Data backup has come a long way in just the last five years. Although cloud-based backup has been around for more than a decade, it’s become increasingly popular in the last several years due to its blend of high security and convenience. When it comes to reviewing your firm’s data backup options, the three most compelling factors are cost, security, and convenience. Let’s see how the three most common backup options stack up.
This data solution has been around for decades. Just as it sounds, the data housed on the firm’s servers is backed up to tapes. In best practice, those tapes are taken offsite and housed at a secure facility. Obvious costs include the tape backup machines, the tapes themselves, and the service fee to the offsite facility that holds the tape.
Among the biggest downside to tape backup is the lack of convenience. Someone needs to change the tapes in the backup every day, as well as meet with your vendor for tape drop off and pickup. The responsibility is weighty, and the risk of human error is high. In the event of a problem, tapes will need to be recalled from the vendor, which can take hours, and in the case of a natural disaster, possibly days.
Digital, In-House Backup
As tapes become more and more antiquated, your firm can purchase digital backup servers that can back up all data nightly, and remain on site at all times. This backup method cuts the vendor and constant tape shuffling out of the equation, while minimizing problems due to human error. Of course, it’s more convenient also. The additional servers can be quite expensive though, and this option provides no offsite backup in the event of flood, fire, or other natural disaster.
In this backup option, the cloud refers to the internet. So data from the servers at your firm is backed up securely, via the net, to servers at a second location – usually large data centers containing unprecedented security and high-speed connections. Your data is stored in a partition all its own that only you have can access. There is no expensive equipment to purchase and no IT staff required. Just a set monthly fee with no surprises.
Cloud-based backups limit human errors and inconvenience, as the whole process can be automated. The data centers are always offsite, which keeps the data safe from any disaster that may occur at your location. Often times these plans include increased access to the data, meaning that the backup can double as a disaster relief plan in the event that your staff cannot return to the office right away.
Of all three backup options, cloud-based is the most flexible and offers the most benefits. It can be used in conjunction with an on-site backup strategy already in place, or on its own as a complete solution. We’d be happy to walk you through the various plans and amenities cloud-based backups offer.