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Server and Computer Backup for Business has Just Got More Efficient

Date Added: December 25, 2007 03:42:14 PM
Category: Computers & Internet

Computer and server backup has always been an expensive issue to deal with and regardless of how much you spend on your backup plan there has never been a solution which has taken the best elements of all methods and put them into one product. Invariably a business always has to work around its backup method, never the technology working exactly as the business requires.

The three main backup methods are tape backup, local disk backup and offsite backup; let’s look at their individual pro’s and cons.

Tape Backup one of the most traditional methods and the main benefit is speed. Many gigabytes of data can be moved from a server to tape and back again in a matter of minutes. This is very important when data loss has occurred and a business needs to get their data back on to their server as quickly as possible.

The major down side of this method is cost; even the smallest company would have to budget £1000 minimum to buy the relevant hardware, software and media. This figure can very easily rise to the tens of thousands if you have more than one server to backup or you have a substantial amount of data and a small backup window. The other issues with tape can be the actual tape media. Tape is mechanical and as we all know mechanical parts fail, IDC recently stated that some 30% of backups fail because of this reason. When you have backed up your data onto tape, it is best practice to move it to a secure offsite or remote location, if you do not do this then your tape is susceptible to the same natural disasters as the server. The final pitfall is security, in nearly all cases the data which has been backed up is not encrypted, therefore anybody who has possession of the tape will be able to read it.

Backup to a local disk drive is one of the most cost effective ways to copy data to another location. A 300GB external USB drive can be purchased for less than £70 and a 2TB network attached drive can be purchased for less than £1000. The same software costs still apply but this method is still much cheaper than tape. The speed is impressive as well; 100MB of data can be transferred every second so your restore will always be very fast.

The draw backs of this method is that you still total rely on a mechanical drive to back your data on and it can be difficult and time consuming to backup your data and then remove to a secure offsite location. There will also be no automation or data encryption of data when stored on your external drive.

Offsite Backup is taking the backup market by storm; the main reason for this is it is a totally secure, reliable and automated solution which requires no human intervention. Install the software onto your server or computer, tell it what data to backup and when and then let it back your data. No human intervention is required and your data is stored offsite in an encrypted state and can always be restored regardless of disaster.
The biggest single draw back is speed. Backing up to an offsite location requires use of your internet connection, so your restore can only be as quick as this connection. Even if you have a high speed 8MB ADSL connection it would take 3 days to restore and to 5GB of data.

This is why most businesses today endure the expense of both local (tape or hard disk) for speed and offsite backup for availability and security. Backing up using both methods offers a fast restore if a hard disk fails and data security should your office be destroyed by natural disaster.

In summary, the perfect all round backup solution would be software which creates a high speed local backup to a USB or network drive as well as automatically backing up to a secure offsite infrastructure, the best of both worlds shall we say. The obvious criteria here is that you would not have any upfront capital outlay just an easy to budget monthly fee. Maybe one day that type of backup software might be available. Maybe one day……..

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