes sense to back up to another public cloud and set it up to use as a complete disaster-recovery solution.
If you’re in the private cloud, however, life can get a bit more interesting. You can usually back up sensitive data to a public cloud, but you need to encrypt it on your servers first and keep it encrypted until it is either used for a restore or deleted. This means that you cannot use a public cloud as a complete disaster-recovery solution. This means that one way or another, you will need to set up a second private cloud. This means that you need to decide whether it’s better to hold your standard data backups in the public cloud or in your disaster-recovery cloud.
The argument for the public cloud is that it is usually the more cost-effective option. The argument against it is that it makes for a more complicated and lengthy (read slower) disaster-recovery process. The arguments for and against the private cloud are the opposite.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced data backup solutions provider in Roseville please click here now to contact Aperio. IT.
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