How to choose the right business backup solution

Has your backup and storage strategy caught up with your company’s use of IT? With the rise of business cloud backup solutions there are now more options available to us than ever before, but if all this leaves you a little confused, read on.

Published on: 17 November 2016

This post will help you understand what’s on offer, so that you can decide on an up-to-date solution that keeps your data protected and secure.

Best practice - Backup and storage

As our use of IT systems and technologies has grown, occasional scheduled or ad-hoc backups are no longer enough. Best practice is to store two full copies of your data on separate physical devices, which can be kept in sync by the cloud or using a sync application. This facilitates fast data recovery and business continuity even after the loss of one whole set of data.

A third copy should be stored offline at a separate location, preferably protected from natural or man-made disaster (such as fire and flood) and out of reach of other employees. Copy 3 serves as a safety net in the event of an emergency, or if you are targeted by hackers, malware or a disgruntled employee (important in a small business setting where team members have full access to IT systems).

What are the data backup options available?

Today’s commonly-used backup and storage technologies fall roughly into six categories:

1. Direct Attached Storage (DAS) – this refers to devices that can be physically attached to a PC or server, for example via a USB port. They are usually cheap, easy to store safely and have plenty of capacity – however back-ups have to be performed on a periodic or ad hoc basis, meaning that if data recovery is required file versions could be out of date.

2. Network Attached Storage (NAS) – NAS connects directly to your network and can be synced with other compatible NAS appliances remotely. It offers high capacity at low cost, eliminating the licensing fees and hardware investment associated with a file server. NAS has the advantage of storing real time back-ups so files are always kept up to date, but the drives are not removable and cannot be unplugged and moved to safe locations in an emergency.

3. Disaster Protected Storage – usually in the form of DAS or NAS, disaster protected storage is designed to withstand certain events that would otherwise destroy unprotected data. Some models, for example, provide protection from fire or can be submerged in water for extended periods.

4. Online / Business Cloud Backup Solution – a number of vendors focus on providing data backup and cloud storage services to small and medium-sized companies. With no capital expenditure required up front, business cloud backup solutions present an attractive, cost-effective option for some. They tend to work well for companies that have a fairly typical file server, but may struggle to back up database-level applications, such as Exchange or SharePoint, unless specifically designed to do so.  The downside of using an external provider is that data retrieval could take a long time, particularly when full data recovery is necessary.

5. Online / Private Cloud Backup Solution – for organisations not comfortable with handing over their data to a third party, it is possible to build a private version of a business cloud backup solution using your own hardware and software. Whilst this allows for greater control and flexibility, it is a high-cost option that requires companies to create and manage their own data centres.

Offline Media – DVD, Blu Ray and tape drives may seem outdated, but they still provide important storage mechanisms for large volume data users – including the likes of Google and Facebook. As the capacity of each disc or tape is usually small it is difficult and inefficient to perform frequent back-ups, but periodic copying to offline media can provide an extra level of security when used in conjunction with other, incremental systems such as NAS.


Which of these is right for your business?

Backup and storage needs differ from business to business, so a ‘one size fits all’ approach is rarely appropriate.  In most cases, a number of options can be combined to create the perfect fit for your business backup needs.

Things to consider when planning your backup strategy include the volume of data in question, the number of office and storage locations you have, and budget. If up-front capital expense is out of the question, a business cloud backup solution could be the best place to start; but for large volumes of data it may not be sufficient. A series of NAS devices in different locations, synced over the Internet or VPN, could prove more suitable; or you might even decide to invest in a tape drive so that you can regularly back up vital information on tape cartridges and store them safely off site.

Next steps

Telappliant have been leaders in the VoIP market since 2003, making them experts in providing business communication solutions.

Telappliant have recently launched cloudStore, a cloud based business backup solution. cloudStore provides a resilient, reliable and automated backup process, read the cloudStore brochure for more information.

Create your own cloudStore backup account now and start backing up your business data today with your own 10Gb - 60 day trial.


Contact us     Start cloudstore trial


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