We won't state the obvious, but we all know the importance of backup. If any business is not meticulously backing up their data, they are making a tremendous mistake. Having your data compromised, lost or corrupt will create chaos in your environment and could cost your business thousand of dollars. What business owners don't realize is that having your employee seating around while your IT is recovering your data, or server, also costs money.
Think about it, if you pay your employee $10 an hour, and they work 8 hours a day, you have to pay them $80 a day correct? (Of course we are not considering, taxes, insurance, etc). If your server is down or if the data is corrupt and it takes 4 hours to recover it, your employee does not cost you $10 an hour. Your employee costs you $20 an hour because he/she only worked 4 hours out of 8. Multiply this by the number of employees you have and you'll have an idea of the damage.
Corrupt data or having your server down, affects your sales, production and if the recovery takes too long, you could potentially go out of business. According to business reports, 70% of small business that have major data loss go out of business within a year. Hardware cost has dropped dramatically and today, anyone can afford a decent backup solution. We will cover two solutions in this article and we will help you see which one is best for your business. The first is simply a local to online cloud backup solution. The second is a backup disaster recovery solution with online cloud backup.
If your business has no critical applications and if your business won't be affected if your server is down, you can consider a local to online cloud backup solution. A typical business with no critical application is one that only has a file server in place. One may argue that even if a file server is down for a couple of hours, it could affect the business, we agree with you. But let's say that this is a simple file server, with no active directory, no access right, no critical applications and being down for a couple of hours is acceptable. For such a business a local to online cloud backup should suffice. Why? A local to online cloud backup will do the following:
- Backup your raw data on an external hardware (local but outside of the server)
- Push another copy of the raw data to the online cloud backup.
So if the server crashes, the data is corrupt or lost, you can quickly recover it from your local hardware. If something were to happen to your entire office, such as fire, water damage, or any direct or indirect disaster, you can recover your data from the online cloud backup, from anywhere. And having this data accessible to you from anywhere at any time, could potentially save your business. Consider the following when researching for an online backup solution:
- Good security that meets your company requirements and compliance, such as encryption, PCI, SAS 70, or HIPAA etc.
- Make sure the company you select has a couple of data centers all around the country, so if one is down, you can still access your data from the others.
- Make sure the upload speed is fast. If your data takes too long to upload, you could be waiting for weeks before the first backup is done.
- Make sure there is no file size limitation. If one of your files is too big, it could fail to upload.
If your business today has critical applications and your servers can't be down, consider a Backup Disaster Recovery solution. One of the biggest challenges companies face is how to maximize business continuity and avoid business disruption following a server failure or data loss.
Some BDR (Backup Disaster Recovery) solutions provide fast and reliable data backup, protection, disaster recovery, and system migration to get servers online or data recovered as quickly as possible following a disaster. How does that work? A BDR solution will take an image of your entire server and store it on an external hardware. Another copy of the image will be pushed to the online cloud backup.
So what is the difference between this solution and the first one we described before?
If the server goes down due to physical or software reasons (or disaster), you can use the backup file, and mount it as a virtual machine. That means you won't have to reinstall the operating system, your applications, configure the applications and the server etc. This can potentially save your days of work, and thousands of dollars. We mean it, days of work and thousand of dollars. On top of that, if your entire site goes down, depending on the online cloud backup vendor, they can mount your server virtually on their servers in the cloud and provide you with a VPN access. So if your environment goes down, you now have your exact server, from the last backup set, running in the cloud. No need to have extra hardware, or software for this. These solutions are becoming more common. We call them hybrid BDR solutions because they do not force a client to purchase local hardware and lock them on a big initial setup fee. You only pay for the online virtual server mount if your entire site goes down. No extra hardware monthly fee or extra cost, making these solutions absolutely affordable. SMBs and MMBs can now have the same type of backup solutions enterprise businesses use.
Consider the following when researching for a BDR solution.
- The BDR's backup file should be your entire server image.
- The BDR solution should seamlessly takes incremental backup as often as every 15 minutes if needed.
- The incremental backups should be fast, automatic, and continuously occurring in the background.
- The solution should have the ability to restore the backup into a virtual environment such as Oracle Virtual box, VMware, Or Microsoft HyperV. (The entire system will be restored into a virtual machine).
- The BDR solution should allow file and folder recovery.
- It should allow bare metal recovery. In case you want to recover the server on a dissimilar hardware.
- The online backup should have the ability to upload the local images files securely to the cloud.
So overall, when considering a backup solution you'll need to understand your company needs, requirements and what the company can tolerate in case of an outage. With this information, you should be able to either select a local to online cloud backup or BDR solution. Both of these solutions are very inexpensive and every business should take advantage of them. You can purchase a monthly license for the BDR solution and pay as little as 50 cents per gig for cloud space. Don't risk losing your business data for few dollars a month.