Backup & Storage Solutions

The amount of data being created and stored daily by people is growing exponentially. Simultaneously, the variety of data being stored is expanding - everything from photos, videos to necessary email documentation. And while computer use is still very essential today, many things can happen to the machine that may result in the loss of these data. Losing data remains a common occurrence that can affect anybody some time or the other, hence neglecting to back up your files can lead to disastrous consequences. There are many ways in which files can be lost, many of which are not within our control. Some of the most common ways of losing data are: mechanical failure; human error; software failure; computer viruses; and natural disasters.

In order to prevent this kind of catastrophe, people have started backing up their files. Over the years, people have been confined to disk-to-tape, CDs, DVDs, external hard drives, flash memory and networks for traditional data backup and storage options. These methods were valuable for a time, providing the initial benefit of data backup separate from the host machine(s). However, it had certain issues and several drawbacks leaving users choosing better alternatives and safer solutions with much lesser disadvantages. This is where online backup and storage come in.

Online backup, also known as remote backup, is a method of offsite data storage whereby files, folders, documents and even the entire content of a hard drive are regularly backed up on a remote server or computer with a network connection. It is a safety-device that can be implemented to keep important files protected and has been found to be far better than the conventional backup software storage solutions. When you have an online backup of your data, you are storing data on a server that is separate from your computer and files remain completely secure. It is created by copying the files from your hard drive over the internet. You first subscribe to a service and download their software. Once installed on your hard drive, you configure the software to create copies of your files.

Why choose Online Backup and Storage?
Safe. The fact that the files are online means that the files are not physically stored, but rather stored in a different location from the original data, unlike with traditional backup storage solutions. The files are transferred offsite automatically, which means that when a disaster strikes or in the event of an accidental file deletion, etc. data stored offsite will be securely stored and recoverable and far better protected. After a loss occurs, users can restore files to the old location with a simple web browser and encryption key, which will allow them to start restoring data in under 5 minutes from any location with internet access. With traditional backup, it requires manually taking the backup media offsite.

Cost-Effective. Online backup and storage offer significant cost savings over traditional methods given the elimination of setup fees, installation costs, and equipment purchases. It also saves on total costs since the documents are stored and accessible online without having to store physical tapes or print outs of every document. This saves on the use of paper and ink, which is an expensive business tool. Online data backup absorbs storage costs, hardware/software costs with no added office expenses. Furthermore, the cost of labor is substantially reduced without the need of hiring trained employees to handle the process.

Secure. While some traditional storage providers’ offer encrypted storage devices, once the data is stolen, lost or vandalized, the data is no longer accessible. Therefore, online backup offers the security required to meet business and compliance policies and guarantees the data will always be available for restoration. Most online backup providers use the latest encryption technology to secure data during transmission. With encryption, it is very important for businesses to look for providers that can ensure their data will be protected with a 128 bit level or higher encryption key, to which only the user has access. In this case, online backup can rival and even surpass the encryption standards of traditional backup.

More Storage Capacity. Since files are stored in the internet, the backup storage possibilities are practically unlimited. Whereas traditional storage media like CD-ROMs or floppy disks are fairly limited in their storage capacity, an online backup storage can hold almost unlimited amounts of data, since it can be powered by several servers, each in turn with the capacity to hold enormous amounts of data.

No User Intervention. One of the issues with traditional backup is that it is a mechanical device that needs human intervention. Mechanisms break and human beings can forget to change the tape or take copies off site. The tape is prone to wear and tear and the issues surrounding offsite storage and retrieval are not to be underestimated. Your business data is too important to trust to human error, tape drives, and tape media. And your employees' time is too valuable to waste on this task. Tapes, CDs can fail. They can fail to backup and they can fail to restore. With remote backup no user intervention is required. The user does not have to change tapes, label CDs or perform other manual steps.

No Software/Hardware Updates. Backup software, like other applications, undergoes periodic updates, which means systems must be upgraded as new versions are released. With rapid technology changes, particular models of tapes, CDs, flash drive etc. may become obsolete, requiring the firm to keep older equipment on hand in case corresponding tapes need to be read sometime in the future. With online backup and storage, you need not worry about media becoming obsolete or degrading. More often than not, traditional tape and disk based backup solutions are not maintained and monitored correctly and not tested on a regular basis. It is often only in times of disaster that these shortcomings are realized.

Added Features. There are online data backup/storage systems that offer certain features that traditional based backups do not, like remote data access, synchronization, mobile access, versioning etc.

The failure of tapes and other traditional backup methods is due to the rapid technology and process of what people actually did with their tapes. These problems, combined with falling costs of online backup and storage solutions, make users switch to online backup.
Online backup and storage clearly offers a myriad of benefits to users looking for alternative storage methods. Whether it’s planning for disaster recovery or backing up data in order to restore an accidentally/maliciously deleted file, online backup offers an easy, cost-effective and secure way to save critical business information that traditional methods have failed to accomplish.

Contact Cloud Computing Consultants today to see how Online backups can eliminate expense.