By this point, all businesses should understand the importance of backing up data. What may not be so well understood, however, is that it’s not enough to have a good strategy (although this is, of course, important). You also need to implement that strategy effectively. This means that you need the right tools for the job. In particular, you need the right data backup storage. With that in mind, here is a guide to data backup storage in Folsom.
1. You need two data backups, one local and one off-site
A local data backup is generally used to deal with minor mishaps, like changes that go wrong. An off-site data backup is generally used in business continuity/disaster recovery situations. These days, the terms “local” and “off-site” are not necessarily used literally. They’re more likely to refer to the practicalities of your working environment.
For example, these days, it’s increasingly unusual for companies to have significant IT infrastructure in their everyday business premises (in fact, they may not even have everyday business premises). Their standard environment is, however, considered to be “local” even if it’s off-site.
2. If you’re managing your own infrastructure, your choice of hardware matters
Modern SMBs are increasingly likely to be using either the public cloud or managed hosting. In both of these situations, the vendor deals with hardware issues. This is one of the many reasons why so many SMBs prefer these arrangements. If, however, you’re managing your infrastructure, then it’s down to you to make sure that you choose the right hardware.
When it comes to business data backup storage, you have two, perhaps three, realistic choices. These are tapes, hard drives, and maybe SSDs.
Tapes are the trusty stalwarts of business data backup storage. For years, they were the only realistic solution and many companies that have already invested in the necessary infrastructure (e.g. tape drives) are happy to go on using tapes for the time being. Change, however, is probably going to be forced on them at some point fairly soon.
The reason for this is that these days even SMBs generate vast quantities of data and loading it onto tape is a very slow process (as is recovering it). What’s more, tapes can’t be searched easily. The speed issue can be somewhat addressed by running data through an SSD before loading it onto a tape. This is, however, only a partial solution to the speed issue and does not address the lack of search functionality.
This leaves hard drives and SSDs, both of which are much easier to install, faster, and more searchable. For most SMBs, cost issues make hard drives the only realistic choice for the time being. SSDs are, however, coming down in price and could be a viable option in the future.
Both hard drives and SSDs are very suitable for use in data centers themselves. They are not, however, ideal for transportation to an off-site data backup storage facility. Additionally, modern businesses are becoming aware that the security of holding physical media in an off-site storage facility has to be offset both against the risks of transport (and storage) and against the risks and cost of the delay this causes in business continuity/disaster recovery situations. This is why even companies that run data centers often use the cloud for data backup storage.
3. The basics of cloud data backup storage
For practical purposes, “cloud data backup storage” really means “public cloud data backup storage”. Even if companies usually work in a private cloud, it’s usually impossible to justify running a second private cloud on a full-time basis to be able to use it as a data backup storage location. There may be the occasional exception to this rule of thumb, for example, if a company has very sensitive data and also needs the shortest possible recovery time, but for the most part, it holds well.
The key to using the public cloud safely is to make sure that data (at least sensitive data) is encrypted on your own servers (or in your usual cloud) before it goes through the internet to the public cloud platform. You would then usually leave the data encrypted until it was either retrieved or deleted unless you were also using the public cloud as a business continuity/disaster recovery solution, in which case you would decrypt the data as and when (and if) it was needed.
For completeness, even if you’re in a regulated industry, it may be feasible for you to work in at least some public clouds on a short-term basis. You would just need to stick with the ones which met the relevant security standards.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced data backup storage partner in Folsom, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.
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