To back up or not to back up, that is the question for many users and businesses these days (though it shouldn’t even be a question). March was World Backup Month, which made data security a topic of greater public interest, with many shocking statistics reminding us that data loss can happen faster than we might think. Safeware, The Insurance Company, Inc, estimates that about 30% of all desktops and 60% of all laptops are being damaged by accident. Now, consider how many files, documents and memories most of us are currently storing on devices that could get stolen, lost or broken and you will quickly ask yourself: “What would I do if I lost everything?” According to Boston Computing Network, there is a 60% likelihood that your business would shut down within six months of a major data loss. That number may sound dooming, but luckily there are ways you can beat those odds and help your business withstand these kinds of disasters.
But the search for the perfect backup solution can be overwhelming at times and many factors come into play. Stratiis, a UK-based eFolder partner, summed up their main criteria perfectly. “We are very customer-focused and are constantly searching for the best workplace technologies. We want our clients to trust that we will provide them with the IT tools necessary to run their businesses effectively and securely,” explains Alun Borland, Director at Stratiis.
So, what is the most effective backup tool for your clients? Here are the three questions that may help you clarify which backup path to choose:
1. What needs to be backed up?
When starting the backup conversation with your clients, find out what types of data they want to back up. If companies are looking to mainly double on security for important productivity files and folders, a business-grade file sync product is perfect for backing up employees’ workstations and laptops. But if your clients want to leverage a solution that allows for server application backup as well, then a dedicated image-based backup solution will ensure that workstations, laptops, servers, and NAS devices, as well as open file types can be recovered in case of disasters.
2. How should the data be restored and recovered?
Depending on the size, industry and technological advancement of your clients, some may be happy with straight-forward backup features that allow for simple recovery options. A business-grade file sync solution enables your clients to download files and file revisions straight from the web, either on a bulk-basis or by point-in-time. Retention periods can be set to unlimited or be customized by an admin, depending on the client’s needs. More advanced backup and disaster recovery solutions, however, will also provide more advanced restoring and retention capabilities. By deploying BDR solutions, users are able to restore emails, meetings and contacts from Exchange or data to a machine differently from where the data was originally stored. Lost information can then be recovered by either downloading it, requesting a disk shipment or through cloud virtualization.
3. Where does the data reside?
If the majority of critical documents reside on work stations, many of your clients might be tempted to simply back up their data with a USB stick. The risks associated with using an outdated backup method are manifold and a business-grade file-level backup product can easily combat them. But when it comes to data stored on servers, a more sophisticated solution is required, like an image-based backup and disaster recovery service. This type of product will back up snapshots of the server environment, thus leveraging the reliability and performance of the cloud and minimizing the risk and cost of downtime. If most of the critical data is stored in cloud applications like Microsoft or Salesforce, a cloud-to-cloud backup service might be worth the investment. Here, backing up data offsite adds additional levels of security and ensures that emails, attachments and meta data can be restored beyond the limited retention policies of the respective cloud application.