Although there is still a place for offline data backups, that place is becoming smaller every day as traditional IT infrastructure is updated to cloud-first or even cloud-native infrastructure. The more you work in the cloud, the more sense it makes to use online data backups. These work along the same lines as traditional data backups, but there are some important differences between the two approaches. With that in mind, here is a quick guide to what you need to know about data backup services in Davis.
1. The approach to taking online data backups is much the same as for offline data backups
It usually makes most sense just to stick to the long-established strategy of having three copies of your data (including your production copy) stored over two clouds with one copy being held “off-site”, i.e. outside the cloud, you use for your everyday production. Unless you are in very unusual circumstances, having one copy of your data on your “local” cloud will be enough to protect you against everyday mishaps, and, realistically, one off-site copy of your data should act as a buffer against “disaster” situations.
If you are thinking about keeping more than one off-site copy of your data, then it’s recommended to look thoroughly at the costs involved and to think carefully about whether or not the extra protection would justify them. After all, just how likely is it that both your regular cloud and your disaster-recovery cloud would be knocked out of action at the same time?
2. You need to know where your data is being stored
Although terms like “online data backup” and “the cloud” emphasize the fact that IT systems can ignore geographical boundaries, at the end of the day all data has to be stored on a physical device. You need to know where that physical device is located because it could have significant legal implications, especially if you are handling sensitive data (and that includes your employees’ data).
You also need to know where any IT services vendors you use are located (physically and legally) because this will go a long way to determining whether or not any service contract is practically enforceable as opposed to just theoretically enforceable. For SMBs, in particular, it usually makes a great deal of sense to stick with local vendors, i.e. ones who work under the same legal system and come under the jurisdiction of the same courts.
3. You can usually store sensitive data in a public cloud
If you’re operating a private cloud (or a data center) you can generally still make use of public clouds to store your online data backups. You would need to encrypt them on your servers first and, depending on your situation, you might need to keep them encrypted until they were either pulled back for restoration or deleted.
That said, the mainstream public clouds are increasingly likely to be able to comply with the major data protection laws and compliance programs (from across the world). This means that even if you’re not comfortable using a public cloud as your everyday working environment, you could potentially still use it as a disaster recovery solution.
4. Good data hygiene pays dividends
Before the cloud, storage of any kind was essentially a sunk cost. You bought the physical devices and then did what you wanted with them. While SMBs generally dislike unnecessary capital expenditure, hence the popularity of the cloud, physical storage has been very affordable for a long time now, so there wasn’t much of a direct financial penalty for failing to practice good data hygiene. There were indirect penalties, such as the risk of being exposed to sanctions for failing to protect sensitive data you didn’t know you had, but these were harder to quantify.
In the cloud, however, you pay for what you use. This means that if your production system is filled with irrelevant data, you will be paying for that data. If you are operating on the 3-2-1 system, you will be paying for it three times over as the costs are multiplied over each copy of the data.
As a result, it pays dividends to make sure that your production data is both relevant and clean. This means thinking about what data you are asking your staff members to capture (especially if it’s sensitive data) and looking at all your data-entry systems to ensure that they guide people toward capturing complete and accurate data. It also means ensuring that dormant data is moved swiftly out of your production systems. If it needs to be kept (e.g. for compliance reasons) or if nobody’s willing to be the person who signs off on its deletion, put it in a data archive.
If you’d like to speak to a reputable and experienced online data backup services provider in Davis, please click here now to contact Aperio. IT.
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