These days it is essential that all companies maintain a reliable data backup and disaster recovery system. These systems ensure that mission-critical data is not lost in the event of a disaster or cyber attack. Luckily, data backup systems are not unlike ice cream, in that they come in a variety of flavors to suit one's particular tastes. There are several unique means by which companies can back up important data.
åIn recent years, an increasing number of businesses have adopted a cloud-based managed data backup system. In such a system, mission critical data is backed up from each PC and server on the company IT network automatically, each day. That data is kept in an offsite server, commonly referred to a cloud server. When configured properly cloud technologies offer businesses a robust and reliable means to safely store copies of mission-critical data.
Below we've listed a few reasons why small and midsize companies ought to seriously consider adopting cloud-based backup and recovery systems.
Those reasons include:
Public cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure are particularly attractive to smaller companies with limited IT budgets. These companies lease space on public cloud servers to store backup files. This often costs pennies on the dollar compared to building a dedicated in-house backup server.
2. Set It and Forget It
Whether your company has an in-house IT department or works with a local tech support company, generally speaking managed cloud backup systems are automated and operate in the background. This means a backup isn't missed simply because someone forgot. That being said, it is a very wise practice to periodically test your backups files to ensure they aren't corrupted. After all, a backup you cannot restore from is useless.
3. Universally Accessible
One great thing about data stored in the cloud is that you can access it from anywhere. Spill coffee on your laptop during a business trip? No problem! Get your hands on a new computer and start restoring your files right away.
Cloud backups are great specifically because they are kept offsite. A copy of your business-critical data is safe in case a disaster befalls the onsite backup device in your office. That said, what if a disaster hits the cloud provider's data center?
Geo-replication is the process by which a cloud providers keeps copies of your data in multiple data centers around the globe. Often times this functionality is sold as an optional extra. Discuss the subject with your managed it services provider to see if your data requires the additional protection.
5. Vastly Improved RTO and RPO
Let's break down what these terms mean and why they pertain to disaster recovery and incident response.
Recovery Time Objective (RTO)
RTO refers to maximum desired amount of time between an unexpected failure or disaster and the resumption of normal network operation. Generally speaking, most IT departments and managed IT support firms will aim for an RTO of 4 hours or less.
Recovery Point Objective (RPO)
RPO is the maximum acceptable data loss measured in time. For example, suppose your tech support team set an RPO goal of 10 minutes. Therefore, they would set the backup system to run every 10 minutes.
A Couple Things to Remember:
- Regardless of the specific type of cloud backup your company aligns with, ensure you can access a local copy of your backup files in case you lose connection to the cloud. Keeping local and cloud-based copies of essential data is a cornerstone a good disaster recovery plan.
- Small to midsize companies should strongly consider hiring a small business it support company to manage the backup process and handle the restore in the event of a disaster. Spend the money and have an expert do the work.
Over the last decade, cloud backup, recovery and restore (BURR) options have emerged as a secure, cost-effective and reliable method of safeguarding the increasing amounts of corporate information being generated daily. But switching to a cloud-based backup system is a significant decision that requires a clear understanding of how such a solution will integrate into your business.
As always, we recommend consulting with an expert before making a decision. Seek out a small business cloud consultant, specifically one with experience in managed backup services.
If you are a small or midsize business in North Texas and have questions about how to choose a data backup, give us a call! We'll run a complimentary assessment of your IT network to diagnose performance problems and suggest improvements to improve reliability.